D-Link DFE910 Network In A Box - HotHardware

D-Link DFE910 Network In A Box

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The D-Link DFE-910 Network In A Box
Award Winning Performance

By Jeff Bouton
6/12/2001

In the past, networking home computers together required the installation of a few network cards and a simple hub.  Usually, installing the cheapest 10Mbps network cards would be more than sufficient for file transfers and possibly sharing a modem with Internet Connection Sharing software.  With the ever growing popularity of broadband internet services, multimedia demands, and online gaming, users required a more robust solution for their networking needs.

First came the introduction of 100Mbps Ethernet to the commercial market.  Once reserved for high end networking environments, Companies like D-Link began to bring this technology to the mainstream market.  This allowed the average computer user to experience fast network connections as well as giving them the ability to share broadband connections with multiple computers.  Today, it isn't uncommon to pick up a network kit with a couple of 10/100 network adapters and a 5-port hub for around a hundred bucks and build your own personal home network.  However, the demands for bandwidth keep growing exponentially.

Thanks to the rise in such technologies as Streaming Audio and Video, MP3's, and Real-time Data, the bar for faster networks has been raised again.  Even an avid user with a 100Mbps network could feel the negative effects of the added traffic this content creates on small hub-based network.  Thankfully, there is a solution.

One of the most beneficial technologies to come along in recent years is "Switching" technology.  With a switch installed on a small home network, sharing large files, internet connections, and other media has become far more efficient, greatly reducing the effects of heavy network traffic.  D-Link offers a simple, cost-effective solution with the DFE-910 Network In A Box Networking Kit.  The kit includes all the components needed to build a personal home network with two computers or more.  Let's take a look at some specifications of the hardware, and look at what comes in the package and see if it is worth the extra few dollars for a switch-based kit... 
 

Specifications and Features of the D-Link DFE-910
A Lot For The Money...

 The D-Link DFE-530TX+ Network Card

Model       D-Link DFE-530TX+
Bus Support       Auto-sensing PCI, bus mastering
Network Support
  • 10Base-T Ethernet
  • 100Base-TX Fast Ethernet
Boot ROM Support       Yes
Network Configuration       Plug-and-play installation with automatic
      configuration
Connectors       RJ-45
Transmission Speed       10Mb or 100Mb
Cable Support
  • 10Mb Cat. 3, 4, 5 UTP or STP;
  • 100Mb Cat. 5 UTP
Full Duplex Support       Yes
LEDs       4: Power/TX, RX/Link, Collision, Jabber
Topology       Star
I/O Base Address       PCI bus detection
Standards Compliance
  • IEEE 802.3 10Base-T Ethernet
  • IEEE 802.3u 100Base-TX Fast Ethernet
  • CSMA/CD
  • AMA Wake on LAN
Classification       FCC Class B
Dimensions
  • Physical: 139mm x 73mm
  • In Package: 240mm x 35mm x 169mm
Warranty       Lifetime

The DSS-5+ Desktop 5-Port Switch
 

Model      DSS-5+ Desktop 5-Port Switch
Number of Ports      5
Transmission Speed of Ports      10Mb or 100Mb NWAY auto-negotiation on all 5 ports
Connectors      All ports RJ-45
Cable Support
  • 10Mb connections support Cat. 3, 4, 5 UTP or STP cabling
  • 100Mb connections support Cat. 5 UTP or STP cabling
Standards Compliance
  • IEEE 802.3 10Base-T Ethernet
  • IEEE 802.3u 100Base-TX Class II Fast Ethernet repeater
  • IEEE 802.3X
Duplex      Half or Full per port
Protocol      CSMA/CD
Partitioning      Automatic for each port
Uplink Port      Stacking though the MDI II uplink RJ-45 connection that is    stacked with port 1
LED's Per Port
  • Link/Rx
  • auto-partition and port speed (10/100Mbps)
LED's Per Device
  • Power
  • Collision (10/100Mbps)
Power Supply      External   
Fan      One
Classification
  • FCC Class A
  • CE Mark
  • VCCI Class A
  • CSA 950
  • UL 1950
  • C-Tick
  • TUV/GS

 


The hardware included in the DFE-910 Network In A Box consists of a 5-port switch, 2 NIC's, and 2 20' Cat 5 network cables.  A floppy disk is provided with a complete set of drivers for the installation of the two NIC cards.  The kit also comes with two CD's.  One includes Acrobat Reader, IE 4, Netscape 4, and Midpoint Lite, while the other has some sample games that are intended for network game play.  Individual Owners Manuals are included for the Switch, NIC's, and Midpoint Lite software.

 

 

One thing that surprised us is how old the included software was.  IE 4 and Netscape Communicator 4.0 are all but dinosaurs in the computer world.  The Midpoint Lite software is copyrighted 1999 and has gone through some changes since then.  We hope that D-Link will realize that it is time to update the software titles provided with their network kits.  On the flip side, the documentation included is nothing short of superb.  If there is one thing that D-Link has strived to do, it is to provide a quality product.  Not only do they include individual manuals for each component, but they also include a Quick Starter Guide that is an excellent primer on networking basics. 

 

Let's move on and check out the some of the features of the DFE-910 Network In A Box Kit...

 

 

Quality, Features, and Installation

 

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