Feature Set and Options: Draft N Routers

Click to enlarge

The D-Link DIR-625 product we are testing today is based on the Atheros XSpan chipset that is also found in the Belkin N1 router. Our Linksys and NetGear products are based on the competing Broadcom Intensi-fi chipset. We will be testing other Draft N routers in the near future including the NetGear RangeMax Next Gigabit Edition (WNR854T) that sports the Marvell TopDog chipset and D-Link's RangeBooster N 650 (DIR-635) router that carries the same Atheros XSpan chipset that is in the DIR-625.

In our initial testing results we found that our Draft-N equipment at times does not interoperate with each other at full speeds or fails to connect at all due to the differing chipsets utilized by the suppliers. While we will be fully exploring this issue in our next article it is disconcerting that you can purchase different Draft N chipsets from the same vendor. NetGear offers several different RangeMax Next Wireless Routers that feature both the Broadcom Intensi-fi and Marvell's TopDog chipset. To make matters worse the RangeMax Next Gigabit Edition PC Card (WN511T) is TopDog based and our RangeMax Next PC Card (WN511B) uses the Broadcom Intensi-fi chipset technology.

While all of the routers support the vast majority of connectivity and security protocols we did find one difference that will be important to the home user expecting to use their router for streaming media or VoIP operations. All products except the NetGear unit fully support QoS (Quality of Service) technology that helps to ensure consistent streaming media and clear VoIP transmissions by prioritizing multimedia packets on the network. NetGear plans to add this capability in future firmware upgrades, and it already fully supports UPnP which enables peer-to-peer connectivity of networked computers, external storage devices, and even game consoles.

Of noted interest, the D-Link DIR-625 does not support WEP security, a feature the other products fully support. WEP security protocols are not specifically addressed in the current Draft 1.0 protocol and as such D-Link believes they are adhering to the spirit of the standard. While we no longer recommend or even use the WEP security protocol there are numerous legacy products in the marketplace that utilize WEP. If your card or other device cannot be updated to WPA security then you will need to purchase a new device in order to utilize this router.

Index D-Link DIR-625 - Features
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • zyren - Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - link

    This review is pretty pointless considering the DIR-625 is an old router and the DIR-635 has been the successor of the 625 for a while now (with the atheros chip, if i am correct). I own the 635 and have been very pleased with it. Compared to my old g router, this is so much better. Why didnt they just review the 635?
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - link

    We have a review of the DI-635 coming up, however the DI-625 is still for sale and the price point has been moved down to $99 now. Considering the marketing and advertising on this router is still in full swing we thought it was appropriate to review it. Also, in preliminary testing we have found no real difference between the two routers in actual performance. The 120 foot capability of the DI-635 is improved by about 4%, the other ranges are equal or within 1%. :)
  • Chadder007 - Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - link

    Im sticking with G for a long time it seems.....N doesn't offer anything extra that I need at home. Videos stream just fine on my G network.
  • Myrandex - Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - link

    I have always been a fan of DLink. Their customer support has been nice whenever I have called in, and they actually speak english (not Englishian). Their DGL4300 is an amazing router as well, with integrated Gigabit networking and decent wireless performance (in 802.11g mode with laptop and pocket pc). It looks prety badass as well with the blue LEDs.
  • PAPutzback - Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - link

    All I buy is DLINK. My DI-634 works great and my 16 port switch works great. But I won't buy another wireless router until they add gigabit ports. Why do they still limit to 10/100 speeds when even the cheapest MB are coming with gigabit NICs
  • Chadder007 - Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - link


    Why do they still limit to 10/100 speeds when even the cheapest MB are coming with gigabit NICs

    Thats what I would like to know.
  • nullpointerus - Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - link

    Have you followed the motherboard benchmarks? A motherboard gigabit NIC consumes tons of CPU time as the bandwidth increases. I assume there are additional cost and design issues for a gigabit router vs. a typical 10/100 Mbps part. My Linksys routers have a hard enough time not burning themselves through the desk just handling very light 10/100 Mbps traffic.
  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - link

    They could slap in an Intel GbE processor, especially since the Intel NICs using this processor out perform other NICs of the same class. *shrug*

    I'm not even going to bother with another wireless router until Wi-Max hits the market personally . . .
  • mino - Thursday, September 21, 2006 - link

    LOL, the problem is how to ROUTE such amount of traffic, not overheating NIC's...
  • yyrkoon - Friday, September 22, 2006 - link

    Perhaps, you were talking to the person above me ? In which case you should have replied to him, and not me :)

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now