ZIFFPAGE TITLEReview Summary and What

By Loyd Case  |  Posted 2003-01-03 Print this article Print

to Buy"> Lets take a quick look at how each router performed. You can reach our detailed reviews of each board by either clicking on the name in the chart below, or simply reading each sequentially by turning the page. Dont miss our special section after the reviews on setting up LAN Security at home.
Product D-Link DI-764 D-Link DI-604 LinkSys BEFSR81 NetGear RP-614
Web www.dlink.com www.dlink.com www.linksys.com www.netgear.com
Pro Easy setup, 802.11a/b, feature set Easy setup, feature set, inexpensive Easy setup, inexpensive Easy setup, well-placed help blurbs
Con Expensive, confusing setup, no SPI No SPI, only four ports, confusing setup Firmware update needed, port triggering obscure No SPI, only four ports, stability
Summary Only use if you need wireless Reliable and inexpensive, but no SPI Best of the testing Cheap and easy to set up, but not as good as D-Link
Price $240, check prices $45, check prices $80, check prices $50, check prices
So which one is best for you
Basic Networking: The D-Link DI-604 is a very solid little unit for under $50. The only feature we found missing was stateful packet inspection, but for under $50, this is going to be a very hard feature to find. The DI-604 runs reliably, allows enough configurability to both keep your home LAN safe, and game servers servin up the frags. Whole Enchilada: The D-Link DI-764 is solid overall, and the fact that youre getting 802.11 a and b along with a solid router makes this a great one-stop-shopping kind of product. Were disappointed however that its purported turbo features on 802.11 a and b dont deliver nearly as much additional performance as wed like to see. Still, if you want both flavors of wireless networking and a home router all wrapped up in one, the DI-764 will package that all for you rather nicely. At this point, given the high state of flux in 802.11 standards, were a little reluctant to recommend buying a wireless access point/broadband router wrapped up in one, since current hardware may not be able to completely adapt (via firmware upgrade) to new standards coming down the pike. But if you want an all-in-one unit, this one will get it done.

Loyd Case came to computing by way of physical chemistry. He began modestly on a DEC PDP-11 by learning the intricacies of the TROFF text formatter while working on his master's thesis. After a brief, painful stint as an analytical chemist, he took over a laboratory network at Lockheed in the early 80's and never looked back. His first 'real' computer was an HP 1000 RTE-6/VM system.

In 1988, he figured out that building his own PC was vastly more interesting than buying off-the-shelf systems ad he ditched his aging Compaq portable. The Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive from his first homebrew rig is still running today. Since then, he's done some programming, been a systems engineer for Hewlett-Packard, worked in technical marketing in the workstation biz, and even dabbled in 3-D modeling and Web design during the Web's early years.

Loyd was also bitten by the writing bug at a very early age, and even has dim memories of reading his creative efforts to his third grade class. Later, he wrote for various user group magazines, culminating in a near-career ending incident at his employer when a humor-impaired senior manager took exception at one of his more flippant efforts. In 1994, Loyd took on the task of writing the first roundup of PC graphics cards for Computer Gaming World -- the first ever written specifically for computer gamers. A year later, Mike Weksler, then tech editor at Computer Gaming World, twisted his arm and forced him to start writing CGW's tech column. The gaming world -- and Loyd -- has never quite recovered despite repeated efforts to find a normal job. Now he's busy with the whole fatherhood thing, working hard to turn his two daughters into avid gamers. When he doesn't have his head buried inside a PC, he dabbles in downhill skiing, military history and home theater.

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