All the latest news and reviews are now available via the NZTechie.com homepage at https://www.nztechie.com

Thursday, October 30, 2008

D-Link DSL-2740B [Review]

The D-link DSL-2740B is an ADSL2+ gateway consisting of ADSL2+, wireless, switching and routing capabilities. The DSL-2740B gateway components are enclosed in a contemporary black and silver case. There is nothing physically striking about the unit, other then its build quality. Its design is bland and not nearly as slick as the Linksys' futuristic profile. See our Linksys WAG160N and WRT310N reviews.

The DSL-2740B includes three external antennas designed to provide the best wireless performance possible. The multiple antenna design aims to increase signal strength and coverage, in particular when paired with wireless clients utilizing the same technology. The DSL-2740B includes an on/off switch, a feature missing on many units these days.

The DSL-2740B comes with four switched fast Ethernet ports on the rear. It does not include any USB ports which might otherwise facilitate the ability to share printers and hard drives across a LAN. The usual marketing guff regarding speeds of up to 300 Mbps is touted by the manufacturer, with real world tests not coming anywhere close to those advertised.

[The Rear of the DSL-2740B]

A key wireless feature is that the DSL-2740B is a Wifi Certified 802.11n (Draft 1.0) device. This means that it has been tested with other units and has have been certified and approved by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

The gateway includes a number of security features. These include an SPI (Statefull Packet Inspection) firewall, with the option to configure your own custom filtering rules. We found that the firewall is not engaged by default and must be manually turned on.

IP Filtering, URL filtering, and Parental controls are also included in the unit, but keyword blocking is noticeably absent. You can configure time and day restrictions for Internet Access.

Wireless security is catered for support of WEP, WPA, and WPA2. However, the setup wizard on the included CD will only support WEP and WPA configurations. To use WPA2 or enterprise modes you need to configure these security settings manually. However, we did like the fact that the DSL-2740B can automatically generate wireless security keys for you.

Radius authentication is also supported. MAC address filtering is included, but the value of this as a security measure is minimal. Virtual server configuration is also included.

Tech-savvy people will be able to set up the DSL-2740B via the web interface by simply pointing their browser to 192.168.1.1. The setup CD significantly simplifies the setup and configuration process. The DSL-2740B includes a well laid out and easy to follow web interface.

Current pricing for the DSL-2740B is in the range of $NZ240 - $NZ260, putting it in about the same price bracket as the similarly configured Linksys WAG160N. D-Link provides a generous three-year warranty on this gateway.

Summary

The Good: Web interface, good performance, external antennas allow modification and adjustment

The Bad: Unit housing, setup wizard limitations, firewall not enabled by default

Advertised Product Features
  • Built-in ADSL/ADSL2/ADSL2+ modem
  • 4 built-in 10/100Base-TX switch ports with auto MDI/MDIX support
  • Built-in NAT firewall
  • Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI)
  • Denial of Service (DoS) prevention
  • Draft 802.11n wireless LAN specification, backward compatible with 802.11b/g devices
  • Up to 270Mbps raw data transfer rate
  • Strong WPA/WPA2 data encryption security
  • Multiple SSIDs
  • 802.11e Wireless QoS (WMM/WME)
  • Dynamic DNS support
  • Traffic prioritization
  • Web-based GUI

2 comments:

Wah wah Ferrar said...

The DSL-2740b is 802.11 n draft v1.0, NOT v2.0

Hayden Tennent said...

Thank you for that information. I have now corrected the article.