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D-Link DSL-500

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      24.09.2003 18:19
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      Why a router? If you want to pipe your ADSL connection round several computers without having a dedicated host-come-server you'll need a router. This is a device which directs traffic from a very large network, in this case the internet, onto a smaller one, your LAN in this case. The other reason that you migt need one of these is if like me your computer has no USB port, as is the case with my Sun workstation. So how good is it? Very good: if you read the spec and compliance list that comes with it you'll fill your head with worthless technobabble which really means nothing. All you need to know is that here in Britain we use "PPPoA LLC" encapsulation with "chap" authentication. Naturally, the DSL-500 here supports this, along with everything else ever conceived. Resultant product: a link to broadband internet that will work anywhere in the world where ADSL has been enabled. Speedwise it will go upto 8mbits downstream, and 812kbits upstream, just like that Alcatel slug BT supplied me with 2 years ago... although this of course is limited by the speed of your access package. It also makes the connection even more like an "always on" connection by just sitting in the path until required, then seamlessly connecting while your browser loads up. Configuration is simply a matter of using a fairly intuitive web based manager, although I was most disappointed to work out that mine doesn't retain settings after a power failure, but reconfiguration is really easy once you get the hang of it. Scalabilty is this routers greatest strength - you can either get the 500 or the 504 version. The 500 only has one ethernet port making it suitable to be plugged into a seperate network switch, or alternatively, you can get a 4 port version, strangely enough called the 504 for use with up to 4 computers hassle free. The downside is that it doesn
      't include a microfilter, so you'll have to get one of these seperately if you don't already have one. Also, it's not wireless.. but I prefer using wires to ensure no loss of signal. Besides, you don't want your next-door neighbours logging on to YOUR network do you? Bottom line - if you need an ADSL router, this is definately one to consider, but as I haven't used any others, I can't really do a comparison.

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