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Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network
Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 30 July 2007
Table of Contents: Page Index
D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: DIR-655 Exterior
Detailed Exterior Features
Enhanced Security Features
DIR-655 Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Final Thoughts: D-Link DIR-655

At the time of this writing, the 802.11n standard was still awaiting final considerations and had only just established draft 2.0. The upcoming approval for 802.11n will include 2.4 GHz for legacy networks, but because of increased HD multimedia content it is really intended for 5.8 GHz. Additionally, since there are only 11 channels in the 2.4GHz range compared to 16 at the 5.8GHz range, it seems likely that the higher frequency will be the choice of new networks built from Wireless N network appliances. The D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router operates at the 2.4GHz legacy frequency, which makes it an ideal stepping stone for pre-existing 802.11g appliances until the 802.11n standard is finalized in one year.

Ultimately, the desire to stream video content will make the 5 GHz band dominant, which is exactly what Apple has signaled by including both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz support in its Apple TV's Draft N adapter. This may also mean that many (and nearly all) of the current "draft n" products will become technically obsolete the moment the 802.11n standard is completely ratified. By September 2008 the patience many have been forced to practice while operating on eleven shared channels may disappear in favor of a wider band of frequency with less chance of dropped connection or bumped channels.D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router

Without question, the D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router is a powerful product. When compared to previous Wireless G products, the performance is nothing short of impressive. Although Benchmark Reviews relied on an independent industry testing, our own in-house (or rather on-site) testing at three different office locations has really swayed my opinion of 802.11n performance. Where range was previously at its limit, the D-Link DIR-655 managed to double the full-speed range; even with Wireless G adapters at the other end.

Conclusion

Colorful, informative, and detailed product packaging will help clear the air of any potential confusion shoppers may have regarding D-Link DIR-655 when they pull it off of store shelves. The presentation is perfect for retail outlets, and gives everyone from home users to corporate buyers a positive feeling towards an informed purchase.

If my Star Wars Storm Trooper analogy wasn't enough to win you over, perhaps the simple black and white design will. I like this new color scheme far more than the old silver and aqua-marine, so this will certainly raise the appearance level of future products.

Built for use in nearly every indoor environment, the D-Link DIR-655 is constructed of high-quality plastic. No part on this router seemed weak or fragile, to include the antennas. I suspect that the D-Link DIR-655 will endure the tortures of under-the-desk installations as well as wall mounting.

The performance and functionality were impressive. Nothing like the early reports of 802.11n draft 1.0 products, the new D-Link DIR-655 offers new and improved draft 2.0 enhancements.

Presently, the 802.11n draft 2.0 technology is still new. Despite this prices have remained rather affordable, especially considering you can purchase the DIR-655 at merchants like NewEgg.com for $94.99. For bargain shoppers, our price comparison tool lists the DIR-655 on sale at several other retailers. The value may not be realized until your application and environment demand it, but for the money there are a lot of features and impressive performance bundled inside the box.

With all of the testing and features to back the performance, it is very easy to give the D-Link DIR-655 my full recommendation. Although I will demand 5.4GHz products on new wireless networks once the 802.11n standard is finalized around September 2008, the current selection of 2.4GHz Xtreme N devices delivers a perfect upgrade solution for A, B, and G wireless networks. As a network administrator for several small and medium size corporate networks with Wi-Fi access, I have already begun replacing old Wireless G products with the Xtreme N line of equipment. So far there has been nothing but positive feedback.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ Extremely fast throughput
+ Excellent wireless range
+ Gigabit LAN ports
+ Convenient mounting accessories
+ Windows Connect Now USB port
+ High-quality construction
+ Durable antennas
+ Attractive black & white finish

Cons:

- Price is above average
- Poor cooling ventilation
- Legacy 2.4GHz frequency range
- Included patch cable is old CAT 5 standard

Ratings:

  • Presentation: 9.25
  • Appearance: 9.0
  • Construction: 9.25
  • Functionality: 9.5
  • Value: 8.0

Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.

Achievment: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

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