In terms of features, D-Link’s DIR-855 came the closest to matching Netgear’s routerlicious WNDR3700. It’s a simultaneous dual-band model that allows you to run guest networks on either the 2.4- or 5GHz frequencies, it provides a USB port for sharing either a printer or a storage device, it’s equipped with three removable/upgradeable antennas, it sports an OLED display, and its firmware is a tweaker’s paradise.
But the benchmark performance we experienced with the DIR-855’s 2.4GHz radio in no way justifies its astronomically high street price of $240. Netgear’s WNDR3700 V1 spanked the DIR-855 on both frequency bands, has almost as many features, and costs $90 less than D-Link’s router.
D-Link’s DIR-615 carries a $70 list price, but most of the retailers we checked were selling it for around $40 when we wrote this feature. At that price, this router is an absolute steal.
The DIR-615 was slower than our zero-point, Trendnet’s TEW-639GR, in four of our six test locations, but it and the Belkin N Wireless were the only models in this group fast enough to wirelessly stream high-definition video to our media room. And unlike most of the rest of the field, it had no problem delivering usable bandwidth to the client in both of our long-range outdoor test locations. Taking the zero-point out of the equation, Belkin’s N Wireless router was faster at the two locations where the client is closest to the router, but the DIR-615 was faster than everything everywhere else.
Some product announcements are self-contained. Others, like D-Link’s of the Boxee Box, come in chunks, with this one, timed for the start of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, offering (some) specifications and pricing info, with both looking pretty good.
The idea behind Boxee is straightforward--software that brings together the myriad of media options available on the Internet so you don’t have to catalog that ever-changing, ever-expanding universe. Boxee also nicely adds connections to social network services, such as Facebook and Twitter, so you can make your viewing experience a collective, rather than solitary, one.
Boxee is tied to your computer. Boxee Box, however, lets you move to the living room, and take advantage of that really nice LCD HD TV you got for Christmas, connecting together all your diverse media, from the internet and your home network, while keeping your social networks in play. In addition, the Boxee open app platform promises the possibilities of additional content: plug-ins, add-ons, and games.
There’s no hardware data yet available, but the Boxee Box will come with 802.11n Wi-Fi, and supports a load of video (including Adobe Flash 10.1), audio, and image formats. Access to all your media library, and online content, will be through a single remote control.
Best yet, D-Link is promising the Boxee Box to be priced under $200.
The recession may or may not be over for the general public, but as far as D-Link is concerned, the high times are here again. The maker of network solutions has posted solid growth in the third quarter of the year. Net profits were up to $7.98 million in Q3 2009. This is an abrupt turnaround after the first half of the year when the company actually lost several million.
A whopping 54% of D-Link’s profits were from the Asia Pacific and emerging markets. Management expects that to rise over 60% in the next few quarters. D-Link expects growth to continue in the fourth quarter, but not at an increased rate over the third quarter.
D-Link’s DIR-685 Wi-Fi router generated a lot of buzz at CES this past January. And when we took a gander at its spec sheet, we thought it a contender for Best of the Best in the router category; something that would finally displace the Linksys WRT600N, which is becoming hard to find. Alas, ’twas not to be.
The problem certainly isn’t with the DIR-685’s feature set: This router is absolutely loaded with goodies. The 3.2-inch color LCD can inform you of the router’s status and configuration; present digital photos from Flickr, Picasa, and Facebook; display RSS feeds, such as sports scores, weather reports, and stock quotes; and a lot more (this is one router your significant other won’t insist be hidden in a closet).
Next up, there’s a 2.5-inch internal SATA hard drive bay, which can turn the router into a NAS box (complemented by a built-in FTP server and BitTorrent software). There are two USB ports featuring D-Link’s SharePort technology, which allows you to plug in both an external hard drive and a printer and share these devices with any computer on the network. The router’s four-port gigabit switch automatically powers down any ports not in use to save a modest amount of energy.
Taiwan based manufacturer of network solutions, D-Link, saw its highest revenues of the year last month. In August, the firm saw consolidated revenues of $80.43 million. This is particularly good news for D-Link, as the first eight months of the year showed a 16% decrease from 2008 numbers.
The monthly figures were also 7.8% higher than August of last year. D-Link also expects revenue to continue climbing for the rest of the year. Things are also looking up for 2010. "There's a lot of space for growth, especially in the emerging markets. Brazil and China appear to be climbing out of a slowdown, and that's going to drive some of our growth," said D-Link CEO, Tony Tsao.
Looking for a dual-band router so you can run two independent Wi-Fi networks, using one frequency band for data and the second for streaming media? Scratch the DGL-4500 off your list, because D-Link’s definition of “dual-band” means operating on either the 2.4GHz band or the 5.0GHz band—not both at the same time.
When we think of a dual-band router, we envision something like the Linksys WRT600N we’ve been using as a reference point. That device has separate 802.11n Draft 2.0 radios that enable us to run two independent wireless networks. That’s not to say the DGL-4500 is a lousy router; in fact, it delivered far superior performance at long distances than the WRT600N. Where the Linksys box is nearly useless when our Wi-Fi client is outside our test home—delivering throughput of just 0.7Mb/s at one exterior location and 1.2Mb/s at the other—the D-Link delivered exceptional throughput of 18.0Mb/s and 6.44Mb/s, respectively.
While most people are enticed with the blinking lights that most wireless routers provide, D-Link is looking to up the ante on even the most advanced getups (watch your back, Belkin) with their latest announcement; the Xtreme N DIR-685, featuring a 3.2-inch LCD.
D-Link’s router isn’t all Jenna Maroney, either. It’s got a lot of Liz Lemon, featuring the abilities to share a printer (or any other USB devices) and add a 2.5-inch hard drive for sharing files or BitTorrenting.
There’s still no word yet on pricing or availability.
This multi-function Wi-Fi device is super handy in some applications; utterly useless in others. It’s great if you have an extensive hardwired network and want to deploy a wireless access point and a three-port switch in a room your Wi-Fi router can’t otherwise reach. But it sucks as a wireless bridge because of its extremely poor range.