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Reviewed by: Bryan Pizzuti [02.18.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson
Manufactured by: D-Link

Dual-Mode PC Card NIC: $129
Dual-Mode PCI Card: $129
Dual-Mode Router: $270

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Hardware-wise, D-Link has hit a pretty good run here.  It's not QUITE a home run, but the backwards compatibility to 802.11b is nice if you're doing an incremental network upgrade, or if you know that you may be using 802.11b devices later on.  If you're planning on a solely 802.11a network, however, D-Link offers a router that will only support 802.11b when a suitable 802.11b PC Card is plugged into it as a better solution.  The PCI NIC especially, is a great device, and worth the cost over their single-mode PCI NICs, because of the included desktop antenna.  And the router is so advanced as to be incredibly useful for businesses as well as home users, though businesses would be well-advised to wait for the firmware upgrade that will bring AEP and 802.1x functions to the router.

As far as the included software, D-Link has a little work to do.  The lack of AES in the firmware certainly counts as a software issue, but just as important is the fact that D-Link's router will take ASCII encryption keys, but there is no way to input the ASCII keys into the network card drivers.  Luckily, all of these issues CAN be addressed later in updates, and I hope they will, since the hardware is quite well done.

Router: 87
PCI Card: 85
PC Card: 85

  • Faster performance than 802.11b
  • Handy Turbo mode
  • Ultra-configurable router
  • Compatible with 802.11b
  • Spectacular PCI card design

  • ASCII keys not usable on PCs
  • AEP and 802.1x not supported in router yet
  • Not quite up to wired network speeds
  • PC Card should only be used in upper slot