Jul 04

Awhile ago, Cisco refreshed its E series of routers and switches. Today, D-Link introduced its own by announcing its Amplifi family of high-performance home networking solutions.

The company says the new products are designed to offer fast performance for even the most demanding connected homes. They include two routers (the HD Media Router 1000 with HD Fuel DIR-657 and the Whole Home Router 1000 D-Link DIR-645), a Wi-Fi Booster (DAP-1525) and three Powerline 500 products (DHP-500AV, DHP-501AV, and DHP-540). Though announced today, most of these products were first introduced during CES 2011

D-Link says that the HD Media Router 1000 with HD Fuel (DIR-657) is capable of automatically managing traffic flow and and prioritizing broadband connections for different services, such as media streaming, gaming, or voice over IP. The router boasts Gigabit Ethernet ports, USB SharePort Plus, and an SD card slot for accessing HD media and streaming USB devices.

The Whole Home Products with SmartBeam, similarly, optimizes home wireless network bandwidth to handle HD video streams. D-Link claims that its SmartBeam uses six multidirectional antennas to find and track individual devices, then focuses beams of bandwidth to those devices, to ensure stable wireless connections.

Both new routers are single-band (2.4Ghz) and supports 300Mbps wireless N standard. This is rather surprising, as most recent high-end routers feature true dual-band and/or the higher 450Mbps wireless standard. To make up for this, both of the new routers support IPv6 natively.

The new Wi-Fi Booster (DAP-1525), on the other hand, does support dual-band (selectable 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz). It’s essentially a wireless bridge, similar to the D-Link’s previous version, the DAP-1513, and is designed to extend an existing router’s wireless signal to up to four Ethernet-ready devices. The new device features Gigabit Ethernet, SharePort Plus, Wi-Fi Protected Setup, and IPv6 support.

If the new routers seem a little behind the time due to the lack of support for true dual-band, D-Link’s new Powerline products are all features the latest 500Mbps speed (as opposed to the 200Mbps of the HomePlug AV standard). The three new products include a single adapter (DHP-500AV), a kit that include two adapters (DHP-501AV), and a PowerLine AV 500 four-port Gigabit Switch (DHP-540). Apart from that, they share the same function of turning a home’s electrical wiring into a network, extending the existing network to the far corner of the home.

Apart from the D-Link DIR-645 that will be available in August (at the estimated price of around $120), the rest of the products are available now. The HD Media router DIR-657 is slated to cost $150, the Wi-Fi Booster (DAP-1525) is $160 and the three Powerline products, DHP-500AV adapter, DHP-501AV Starter Kit and DHP-540 Four-Port Gigabit Switch have the price tags of $100, $160, and $200, respectively.

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