D-Link's first move into the gaming router market looks to be an impressive one, but potential customers are going to have to dig deep.
Do you have a wireless router? Do you love games? If so, you’ve probably noticed that combining the two can often lead to less than spectacular results, especially when someone else in the house starts to do a little web surfing of their own. Step forward D-Link with a solution.
The DGL-4300 is the company’s first gaming router and the function of these devices is to recognise when games are being played over the network and prioritise bandwidth for them. Friend or relative on your network downloading, trawling the internet or sending chunky emails? They’ll just have to wait.
In D-Link’s case, the technology it uses to enable this sorting is called GameFuel and it works by flagging data packets. Data packets from games such as Doom 3, for example, it flags as high priority, packets from other programmes are tagged low priority. GameFuel works automatically, but it is also fully customisable with a user interface that allows ports to be configured for up to 256 policies for games and applications.
Technology elsewhere on the router is equally impressive with 108Mbps SuperG 802.11g wireless making this the first Gigabit gaming router on the market. It also sports four gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbps LAN ports and the essential 10/100 WAN port. On top of this it comes with a 5dBi High Gain antenna which should boost the notoriously low coverage of 802.11g devices (11Mbps 802.11b actually had further reach).
Security is well covered with support for WPA, 128bit WEP and NAT, MAC address authentication and Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI).
If there is one area that will test potential customers, however, it is the price. The RRP for the DGL-4300 is a rather hefty £148.05 including VAT, which is not far off triple the cost of a standard 54Mbps 802.11g wireless router. Still, if you have deep pockets and a passion for gaming, the DGL-4300 appears to have all the attributes to put you in gaming nirvana.