Wireless performance was up with the MIMO compliant competition and to test this we used a 1.6GHz Fujitsu Siemens notebook running Windows XP SP2 and fitted with D-Link’s DWL-G650M wireless PC Card.
At one metre we saw the open source Iometer return a raw read throughput to a PC on the LAN of 42.5Mbit/sec over an open connection, 36Mbit/sec over 128-bit WEP and 33.5Mbit/sec over WPA-PSK. Range was also on a par with Netgear’s DG834PN with drops of 19 per cent and 25 per cent being recorded for an open connection and WPA-PSK respectively when the notebook was moved down a floor with three brick walls in the way.
MAC address filtering can be activated so only those listed are allowed to access the network. The latter is set up from the Filter tab which offers a number of other useful features. IP filters can be used to block Internet access to specific addresses or an IP range and a schedule can be applied to determine when each filter is active. Web access restrictions are the usual basic affair as the router implements simple URL filtering so you’ll need to create a list of sites you want to block. The domain blocking option looks more useful as you can implement a much stricter system that blocks access to all web sites except those listed. This makes it much easier to set up parental controls for children as you can decide precisely which domains they are allowed to access.
LAN services can be opened up to external users by enabling virtual servers and a selection of predefined servers ranging from FTP and HTTP through to SMTP and POP3 are provided. You can add your own by entering the private IP address of the server plus associated private and public ports and apply a time schedule if required to determine when it is to be made available for access. The SPI firewall defaults to blocking all unsolicited inbound traffic from the Internet but although you can customise it with your own rules don’t expect much help from the manual. One system can also be placed in a DMZ (demilitarized zone) where it sits outside the firewall and is subject to unprotected access from the Internet.
D-Link delivers a very good range of features for a comparatively low price along with good wireless performance. However, the DSL-G6243M is not as easy to configure as Netgear’s DG834PN and the latest firmware upgrade is a must for this router.