Nov 24

Sometimes it’s the little things that have the biggest impact. It may not scream “hot-ticket item”, but after using D-Link’s Wireless Range Extender ( D-Link DAP-1320), it’s clear how this device could greatly improve a home’s wireless network.

As you might have guessed, it extends the range of your current wireless network to places that may be far away from the router. In my house, the router is in a bedroom at one end and there are multiple devices (my PS3, Xbox, iPad, Android phone, etc.) that suffer in the living room from poor connection. It’s physics–you put a wall in front of a signal, it diminishes.

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I used to think the only way to fix that was to get a stronger router. A big box with multiple antennae sticking out of it. But when I think of those routers, I think of the tooling around required to configure it and the agony of changing info on multiple internet-connected devices to recognize it.

So seeing this tiny, inconspicuous device caught me by surprise. No ports, no antennae–just something that looked like the business end of a charger. It weighs about 72 grams, and has three noticeable features. On the back, two prongs that plug into any wall socket. On the front, an LED that lets you know when it’s connected. Finally, on the left side, there’s a synchronization button.

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Its simplicity in design is reflected in its operation. It wants the setup to be easy – hence giving you simple diagrams. If your existing router supports a Wi-Fi protected setup, the Range Extender connects with a push of a button. My router didn’t support WPS, so I had to manually connect. That may sound like the exact technical pain-in-the-ass that I wanted to avoid with a more complex router – but the only effort I had expended to this point was plugging it into the wall. No cables, no desk space or wall mounting.

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I could even use my iPad’s browser to configure the network. As I mentioned, the instructions were very clear. I connected to the network the Range Extender creates and logged into a site. The site let me change the name of that network and its password to my existing network name and password.

Now I had, effectively, two wireless networks in my house in under 10 minutes. Since both had the same name and password, my devices connected to whichever signal was stronger. My PS3, for example, used to connect with a signal strength of 60%. With the Extender, the new signal strength was 100%. The PlayStation is a bad example as PSN is notorious for its constant dropouts/connectivity issues and annoying system updates. While the latter problem was solved (updates took a few minutes, rather than half an hour), the connectivity issues were still present. Something I don’t blame the Range Extender for because my iPad, Xbox and Galaxy Nexus had no issues.

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Using Speedtest.net’s application before installation, I noticed that my phone pulled down 1.9 Mbps in the living room. After installation, it jumped to 18 Mbps. Numbers aside, Netflix loaded faster and in better resolution, YouTube started instantaneously and FaceTime never dropped a call.

Perhaps that’s what I love most about this little tool. It just worked. It helped solve an annoyance without changing the way I used my technology. If you live in a small apartment or close quarters, you’re not going to get this device. But if you are constantly struggling for consistent signal strength between floors, D-Link’s Wireless Range Extender would be a tiny blessing.

It sells for $49.99 at retailers like Best Buy, Futureshop and London Drugs.

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Jan 29

D-Link DIR-655, DIR-660 and DIR-665 Wireless routers are very good for home users,This article will teach you how to distinguish them.

DIR-655 : Xtreme N™ Gigabit Router.
DIR-660 : Limited Edition Xtreme N™ Gigabit Router.
DIR-665 : Xtreme N 450 Dual Band Gigabit Router.

What is the difference between D-Link DIR-655, DIR-660 and DIR-665 router

Standards:

D-Link DIR-655:

• IEEE 802.11n
• IEEE 802.11g
• IEEE 802.3
• IEEE 802.3u

D-Link DIR-660:

• IEEE 802.11n (draft)
• IEEE 802.11g
• IEEE 802.11b
• IEEE 802.3
• IEEE 802.3u

D-Link DIR-665:

• IEEE 802.11n
• IEEE 802.11g
• IEEE 802.3a

Interface Type:

D-Link DIR-655:

• 4 Gigabit LAN Ports
• 1 Gigabit WAN Port
• Push Button (for Wi-Fi Protected Setup)
• USB Port (for SharePort™ & Windows® Connect Now)

D-Link DIR-660:

• 4 Gigabit LAN Ports
• 1 Gigabit WAN Ports
• USB Port (for Windows® Connect Now)

D-Link DIR-665:

• 4 10/100/1000 LAN Ports
• 1 10/100/1000 WAN Ports
• Push Button (for Wi-Fi Protected Setup)

Antenna Type:

D-Link DIR-655:

• 3 External Antenna

D-Link DIR-660:

• 3 External Reverse SMA Antennas

D-Link DIR-665:

• 3 External Dual Band Antenna

LEDs:

D-Link DIR-660 has Network Activity Display, Other are the same

Certifications:

D-Link DIR-655:

• FCC Class B
• CE
Wi-Fi®/WPS

D-Link DIR-660:

• FCC Class B

D-Link DIR-665:

• Connect with Intel® Centrino® 2
• WHQL
• FCC
• Wi-Fi®

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Jan 28

Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is a standard for easy and secure establishment of a wireless home network, created by the Wi-Fi Alliance and officially launched on January 8, 2007.

The goal of the WPS protocol is to simplify the process of configuring security on wireless networks, thus it was first named ‘Wi-Fi Simple Config’. The protocol is meant to allow home users who know little of wireless security and may be intimidated by the available security options to configure Wi-Fi Protected Access, which is supported by all Wi-Fi certified devices.

The standard achieves its goal by putting much emphasis into usability and security, and the concept is implemented through four usage models that enable a user to establish a home network.

Let’s take the D-Link DIR-655 wireless router as an example.

Unconfigured mode:

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By default, after setting up your wireless device with WPS and Push Button Configuration (PBC), the only step you need to do is press the WPS button on the side of the router. You would not need to create a wireless network name (SSID) nor a security key.

Configured mode:

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You would need to configure the following sections in your router, Wireless Network Settings and Wireless Security Mode. Both sections must be configured including a wireless security key. Save settings and Reboot.

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Note: After configuring the DIR-655 Wireless Network Settings you will need to enter in a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that is generated from your wireless adapter in order to establish a proper connection between client and host.

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