The router’s web interface sees some cosmetic improvements as the home page has a new icon showing Internet connection status and an extra button to reboot the router. D-Link goes large on its parental controls but we found it has actually reduced their value as the latest firmware version for the router no longer offers the option to create and enforce URL white lists. Instead all you can do is create black lists that block access to specific URLs or you can stop Internet access for all users to one of three time schedules. Nevertheless, it’s clear D-Link has carried out a substantial refurbishment of the DSL-2740B as the various features have been grouped under new menu headings for easier access.
For wireless performance testing we used a 1.6GHz Fujitsu Siemens notebook running Windows XP SP2 and installed the USB stick in it without any problems. The connection manager provides a useful site survey tool and connection to the router is deftly handled. Running the Iometer utility over a two metre WPA encrypted link to a Supermicro Pentium D 3.2GHz PC on the LAN saw an average raw read throughput of 60Mbps – well short of the claimed 300Mbps. Real world speeds weren’t any better as copying a 691MB video file between wired and wireless clients returned an average of 43Mbps over WPA. Put some distance between the router and USB stick and watch performance drop further. With the laptop on the floor below and with a few brick walls in the way signal strength dropped by nearly seventy per cent and the same copy delivered a modest 32Mbps.
A big concern for draft-n wireless products is forward compatibility with future 802.11n drafts. We discussed this with D-Link and it advised us that it offers the long warranty as a sign of its confidence that its draft-n products can be firmware upgraded. At the time of review its RangeBooster DIR-655 has just received draft 2.0 Wi-Fi certification and the DSL-2740B and DWA-140 were in the pipeline. We were advised that once these were certified a firmware upgrade would be made available and the same process will apply when draft 3.0 is agreed.
Most starter kits don’t offer big savings as after shopping around we found we could buy both components separately for about £9 more than the cost of the kit. Nevertheless, this partnership is very easy to install and use, offers a comparatively good range of features and is future proofed by D-Link’s enormous guarantee.