D-Link Debuts Wi-Fi Line Targeted At SoHo/SMB Markets

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D-Link last week unveiled a line of Wi-Fi products for the SOHO/SMB market that the company claims will run faster than typical devices based on the 802.11b standard.

D-Link's AirPlus line of products use a new spread-spectrum technology called packet binary convolutional coding (PBCC), which was developed by Texas Instruments and recently approved by the Federal Communications Commission for use in Wi-Fi's 2.4GHz band.

The Texas Instruments technology promises transfer speeds of up to 22 Mbps and a significant increase in the wireless coverage area, said Bradley Morse, vice president of marketing at D-Link, based here. At the same time, PBCC is backward-compatible with current 802.11b technology, ensuring that products are compatible with existing Wi-Fi networks, according to Dallas-based Texas Instruments.

Although unable to verify the speed increases, Deborah Ouellette, owner of Data Systems Designs, a networking VAR based in Yorba Linda, Calif., said increased performance is a useful selling point in a market where every megabit per second counts but current 11-Mbps Wi-Fi products offer little differentiation.

"Speed and reliability are what customers are looking for," she said.

The lineup includes the DI-614 Wireless Router, which provides four 10/100BaseT auto-sensing ports and an embedded firewall and DHCP server. The device also provides security features that allow an administrator to implement URL blocking, domain blocking and IP address blocking when necessary. The device is priced at $149.

Also available is the DWL-900AP , a wireless access point that can be configured to operate in any one of four modes: a wireless access point, a point-to-point bridge with another access point, a point-to-multipoint wireless bridge or a wireless client. Included in the device is an embedded DHCP server. Pricing is $129.

Additional products in the line are the AirPlus wireless card-bus adapter, priced at $89, and the DWL-520++wireless PCI adapter, priced at $99.

All products include 256-bit WEP encryption as well as MAC address authentication.

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