D-Link Refreshes Xtreme N Line with DIR-825 Wireless Router

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


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D-Link's latest entry into the wireless router arena, the D-Link DIR-825, refines some features and adds a few more to an already crowded market. Can small businesses benefit from the refresh of D-Link's dual-band Xtreme N Gigabit Router?

Doing more with less has been the goal of business operations for some time now. Nowhere has this become more evident than with the IT components and budgets of small businesses. In fact, "more with less" has become the axiom not only of those small businesses, but also of the solution providers servicing those businesses. A case in point is the lowly wireless router, a device that has almost reached commodity status, yet is one of the most important elements for connecting a small business to the Internet.

D-Link is looking to meet the demands of small businesses with the DIR-825, the company's latest entry into the wireless router market and the latest of its Xtreme N series of products.

The biggest challenge facing D-Link and its competitors is how to make a product stand out from the pack. After all, over the last few years wireless routers have grown in features and shrunk in price, yet business owners still want more.

At $199, the D-Link DIR-825 is near the top of the price range for a wireless router, but that price starts to make sense in light of the features included with the unit. Like most wireless routers on the market, the DIR-825 includes dual-band support for 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless clients. That translates to all of the popular Wi-Fi standards, including 802.11 a/b/g and Draft N.


D-Link really plays up the Draft N support with implications of increased speed and range, a claim found to have some merit when tested with a DWA-160 USB 2.0 802.11n wireless network adaptor from D-Link. While far short of the promise of 802.11n, the D-Link DIR-825 with the DWA-860 was able to deliver throughput approaching 90M bps at a range of about 15 feet indoors. Speed dropped down to around 50M bps when tested from about 150 feet from outside the building. While performance and speed are important, it is some of the other features that will help to make the DIR-825 worth consideration, namely the addition of D-Link's SharePort Technology, which basically allows a USB device such as a printer or hard drive to be plugged directly into a USB port on the router. That feature can make the sharing of peripherals a little easier in peer-to-peer network environments.

Solution providers should take note of SharePort, because it can clearly drive add-on integration and product sales. For example, a USB storage device can be added to the network and used for backup or archiving, functions that have become increasingly important to small businesses, yet are often ignored. For those already using D-Link routers, it is worth noting that SharePort is available for a few existing devices by simply updating the firmware.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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