D-Link Air Pro Wireless AP review: D-Link Air Pro Wireless AP

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Helpful setup videos; fast data throughput; affordable price.

The Bad Requires three-prong outlet; no wall-mounting hardware.

The Bottom Line The DWL-5000AP will get lots of points from users for its helpful setup videos and fast performance.

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Updated 9/6/02

Editors' note:
D-Link recently changed its online warranty registration requirement. According to the new policy, you no longer need to register your product to activate the warranty.

D-Link's Air Pro DWL-5000AP 802.11a wireless access point deftly manages to appeal to novices without diluting its potency for more experienced users. The Air Pro combines a thoroughly documented setup process with fast performance, and it's affordable to boot. Updated 9/6/02

Editors' note:
D-Link recently changed its online warranty registration requirement. According to the new policy, you no longer need to register your product to activate the warranty.

D-Link's Air Pro DWL-5000AP 802.11a wireless access point deftly manages to appeal to novices without diluting its potency for more experienced users. The Air Pro combines a thoroughly documented setup process with fast performance, and it's affordable to boot.

First timers welcome
The DWL-5000AP's economical $339 price puts it within reach of most small-office and home users, and it caters to that largely novice audience with plenty of setup help. In addition to a printed manual and the quick-installation guide, a pair of CDs holds software and an electronic manual, plus a series of videos on how to install and configure the equipment. These videos are very helpful for first timers, but they are not OS specific, and they lack the depth that would aid the wireless veteran.

Only a few quirks mar this otherwise stylish and flexibly designed access point. We liked the four rubber feet, which snap onto the bottom or side edges of the unit so that it can stand vertically or horizontally. The pair of antennae at the rear of the unit can rotate 180 degrees to get the best reception. Unfortunately, the access point lacks wall-mounting hardware, so the unit's stuck on your desk or on the floor. And the power supply requires a three-prong plug to operate, which might make it awkward to use in buildings with older, ungrounded plugs.

Top-notch security
Once the D-Link is connected to a network, you can set up the access point in about five minutes using the Web-based Configuration Utility. The Configuration menu shows all the pertinent data, from SSID to IP addressing to WEP security. WEP comes turned off for configuration ease. Because it provides 64-, 128- or 152-bit protection--the best you can get these days--we strongly suggest setting appropriate security parameters right away. For those interested in details, the Advanced Configuration menu presents a variety of settings, including Transmission Strength and Data Speeds.

Fast and far
The DWL-5000AP performed well in CNET Labs' tests. Its 22.1Mbps throughput speed in Standard mode and 29.6Mbps in Turbo mode were faster than the SMC EZ Connect 802.11a wireless access point's speeds, but the D-Link couldn't keep up with the NetGear 802.11a wireless access point, which is currently the fastest we've tested. In Standard mode, the DWL-5000AP served up Web pages, MP3 audio, and MPEG video with a range slightly longer than 57 feet.

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Where to Buy See all prices

D-Link Air Pro Wireless AP

Part Number: DWL5000AP
MSRP: $399.99 Low Price: $95.00 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Type none
  • Data Transfer Rate 72 Mbps
  • Data Link Protocol IEEE 802.11a