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D-Link Wireless N Gigabit Router
Very capable & feature-rich Draft N router
Gigabit Ethernet; very secure; QoS; intuitive Wizard; backward compatible
Wireless performance is well below claims

D-Link’s Wireless N Gigabit Router (DIR-655) is the company’s most powerful wireless home network router to date. The draft 802.11N device is also the first on the market that has earned the right to display Microsoft’s Works with Windows Vista logo to ensure customers have an optimal experience when building a home network with computers running a Windows Vista operating system.

The DIR-655 (Best Current Price: £90.14/$129) and its accompanying desktop (DWA-547) and laptop adapters (DWA-645) are designed for consumers, small businesses and gamers who demand the highest performance possible from their wireless networks, especially in larger homes and offices with high-speed Internet access and multiple PCs, game consoles and media players. A recent addition to D-Link’s Draft N wireless offerings is the Wireless N USB adapter (DWA-142), allowing users to connect to desktop PCs, laptops and other devices to a Draft N network.

With speeds faster and farther coverage than standard 802.11g wireless technology products, the DIR-655 is also the industry’s first Draft N router to incorporate Intelligent Wireless Quality of Service (QoS) Technology that prioritises wired and wireless data traffic, allowing users to stream HD video or multiple applications simultaneously and experience relatively lag-free gaming and jitter-free voice over Internet (VoIP) calls.

The sleek white router also is the first to offer both 4-port 10/100/1000 Gigabit local area network (LAN) and wide area network (WAN) ports, an integrated wireless security wizard, Windows Connect Now (WCN) support, removable antennas (three in total) for flexible installation and a wall-mount option. Other key features include Wireless Multimedia (WMM) support, Universal Plug and Play (UpnP) support, Dynamic Domain Name Service (DDNS) for easy remote access, WEP (64/128-bit), WPA and WPA2 encryption and Dual Active Firewall protection (SPI, NAT) for enhanced wireless security. Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) and VPN Pass-through/Multi-sessions PPTP/L2TP/IPSec are also supported.

With some routers, all wired and wireless traffic, including VoIP, video streaming, online gaming, and Web browsing are mixed together into a single data stream. By handling data this way, applications like video streaming could pause or delay. With D-Link’s Intelligent QoS Technology, wired and wireless traffic is analysed and separated into multiple data streams. These streams are then categorised by sensitivity to delay, so applications like VoIP, video streaming, and online gaming are given priority over Web browsing. This enables multiple applications to stream smoothly to your TV or PC. The router is of course backwards compatible with 802.11g and 802.11b standards.

Another new feature is a wireless security setup wizard that you can launch from the setup tab on the DIR-655’s Web interface. This 5-step wizard walks you through naming your wireless network, choosing the security level, and setting the pre-shared key. The DIR-655 supports WEP, WPA-PSK or WPA Enterprise (for use with an external RADIUS server). For WPA, the default mode is Auto, but you can force it to use WPA1 (TKIP) or WPA2 (AES) encryption. You can also choose 64- or 128-bit WEP if you have legacy devices on your network that don’t support the more secure WPA/WPA2 security modes.

It also supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup. This standard from the Wi-Fi Alliance simplifies setting up a secure wireless network. There are two mandatory methods required for WPS products: Push-Button Configuration (PBC) and Personal Identification Number (PIN). Additionally, there’s a menu entry in the DIR-655’s Web interface labelled Wi-Fi Protected Setup. However, neither the instruction manual for the DIR-655 router nor the DWA-652 client card made any mention of Wi-Fi Protected Setup. There is also a USB port on the rear of the device for loading wireless configuration files created using the Windows Connect Now configuration wizard.

If you’re looking for Draft 802.11n speeds (naturally, D-Link recommends that you pair the DIR-655 with its Xtreme N Notebook Adapter performance) and greater coverage for your entire home or small office, D-Link’s DIR-655 should be at the top of your list. Draft 802.11n isn’t a great leap in performance though, and in out tests we could only manage a wireless speed (from a Draft 802.11n-enabled laptop) of 48.9Mbit/s from 6-feet away. Moving the laptop two rooms down our office resulted in a drop of speed to 27.5 Mbit/s. Nevertheless the DIR-655 sports a raft of configuration options, has a configurable QoS engine, and the extensive list of preconfigured applications in the port forwarding setup are greatly appreciated. And now it even has Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. Highly recommended. [8.5]

[Best Wi-Fi Pricing UK]
[Best Wi-Fi Pricing US]

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This entry was posted on Mar 21, 07 and is filed under Networking

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