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Wireless Reviews

Introduction

D-Link Xtreme N Duo Wireless Bridge / Access Point

At a Glance
Product D-Link Xtreme N Duo Wireless Bridge / Access Point (DAP-1522)
Summary Dual-band draft 2.0 802.11n AP/Bridge based on Ralink silicon
Pros • Dual-band
• 4 port gigabit switch w/ jumbo frame support
• Can be used as AP or bridge
• Lowest price for dual-band draft 11n
Cons • Single radio, so no simultaneous dual-band.
• Sub-par 2.4 GHz band performance
• 40% WEP and WPA/TKIP throughput reduction
• Very low throughput with 802.11g clients

D-Link seems to have caught dual-band draft 802.11n fans' interest with the announcement of the DAP-1522. It is the successor to D-Link's DAP-1555, which was one of the first draft 11n AP / bridges to hit the streets.

A key point of interest is that the DAP-1522 is currently the only dual-band draft 11n AP option that's street-priced under 100 bucks. The sweetener to the deal is that you also get a three port gigabit Ethernet switch that supports jumbo frames! (The 1522 has a four port switch, but you need one port to uplink it to an existing router or switch.)

The only other $100 draft 11n option for opening up access to the 5 GHz band is Netgear's WNHDE111 [reviewed]. But that product covers the 5 GHz band only and has only two 10/100 Ethernet ports.

Figures 1 and 2 show the controls, lights and ports on the front and rear panels of the 1522.

DAP-1522 Front Panel

Figure 1: Front panel

I don't get the logic behind the separate "Bridge" and "AP" lights, since the product can be in only one mode at a time. It's kind of annoying that the lights have a constant one second blink rate. But what's more aggravating is that D-Link should have had the Bridge mode light indicate a successful link to an AP—particularly because it's not staightforward to log in and check.

DAP-1522 Back Panel

Figure 2: Rear panel

Internal Details

Figure 3 shows the FCC ID photo of the 1522, which shows that D-Link has turned to Ralink to drive the cost down from its Atheros-based DAP-1555. The SoC processor (RT2880F) includes the draft 11n MAC / Baseband processing and a dual-band draft 802.11n 2T3R (2 transmit, 3 receive channels) transceiver (RT2850L) completes the radio.

WPN824 v3 board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 3: DAP-1522 board

Although D-Link doesn't spec it, my tests showed that jumbo frame support is enabled for the Realtek RTL8366 four-port gigabit switch. I tested only 4K, but the Realtek's spec says that it supports 9K jumbo frames at wire speed.

More details, including a comparison to the DAP-1555, can be found in this article.

More Wireless

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