For some time I have struggled with the challenge of getting my network into my living room. Sure, I went wireless – a long time ago – but not everything can be connected. Here’s the problem: I bought a Gateway Connected Music Player a few years ago intending to blare the music shared on my network drives. Then I realized I had concrete walls.
Well, it worked great in my office across the room from me, but I really wanted it where it was supposed to be – in my entertainment center connected to my stereo. Since the only connection options are HPNA and Ethernet, there are no wireless adapters available to connect. This was frustrating!
ANNOUNCING THE D-LINK DWL-810
Finally, the DWL-810 Ethernet to Wireless Bridge was announced. Joy! Here’s the basic idea: any device with a standard ethernet connection can be wireless in minutes. A small cube with an adjustable antenna connects to the device by an ethernet cable – and you are wireless!
This unit runs on the 802.11b standard, 11Mbps, 2.4GHz band. For most any device 11Mbps is more then enough bandwidth. This unit works with nearly any device, including Macintosh, Linux and others. So, I connected it to the music player, now in my entertainment center, with the supplies RJ-45 connection. Turned it on. Guess what, I’ve got an IP address!
Using resources from several different computers in the house the network connection remained solid and there was not “skipping” in the music. There was no lack of bandwidth from our testing. Also, any “radio” type device inside my entertainment center wiring nightmare is bound to be getting interference from all the electronic components, stereos, DVD and vhs players, converter box and television – but no problems at all!
Other applications for this device include any broadband-ready gaming system. The major game system manufacturers have each launched an on-line gaming center to enhance your playing pleasure. With a standard ethernet connection, you can now wirelessly connect your existing home network. No running cables or using dial-up — worry and wire free.
If you have advanced configuration needs, a web-based utility provides easy setup. Although most people would use as a client to an access point, ad-hoc operation is also an option.
THE USES ARE ENDLESS
Being able to connect literally any device with an RJ45 connection is very exciting. I can finally put Audrey in the bathroom and be online! There are more and more network-connected devices every day, so for those non-pc based products, use the DWL-810 to do the trick.
Need examples of how to use this product?
1. Connect any ethernet enabled gaming system. Simply purchase the standard “network” or “broadband” adapter for your game system, and then connect the DWL-810. You’re gaming online! (Two gaming systems can also each use a DSL-810 and game against each other!)
2. Connect any “network appliance” with broadband/ethernet adapter. Believe it or not, there are hundreds of thousands of network appliance users right now! (Don’t know what a network appliance is?) A “Network Appliance” would be msnTV (formerly WebTV), Audrey, i-opener, Intel DotStation, MSN Companion, AOL Connected TouchPad, AudioTron (from TurtleBeach) and even the Compaq iPaq Music Center. These are all devices with a specific function and are generally connected through a dial-up connection or network connection. (Many devices without ethernet adapters offer USB support for an ethernet adapter.) Either using a USB Ethernet adapter or with any available ethernet port – connect to the DWL-810 for high-speed access to your network and the internet!
3. Connect any network-ready printer wirelessly! Have a printer without any local ethernet connection? No problem! Plug the DWL-810 directly into the ethernet port, and your printer is on the network!
4. Add a network cluster to a remote area in your office or home. If you have a workgroup of 2 or more computers that are not able to connect to your primary office network that are perhaps in the rear of the building or on another floor? Perhaps the two computers in your kids’ playroom in the basement? Simply plug the DWL-810 into a standard switch (5, 8, 16 port and more are available), and then connect all the computers to the switch. With one wireless adapter you can connect multiple computers!
For individuals who are challenged in getting wiring to specific areas, have ethernet-only devices which need connected to the network, or like the “no-driver-required” feature, the D-Link DWL-810 Ethernet to Wireless Adapter is the choice for you!
This unit gets an EXCELLENT rating for functionality and ease-of-use. There is little you need to do but plug it in! The only “missing” feature from this unit is the 22Mbps chipset, which would be consistent with today’s products.
Price on this item is often higher than $100 and out of stock at many vendors. Check sites like TigerDirect.com or PriceGrabber for pricing and availability.
For complete details from the D-Link website, click here. A special page is available for gamers too, at this link.
Lonny Paul is director of a leading computer eCommerce site and is a “tech geek” by all means with a home network to many’s envy. Currently Lonny firstname.lastname@example.org also writes hardware reviews for several online publications including 80211-planet.com, hometoys.com, and homenethelp.com among others.