D-Link’s URL filtering rules are very versatile as you can compile a list of up to forty web site addresses. The Access Control feature allows you to create rules that determine what each system can access on the Internet. This lets you implement a stricter system as you can block access to all web sites except those in the white list. During testing this worked reasonably well as we could determine precisely what sites our wireless and wired users could access although it did cause problems with a lot of permitted web pages not loading correctly. Nevertheless, it is possible to set up different time schedules and limit general Internet access to specific times of each day and to systems defined by their IP addresses.
As we’ve comes to expect from all draft-802.11n products, wireless performance is well below the claims. For testing, we installed D-Link’s RangeBooster N DWA-645 PC Card in a 1.6GHz Fujitsu Siemens notebook running Windows XP SP2. Running the Iometer utility over a close range open link to a Supermicro Pentium D 3.2GHz PC on the LAN saw an average raw read throughput of 72Mbps which dropped marginally to 68Mbps with WPA2 encryption enabled. Real world speeds took a tumble as copying a 690MB video file to the PC took nearly two minutes for an average of only 46Mbps which dropped to 41Mbps with encryption activated. With the laptop located on the floor below the router the PC Card utility showed a signal strength of around fifty per cent and Iometer reported a drop in raw performance to 49Mbps over an encrypted link.
Wireless speeds may be unimpressive but impatient users will approve of Gigabit performance. To compare this with a 100Mbps connection we first linked a pair of Supermicro dual 3GHz 5160 Xeon servers to a Fast Ethernet switch. Copying a 690MB video file across them took 65 seconds for an average speed of 85Mbps whilst a 418MB collection of graphics files returned 80Mbps. Reconnecting the servers to the D-Link router saw the same tests returning 455Mbps and 420Mbps respectively.
Wireless performance still remains unimpressive but the DIR-655 is offering a lot for your money. In our view, if you want the best wireless performance and Gigabit ports to boot then Netgear’s WRN854T is the one to go for but if you want superior features then choose D-Link.