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Santa's little helpers over at C|Net got their hands on some of D-Link's draft N equipment and, overall, it looks like you're better off actually waiting for the Wi-Fi Alliance to ratify the actual 802.11n specifications rather than be an early adopter. That's not to say that the router (along with the associated notebook adapter) stunk on ice, but for the slight speed boost you get, it's probably not worth all the complications you're likely to run into later.


Yes, Virginia, complications. Since these pre-N routers and adapters are running off preliminary specs, there's no guarantee, if not even an expectation, that they'll work with the real deal when 802.11n is actually ratified, which is currently looking to be about one year away. It should be noted that unless something drastic happens, a simple firmware upgrade should be able to fix any compatibility issues. If you're willing to take that risk, then the router doesn't look so bad.

The D-Link 650 N is more or less a standard wireless router: three antennae lets users maximize signal direction and the usual host of ports populate the back panel. The range (up to 200 feet) was fairly decent, but at maximum throughput at a distance of only 10 feet, the 650 N was slower than other pre-N routers. Basically, for cutting edge wireless technology, it's really not as impressive as it could, or even should, be.

The Rangebooster 650 N is available now for around $130.

D-Link RangeBooster N 650 DIR-635 wireless router [C|Net]


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