D-Link AirPremier DWL-2210AP - wireless access point review: D-Link AirPremier DWL-2210AP - wireless access point

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MSRP: $279.99

The Good Small; clustering support; powered over Ethernet; virtual LAN support.

The Bad Expensive.

The Bottom Line The DWL-2210AP is packed with features well suited for small businesses.

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7.2 Overall
  • Setup 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 7
  • Support 6

D-Link DWL-2210AP Adaptive Access Point

D-Link's new DWL-2210AP adaptive access point is designed with small and medium-size businesses in mind. A proprietary technology built into the unit helps simplify network management and boost performance. The DWL-2210AP also supports the 802.3af standard for power over Ethernet, which lets you position the access point in areas that lack electrical outlets.

The DWL-2210AP is a business-class access point with a more complex feature set than you'll find on standard consumer networking gear, which makes it both more expensive and more complicated to use. Because the DWL-2210AP is designed to work in a wide array of different network configurations, you can set it up in a number of ways. Setup can take as little as 15 minutes for a very simple scenario, but expect to spend substantially longer installing the unit into a complex network topology.

You configure the DWL-2210AP via the unit's browser-based configuration tool, which is well designed and gives you access to the device's various network and security settings. A CD that accompanies the unit bears a thorough electronic user manual that has detailed information on all of the DWL-2210AP's settings, plus a helpful glossary that explains arcane networking terminology in easy-to-understand language. Even if you're new to networking, the manual should suffice to walk you through most configurations.

A clustering feature built into D-Link's access point lets you manage multiple DWL-2210APs in unison. Clustering multiple access points can make larger networks easier to manage because this setup limits the number of devices you have to change individually and ensures that all of your settings are in sync.

The DWL-2210AP supports WEP and WPA encryption. The access point also comes with an integrated database that can store passwords for individual wireless users, eliminating the need for a separate RADIUS server. A VLAN, or virtual LAN, feature lets you create a separate wireless network for guests and isolate it from your business's network. A VLAN is a great feature for hotels or cafes that want to provide Internet access to customers as a value-added service.

The easiest way to improve the performance of a wireless network is to reposition your access points, targeting the coverage area you hope to achieve. Often the location of electrical outlets dictate where access points are located, but the DWL-2210's PoE, or power over Ethernet, capability gives D-Link's access point an edge. PoE lets you use the same Ethernet cable you use to power the access point to transmit data, which makes it easy for you to locate the DWL-2210AP in many places where other access points can't go, such as attics or ceilings. PoE gives the DWL-2210AP a big performance edge.

The D-Link-2210AP comes with a perfunctory one-year warranty and toll-free phone support available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT for the life of the product. You can also contact the support staff via e-mail.

D-Link hosts a number of support resources for the DWL-2210AP on its Web site, including a knowledge base, downloadable user documentation, and warranty information. You can take a closer look at the DWL-2210AP's browser-based configuration tool through an emulator that D-Link hosts for the product (ignore the password and just click through).

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