Wireless networking technology is nothing new, slow performance and high prices have put a damper on an otherwise promising technology. We all would love to rid ourselves of annoying, and sometimes difficult to install UTP cabled networks in favor of the much easier to deploy 802.11b and 802.11a wireless networks. First generation wireless networks were plagued by slow transfer speeds, an easy to bypass encryption schemes, all at a very high price.
The recently introduced 802.11a (Wi-Fi) wireless standard allows for much higher data transfer speeds compared to previous generations of products. Deployment costs should be much less than previous generations, and D-link is touting their 802.11a-based solutions (the DWL-5000AP Access Point, DWL-A520 PCI card, and the DWL-A650 PCMCIA card) all sport up to 72Mbps transfer speeds in turbo mode.
The AirPro DWL-5000AP Access Point
Users of existing wired networks wishing to easily expand their capabilities to support wireless would be interested in the D-Link AirPro DWL-5000AP access point as it supports speeds of up to 72Mbps in turbo mode, and 54Mbps in normal mode. D-Link suggests that the AP is capable of transmitting up to 900 feet; this type of transmission distance is fairly unrealistic as to achieve that kind of range the devices need to be almost exclusively outdoors with little to no adverse environmental variables that could affect performance.
The DWL-5000AP supports the traditional, and very easy to compromise 64 and 128-bit encryption keys; in addition, D-Link also supports the more secure (for the moment at least) 152-bit encryption with dynamic keying.
In the box D-Link included everything that is needed to get your network ready for wireless communication. The access point, power supply, CD-based manual, quick installation guide, a console cable, a very nifty installation video, and a power cable are all included. I would have also liked to see a simple three or six foot Cat5 cable included for wired connection to your existing network, but Cat5 is cheap and abundant enough that this should not be a problem for most users to acquire.