D-Link DWL-120

If you're considering setting up a home or small-business wireless network using the popular 802.11b standard (also known as Wi-Fi), your task has just become easier. The use of this standard means that wireless networks can include products from different vendors, just like the familiar Ethernet cable-based ones. Thus, newer products with simpler setup routines can be introduced into your network without compatibility worries.

The introduction of 802.11b USB adapters, such as D-Link's DWL-120, make adding desktop PCs to your network as simple as adding a notebook. Notebooks, which take PC Card adapters, have usually been a snap to configure: install a driver, slide in the card, and you're ready. Desktop PCs are trickier. Until now, users generally have had to open the PC and install a PCI or ISA add-in card - a hassle most people would just as soon avoid. The new USB adapters make the drill simple again: install the drivers, connect the cable, and you're in business.

In most of my tests with a production version of the utilitarian-looking D-Link DWL-120, setup was just that easy. USB's 12Mbps maximum bandwidth proved a good match for 802.11b's 11Mbps maximum. I did run into problems when I tried to install the adapter on a Windows Millennium Edition desktop on which I'd previously used an adapter of a different brand. D-Link technicians said such USB installations on a PC with a previously installed 802.11b adapter are prone to Registry issues under Windows Me - even if you uninstall the old adapter and its drivers.

The DWL-120 can be used for point-to-point networking, or communication through a base station for increased range. It supports 40-bit encryption for privacy, and although this is not bulletproof, if properly set up it should defeat all but the best hackers. Other features include the ability to roam seamlessly between different access point base stations, and a specified range of up to 100m indoors. Overall, the D-Link DWL-120 worked well, and is easy to install and use.

D-Link DWL-120

Price: $502; Distributor: Tech Pacific; Phone: (02) 9381 6000; http:\\www.dlink.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Yardena Arar

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?