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I'm sure that anyone that has read any of my 'techno' reviews recently knows that I'm a little out of touch with technology!
I suspect (and hope) that there are many others who are the same. Therefore I think it helps to read a review in that category written by someone who also struggles with this sort of thing, but does have a little experience of the product, because then, maybe the review will be a little bit more 'down to earth' and will give the reader a general insight - without all the usual 'technical jargon' which fly's over many peoples (especially mine) heads.
With that in mind I will attempt to review my router - the D-Link 2640R Wireless G ADSL2+ 4-Port modem (sounds a bit of a mouthful hey).
My only previous experience of a router was a few years ago, when I decided it was time to go wireless, so that I didn't have to have my laptop plugged into the phone-line continually to access the internet - therefore freeing up the phone line, and enabling me to take the laptop into other areas of my house, and even the garden, and still be connected to the internet with no cables.
The way I achieved this was by asking a friend to sort it for me. My Friend ordered me a Net Gear router and came round to set it up for me, which took him about 30 minutes.
Everything was fine, and stayed the same until March this year when we had a knock on the door from a TalkTalk sales rep who 'talked' (pardon the pun) us into switching from BT to TalkTalk. Part of this deal included a free router - The D-Link DSL 2640R.
Once it arrived, I was a little nervous, and left it sitting in the cupboard for a few weeks, thinking it was out of my league to install - set-up.
Eventually I decided (well, the wife did) that it was time to get it into action, and so I rather unwillingly opened it up, and set about the task.
I was amazed at how simple it was - I'm sure that when my mate installed my first one, that he must have dragged it out a bit, to make it look like it was a big job, and to guzzle an extra beer while he was here.
The router is basically a pretty standard size, and black in colour, with a little aerial at the back (to assist the wireless connection).
There are 4 LAN ports at the back of the box, along with 1 mains point, an ethernet point, and an on/off switch.
To set the new router up, I simply unplugged all of my old points from the net-gear router and plugged them into the new D-Link one.......Simples!
Once I had plugged the cables in I turned it on, and turned on the laptop. A few lights appeared on the D-Link box at first.
After that it literally took me about 5 minutes to set-up a user name and password, and to go through the couple of simple steps on the set-up wizard, and that was it!
*** A Bit of tech stuff ***
The D-Link DSL 2640R has the latest ADSL2/2+ standards, which provide Internet transmission of up to 24Mbps downstream, 1Mbps upstream.
On top of that it has built-in ADSL interface, 54Mbps wireless LAN, 4-port Ethernet switch, QoS and firewall protection, which doesn't mean an awful lot to me, but it sounds pretty impressive, and I have to say that I have not had any security issues.
***** My experience *****
I had never had any problems with my netgear router, and so I was a little anxious about changing something that was not broken, but it had to be done as the D-Link was a free gift, and was a few years newer, which meant that it came with the latest security features etc.
The D-Link has improved the speed of connectivity to the internet, as well as the speed when browsing from page to page. It has also massively improved the connection of multiple computers to the internet in our house. The netgear used to struggle with 2 laptops, and would slow down to a snails pace, where-as the D-Link has now had 4 laptops connected at the same time with no noticeable difference to the speed and quality when compared to having just the one connected.
A little downside I have found in comparison to the netgear is that the signal does not seem quite as good. I know that this is largely down to the positioning of the router, and I have tried it in several different positions around the house, but for some reason I constantly lose connection as soon as I go outside with the laptop.
Overall I'm glad I switched, it was a free gift, and was very simple to set-up.
The D-Link is currently available from Amazon for £48.99
Thanks for reading
© L500589 2010
I have this router set up at home for personal networking, not for the internet because you can only use the router provided by BSKYB otherwise your contract is terminated. Anyway, this is a brilliant router, i have tested it through my house, it works fine everywhere ( EVEN IN THE BATHROOM ). I have been swapping files though my home network in the garden, i was streaming live video to the web with the DMZ ( Demilitarized zone or something ), it allows 1 pc on the network to be exposed to the web EG to host a website, mail server, anything you want, and so i was streaming live video from my laptop from the garden in the house and to the web, it was brilliant, i had "Good" signal strength and i asked my friend about the streaming and i didn't loose connection once. Amazing router, firewall and many other things included. 4 LAN ports, power light, 4 LAN lights, WIFI on light, phone line connected light and connected to the web light. power bitton on rear, reset button, and a RJ45 connector - phone line connection. Amazing router, if you go for anything else it should only be a "N" router!
A router is a useful device, I am not talking about the router that you use to make a piece of wood look prettier around the edges but the router that helps you get on-line, be it wirelessly or the old fashioned why via wires.
I have used several routers during my many many years on-line, either at work or at home, even using a mobile 'dongle', which can be somewhat temperamental at times.
Anyway, the router I have been using most recently is the D-Link DSL 2640R, a black box of special tricks which will help you surf the web with safety and ease.
** WHAT COMES IN THE BOX...
* The router (black with a silver stripe encircling it)
* A yellow Ethernet cable
* A grey line cable
* A mains lead
* Three filters for the phone line
** THE ROUTER ITSELF...
It's what I call a normal size router, being approximately 18 cm long by 12 cm wide by just over 3cm thick and weighing in at around 300 grams, although the weight is irrelevant once it is sat on a desk or shelf.
It is black in colour with a dull silver streak going round the middle where all the lights poke through.
There is a smallish aerial, (antenna) sticking out of he back for that wireless connection, which doesn't look to out of place at all.
** On the rear of the router are...
* 4 LAN ports
* 1 Ethernet port
* 1 mains port
* An external antenna
* On /off switch
** The front has seven symbols which light up, they are...
* Power on/off (red when powering up and green when ready)
* Internet (lights red when powering up and green when on)
* Wireless (lights up green when wireless setting are on)
* LAN (lights up when Ethernet lines are in ports, up to four can be added for non wireless devices).
Internet and wireless lights flash when downloading/uploading or simply browsing the web.
** MORE BORING SPECS...
First the boring specs, some of which are mentioned on the box...
* 802.11g wireless LAN (local area network)
* In built firewall protection
* Four RJ-45 10/100Mbps MDI/MDIX auto-sensing Fast Ethernet ports and standard compliance: IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u
* Up to 24Mbps download speed and up to 1 Mbps of upstream
* Transfer rate of 54 Mbps with a 2.4 Ghz frequency band and a Data link using Ethernet IEEE 802.11b or 802.11g.
** IN BUILT SECURITY....
* Hidden SSID option.
* WEP/WPA-PSK or WPA2 encryption
* MAC address filtration
* VPN pass through
* Web page content filtering
* Remote user access control settings
** SYSTEM REQUIRMENTS...
Apple Mac, Linux, Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista and I think even windows 7 will have no troubles
** SETTING UP THE ROUTER...
If you follow the simple set up instructions that come with the router you'll soon be surfing the web quicker than a log cabin going over Niagara Falls.
Just plug in the mains and the 'splitter' for you phone line and router and you're ready to set up and secure your router so that no little pesky bugs get into your system.
Simply open a browser, such as IE or firefox, in fact any will do, then type in http://192.168.1.1 (all routers have different numbers but this information should be on the bottom of the router itself), where you will then be presented with a small window asking for a user name and a password, (the initial setting is admin for both, so I recommend changing the password as soon as you get into the router settings, this can be done in the 'maintenance ' section of the advanced settings).
There is a 'quick set' up option, a wizard so to speak, which I do recommend using to do the basic in setting up the router and then chose the advanced option to 'fine tune' the little details, although I highly recommend securing the router as soon as possible.
**SECURING YOUR ROUTER... (very important indeed)
When I say 'securing the router' I don't mean sticking a blob of blue-tac under it so that it won't fall off the shelf, I mean securing it so that only you can adjust the setting and only you can choose who uses the wireless facilities.
Then, if you want to, change the actual name of the SSID, which is the name that will be seen over the airwaves so that you know whose router is whose. Most people keep the original names of the router but I find this is a little boring and in some cases, when you do a quick scan, you may find several routers of the same kind. Also, if your router has a unique name then wondering eyes don't know what make of router it is.
** THE ADVANCED SETTINGS...
I don't want to go too much into these setting as there are so many and it is actually easier to understand if you are looking at the settings themselves, trial and error so to speak.
But, in the Advanced settings you can do a myriad of things, such as, like I mentioned earlier, change the security setting, including choosing WPA or WEP, or even hiding the wireless SSID so that your name doesn't show up when other people scan the airwaves.
Then, most importantly for wireless browsing, there is the pre shared key which is needed for all computers that you want to connect to the router.
As I said there is quite a lot of information within the router, in fact a little too much to write down here, but I would say that having a look through the router settings is easy and will not hamper your on line experience, as long as you don't change anything of course without making a note of it.
But like all routers it is trial and error to get that perfect setting to enjoy your browsing experience.
** MY OPINION....
I had not really heard of D-Link so was initially unsure about how good this router would be but I was quite impressed with what I was using.
It may not be the most attractive router on the market, with its straight edges and dull black colouring, but it doesn't look out of place on a shelf.
The main black body has a silver streak slicing right around the centre, trying to give it a little bit of style, but failing somewhat, with a single black aerial sticking out of the back.
Don't get me wrong, it is not an eyesore but there are better looking routers out there, although it's not the looks that count, it's what it can do.
I was, until recently, using a Netgear router and was very happy with the performance form that but then, when I came across this one, I though I'd give it a thrash just to see if it was any good.
Once I had set it up and got used to the 'Advanced Setting', as they are totally different to the Netgear I was used to, I was quite happy with what I had.
It was as good as the better known Netgear, even if it doesn't look as good, and the several systems I had connected to it, both wirelessly and wired didn't give it any troubles at all, allowing easy connection the world wide web for many people at once.
I have given it a good going over, borrowing a few laptops and opting to go wireless and wired, just to see what happened, but the D-Link never faltered once, allowing all systems to connect and download at the same time with no problems.
As with all routers the ideal position for them is in the middle of the house so that all computers get a good connection, mine is sat on a shelf where my Netgear was, and it lets me connect to it from every room without hesitating or losing connection.
The little booklet says that it has a range of 100meters with no obstructions and around 70 metre with obstructions, such as walls, which all house should have.
The connection is mainly constant, being full bars 90% of the time, dropping a bar or two when other electrical devices are running in the house, but this is the norm for any router of this calibre, but I have never lost connection at all with this one.
A lot of the time the router is being used by my daughters as they hibernate in their bedrooms, (the little green wireless light flashes that fast that you'd swear it was permanently on), and I keep asking them to inform me if they have any connection troubles with this router, but they are quite happy and have never complained about any loss of connection when they are supposed to be doing their homework, (more chatting with their friends who they have just spoken too at school any way).
Myself, I like to spend a bit of time in my shed at the bottom of the garden, ( Don't be rude people, it's where I get a little peace and quiet), so I tend to do a bit of surfing from there. It may not be miles away from the router, which is in the house, but it is a good distance and has never failed me by losing connection whilst I'm busy doing my work in my little wooden haven
What more can I say about this router? It does exactly what it says on the tin. It gets you connected with ease and keeps you there with no problems at all.
I have had this one for a while now and I have no complaints about it so if and when I need a new router, or a friend needs one, I will certainly be recommending a D-Link for reliability if not looks.
As I mentioned earlier, I came across this router so I didn't know the true value of it but after a quick search around I have found it at around the fifty pound mark, which is a good price for what you get.