Another quick return

Nov 27, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:looks solid, fairly easy set up, price.

Cons:unstable, limited range, set up problems, crashes.

The Bottom Line: It kept crashing every 10-15 minutes. Gaming mode made little difference. Range and signal strength were below average.

D Link was pretty much the only brand I had not tried, so I was really hoping for a miracle. I saw this router on sale for $34, which felt like the right price.

Set up was typical, though I had some trouble with the install CD. The set up failed twice so I finally just tried connecting to the modem, restarting everything, which luckily worked. I immediately updated the firmware and then completed the advanced set up.

My network includes one Vista laptop, two XP PCs, a PS3, and a Windows Mobile 5 PDA. For some reason it has been impossible to network the Vista with XP and every router I've tried crashes whenever I try to share files between the two versions of Windows. On top of that the PS3 is insanely unstable and the PDA only supports 10mb B connection and WEP encryption.

I was having some high hopes for this router's "game mode". My PS3 constantly gets disconnected from the PlayStation Network, and assighning it a static IP and putting it in DMZ has not helped much. Initially it seemed to work a little better with the D-Link, but after 2-3 days it started disconnecting constantly again.

Even worse though, the router started crashing every 10-15 minutes as well. The only way to get it back working was unplugging it. I thought that maybe I messed something up by updating the firmware, so I tried reverting back to the original.  Unfortunately that did not help and the router continued crashing every 10-15 minutes. On that note - the firmware can only be updated manually, there is no option to check for new versions through the router's control interface.
On top of that, Vista crashed it absolutely every time I tried to access one of my networked PCs. The signal strength was weaker than other routers, and the connection kept switching from 54 to 22, to 2 Mb and so on.

On the bright side, it looked very solid, came with a nice little stand, though the power adapter was rather big. After a quick return I thought I would never find a functioning router. Luckiliy I decided to give Linksys one more try and picked up the WRT54G2. That router has been absolutely amazing. It works just fine with Vista and has not crashed once in over a month now.

So in a nut shell: Save some time, skip this D-Link and head straight for the Linksys 54G2.

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