Wireless Gamers -- Don't Leave Out D-Link
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D-Link of Irvine, Calif., today announced the D-Link DWL-G810 Xtreme G Wireless Bridge, the company's latest version of an Ethernet-to-wireless adapter. The new unit will sell for $134.99 MSPR and will be available in August. It will fully support the final 2.4GHz 802.11g specification, for faster throughput than the 802.11b-based products that came before it.
The company touts the product's ability to work with gaming consoles like the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube, but unlike some recently announced products from Linksys (using 802.11g and b) and CenDyne (11b only), the DWL-G810 won't be marketed to just to gamers. Linksys and CenDyne are selling their adapters as gaming console add-ons specifically, and will likely try to make the products available in the same store aisles as other game console peripherals. D-Link plans to do the same.
"The G810 product is targeted for two packages -- one for gaming, one for standard shelf," Bradley Morse, D-Link's vice president of marketing.
All of these Ethernet-to-wireless products will, in general, work with any product that has an Ethernet port.
The G810 unit requires a PC for initial setup, and is configured through a Web browser interface, just like most previous Ethernet-to-wireless bridge products. The Linksys Game Adapters will come with DHCP turned on and in Infrastructure mode, and the WLAN channel can be set using an external selector, thus allegedly not needing a PC for setup. D-Link doesn't think this will be the case -- they say that such a zero-configuration setup might work with a full set of Linksys WLAN equipment, but not with products from other vendors, as the unit's SSID will still have to be set to match the access point. (We'll check this out in testing the products once we have them in house here at 802.11 Planet.)
Morse stresses that the interoperability with all vendors is what matters with a product like the DWL-G810 -- not where it is found in the store.
"When it comes down to it, it's the technology that's important," he says.
The DWL-G810 follows D-Link's 802.11b only AirPlus DWL-810 and the Air 802.11b+ (22Mbps) DWL-810+. Those products are still listed as available, on D-Link's Web site for $129 MSRP and $95 respectively, though street prices on the DWL-810 have dropped to $89 (shown at online retailers like Insight.com and PCNation.com).