If you've remained cautious and kept your money in your wallet during the uncertainties of Draft N certification then worry no longer. Draft N 2.0 is here and D-Link has a compliant starter kit ready to cover all needs.
Descriptively titled the 'D-Link Wireless N Starter Kit' (code: DKT-410) it is the first Draft N 2.0 ready bundle to hit the market and comprises the DIR-635 Wireless N router (of which Dave thought great things) and a DWA-140 Wireless N USB2.0 adapter to plug into either a notebook or desktop.
Both products support WPA and WEP security standards and feature D-Link's own 'Click n Connect' set-up wizard which claims to have users up and running within minutes. Furthermore, the entire starter kit is covered by the company's remarkable 11 year warranty – unparalleled in the networking industry and certainly welcome for peace of mind.
Interestingly, there has been much debate about how fast D-Link has been able to bring its Draft N 2.0 products to market. I pushed D-Link on this point and managed to secure an official quote from the company:
The Wi-Fi Alliance has already stated that chipsets from D-Link suppliers Atheros, Broadcom, Marvell and Ralink, are compliant. Thus, on 24 May, D-Link stated that it has issued the first Wireless N 2.0 upgrades, which provide compliance with the latest version of the 802.11n specification. These firmware and driver upgrades have achieved ‘Connect with Intel Centrino’ certification, to ensure compatibility and interoperability with Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N.
Although D-Link has announced Draft 2 compatibility for drivers, they need to be certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance. The certification starts in June – but due to the large number of vendors submitting products for approval, D-Link expects certification to start in August. D-Link will submit products for certification as soon as possible
Thankfully, compared to most company statements I tend to receive D-Link has been particularly clear here and draws out an important differentiation: it uses compliant hardware, therefore it is Draft N 2.0 compliant and garners Intel certification. On the other side of the coin it has to get Wi-Fi Alliance certification too and this process is likely to be drawn out, even if it is a formality.
Has D-Link jumped the gun? Not really. It's hardware officially works with Draft N 2.0 and Intel has certified its compatibility with its N capable chipset (Santa Rosa), so D-Link is just stuck in a long queue for the secondary WiFi Alliance thumbs up. Purchase without worries my chums.
The D-Link Wireless N Starter Kit goes on sale now with an affordable £139.99 RRP and some websites have already kicked that down to around £100 if you do a bit of digging. So dive in, the water's great... and particularly frothy from lightening quick data streams (no, that analogy didn't really work did it?).