- Review Price: £128.35
D-Link has been busy with its wireless broadband routers and currently has one of the largest ranges on the market. Not content with this it’s now started to bundle them together into a family of starter kits designed to give you a leg up into the world of wireless networks. The DKT-810 kit brings together a DSL-2740B ADSL2/2+ modem router and DWA-140 wireless-n USB adapter and although this is nothing particularly special, D-Link wants to tempt you further by offering an eleven-year warranty on its wireless-n products. A nice idea but are you really going to be still using this package in 2018?
D-Link has another wireless-n starter kit and you need to pick carefully to make sure you get the right one. A key feature of the DSL-2740B is its integrated ADSL2/2+ modem but you only get a quad of switched Fast Ethernet ports. Meanwhile, the DKT-410 bundle offers the same USB stick but partners it with a DIR-635 broadband router. It has more features and costs slightly less but you will need to source a separate cable or ADSL modem with an Ethernet port.
Installation won’t take long as you load the bundled CD-ROM, connect the router as instructed and add your ISP details when requested. Since we last looked at the DSL-2740B, D-Link has improved the procedures as you get a much larger selection of UK based ISPs. We had no problems with our BT account and had Internet access in a matter of minutes. The routine then moves on to wireless setup where you get the chance to activate WEP or WPA encryption. The CD also covers the USB stick and provides a wizard to help load the drivers plus the monitoring utility and then helps you connect to the router. However, the DWA-410 is a chunky little devil so check first where your USB ports are located on your laptop as it may not fit. The power input socket on our Fujitsu Siemens LifeBook is right next to the USB ports so we had to use a USB extender cable – something you don’t get in the kit.
In our original review we encountered problems with the router as the web interface refused to let us in and required a reset back to factory defaults to clear it. Not so this time around as the new router worked without any such problems. Note that both the SPI firewall and intrusion detection are switched off by default. You do get basic NAT protection activated but it would make more sense to have the firewall switched on to provide some extra protection.
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.
”’(centre)Router and USB wireless adapter installation are handled by a single utility.(/centre)”’
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.
”’Parental controls have been pared down as you don’t get support for white lists anymore.”’(/centre)
(centre)”’Along with NAT and an SPI firewall you can switch on protection against common attacks.”’(/centre)
(centre)”’The wireless security options are adequate for most users and are easy enough to configure.”’(/centre)
(centre)”’Quality of service prioritization is provided for common protocols including SIP.”’(/centre)
Score in detail
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