D-Link Xtreme N Networking

Article Index
D-Link Xtreme N Networking
DWA-652 Notebook Adapter
DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router
DIR-655 Setup and Configuration
Status, Tools and Performance

Products: D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router
                D-Link DWA-552 Xtreme N Desktop Adapter
                D-Link DWA-652 Xtreme N Notebook Adapter

Provided By: D-Link Canada
Real-Time Price:



Networking has come a long way from the early days of 10 Mbit consumer networks that were still fairly expensive and slow due to the low bandwidth and implementation of hubs rather than switches for affordable small-size networks.  I remember when I bought my first 10 Mbit network card.  I believe it cost me over $60 . . . used.  My first hub was a 10-base, 5 port unit that set me back over $100.  Times have changed though and now a frugal shopper can purchase a 24-port 100 Mbit switch for under $100.  Wireless networks have also flourished and now claim speeds up to 300 Mbit/sec on a consumer level.  Welcome to the world of wireless "N" - still not a final spec, but getting closer.  Companies like D-Link, Netgear and others have pushed this format and today we are looking at a complete "Xtreme N" setup from D-Link and will find out if it's good enough to get us all to throw away are wired networks once and for all.


DWA-552 Desktop Adapter:

No matter how fast your router and wireless network backbone is, your connection speed also depends on your client available bandwidth.  D-Link outfitted us with the DWA-552 Xtreme N Desktop Adapter for this test and this device claims speeds up to 300Mb/sec.  We'll test that out in a bit, but first a look at the actual hardware.

 DWA-552 - Front Of Box
DWA-552 - Front Of Box
 DWA-552 - Back Of Box
DWA-552 - Back Of Box


Like most of D-Links "Professional" series of products, the package is not overly flashy.  Instead it shows a quiet, confident aurora that shows that it means business.  In the package is the standard hardware component, a quick install guide and driver CD.  The antennae do not come attached and all three will require installation.  My 5-year old son helped out with this part of the installation, so I'm sure it will be no problem.

 DWA-552 - Bundle
DWA-552 - Bundle


We are not always happy to take things at face value and when I noticed that I could remove the protective shield on this card by simply removing a couple of screws, I had to dive in and take it apart.  There were not "Warranty Void if removed" stickers so I was happy.  Under the full-sized shield are a few small components, which appear to be in stark contrast to the size of the shield.


 Laid Bare
Laid Bare
 Atheros Powered
Atheros Powered



Before we jump into the next device, let's take a quick look at the specifications according to D-Link.

IEEE 802.11n (draft)
IEEE 802.11g
IEEE 802.11b
32-bit PCI
Wireless Frequency Range
2.4GHz to 2.4835GHz
Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP™)
Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA™, WPA2™)
FCC Class B
Item (WxDxH): 3.8" x 4.7" x 0.1"
Packaging (WxDxH): 6.6" x 9.5" x 1.5"
Item: 0.2 lbs
Packaging: 0.6 lbs
1 Year Limited*
Recommended System Requirements
For Optimal Wireless Performance:
Use with Xtreme N Gigabit Router (DIR-655)
Minimum System Requirements
Computer with:
Windows® XP SP2 or Windows 2000 SP4**
CD-ROM Drive
20MB Hard Disk Space
32-bit PCI Slot
For Internet Access:
Cable or DSL Modem
Subscription with an Internet Service Provider (ISP)
Package Contents
Xtreme N™ Desktop Adapter
Quick Installation Guide
CD-ROM*** with:
Installation Wizard
Product Documentation



DWA-552 Ready
DWA-552 Ready


Above is a picture of the DWA-552 ready to be installed and ripping up the network traffic with its 300Mbit speeds.