Budget-minded Wi-Fi users know one thing: a cheap router is usually stripped of bells and whistles. D-Link RangeBooster N Dual-Band DIR-628 has two glaring omissions: two antennas (instead of three) and four 10/100 Fast Ethernet ports, instead of those that support Gigabit Ethernet. This router is similar to D-Link's flagship Xtreme N Duo Media DIR-855.
D-Link RangeBooster N Dual-Band DIR-628 small footprint of only about 8 x 5 inches means you can tuck the router unobtrusively under a desk or on a bookshelf. The reversed SMA antennas are replaceable, so you can add higher-powered models such as the Hawking HAI7MD to add another 100 feet or so to the signal.
Even though it's more of a budget model, D-Link RangeBooster N Dual-Band DIR-628 is still outfitted with the latest WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and WPA2 security encryption features, Quality-of-Service technology that ensures your media streaming is smooth and stutter-free, and a built-in firewall.
Setting up D-Link RangeBooster N Dual-Band DIR-628 is a breeze. A quick installer CD made sure the Internet port was working, and we were up and running in only two minutes.
There's no extra network control software like there is with D-Link RangeBooster N Dual-Band DIR-628. In a break from the budget mindset, though, D-Link RangeBooster N Dual-Band DIR-628 supports WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) so you can type in a PIN (located on the bottom of the router) to configure security in Windows XP and Vista.
D-Link RangeBooster N Dual-Band DIR-628 lets you connect over the 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz band at the same time. That means that you can use the faster 802.11n standard and beef up the aging 802.11a, which is less prone to interference.
In our Ixia Chariot test (which helps predict performance by simulating realistic load conditions), D-Link RangeBooster N Dual-Band DIR-628 topped out at only 88 Mbps in the 2.4-GHz band (intended for data sharing between computers), likely due to the two antennas that scatter the signal in a 2 x 2 pattern instead of 3 x 3.
In the 5-GHz band, which is intended for VoIP and media streaming to set-top boxes such as the Apple TV, speeds maxed out at about 112 Mbps from 5 feet. Coverage was decent: D-Link RangeBooster N Dual-Band DIR-628 connected up to 400 feet in the 2.4-GHz band, and 300 feet in the 5-GHz band.
D-Link RangeBooster N Dual-Band DIR-628 is a versatile router that operates in both the 2.4 and 5-GHz spectrum. Faster network backups, high-def streaming, and swapping massive files.
Can't think of another router better than D-Link RangeBooster N Dual-Band DIR-628
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