D-Link RangeBooster N 650 Wireless Router review: D-Link RangeBooster N 650 Wireless Router

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.9
  • Design and ease of use: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 6.0
  • Service and support: 6.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The D-Link N 650 router is easy to set up and offers a huge range of configuration options, and it beat the competition in both mixed mode and long range throughput.

The Bad The router fell short on maximum throughput, and its warranty pales in comparison to those of Linksys and Belkin.

The Bottom Line Though inconsistent, the D-Link N 650 router performed admirably overall compared to its Draft N competition. Still, we are unimpressed with how it measures up to the promise of 802.11n. Pass on this for now; in fact, pass on all Draft N routers until the spec is finalized.

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D-Link's entry into the first round of Draft 802.11n networking gear, the RangeBooster N 650 DIR-635 router, does little to separate itself from the rest of the Draft N competition. It beat other Draft N routers in both mixed-mode (at 10 feet) and long-range (200 feet) throughput, but it was the slowest of the pack in the maximum throughput (at 10 feet) tests. In the end, the numbers still fall short of the promise of 802.11n, leading us to stick with the same advice we've been giving: sit tight and wait for the 11n specification to be finalized so that you can see how the products based on the final spec perform. If you must have a fast, new router immediately, spring for the Belkin Pre-N . Keep in mind, though: the so-called pre-N or Super G routers need to be used with their companion adapters for maximum performance and will likely not work with products based on the final 11n spec. (As for the Draft N products, vendors are not promising that they'll work with 11n spec products, but unless something drastic happens between now and when the spec is finalized--around mid 2007--a simple firmware upgrade will probably bring current products in line with new products.)

Design-wise, the D-Link N 650 router is fairly standard. D-Link uses a three-antenna configuration, mounted on a black-and-silver box. All three antennas can be bent or pivoted to maximize signal strength. The back of the router offers up the standard ports: four LAN ports for hardwired connections; a USB port; a WAN port for connecting the router to a modem; and a power jack, as well as a pinhole reset button. The front edge houses the standard LEDs to indicate power and network activity, but after experiencing the user-friendly display on the Belkin N1 router , the status quo feels sorely lacking. On the upside, the D-Link router does come with a stand for orienting the router on one of its narrow edges, as well as a wall-mounting kit, which can help you both better utilize your space and maximize your router's signal.

Setting up the D-Link N 650 router is straightforward. As with all currently available routers, newbies should first run the included CD, which will walk you through all the steps, from plugging in the cables to powering on and configuring network settings. Old hands can simply connect the cords, power up, and point their browser to the provided default IP address to access the router's configuration utility. For additional assistance, a 90-page electronic manual (on the CD) walks you through every step of the setup-and-configuration process and even talks about using Windows' ZeroConfig utility instead of D-Link's proprietary utility.

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Where to Buy See All

D-Link RangeBooster N 650 Wireless Router

Part Number: DIR-635
MSRP: $159.99 Low Price: $234.81 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Remote Management Protocol HTTP
  • Connectivity Technology wired
  • Weight 10.6 oz
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