The kit itself consists of DWL-1000AP hub and 2 DWL-120 USB transceivers. Simply called the "Access Point", the DWL-1000AP is the gem of the chest. It's what makes the networking possible in the first place. The Access Point is a device that you connect to the source of your Internet access. DSL/Cable modem, switch, etc. That simple, no software installation required. Plug the access point into the modem or hub, give it power and then it's off doing it's job of transmitting 11mbps of data through your house to every transceiver in a 300ft radius. As long as you have an Ethernet based Internet connection, the AP should be able to transmit and receive signals.
Don't get me wrong; Internet access isn't what the WLAN kit is all about. There are also other ways the kit can be of use. It can replace the many feet of Ethernet cable in your house or office, it can give you true portability in a laptop, it can perform every task that a wired LAN does. It's a great and easy alternative to wiring. The great thing about the system is that it's compatible with an existing wired network. Lets say you just set up a nifty -computer 100Base-T network in your living room (switch and 3 Ethernet cards) and you want to connect the lonely computer in your sister's room to the network and also give it the fast Internet access it deserves. Since the room is 250 feet away and you don't want to run a wire all the way through the wall, a wireless solution is ideal. You buy a kit, plug the AP into of the ports in your hub/switch, then install the adapter card in the lonely computer and voila! You have the lonely computer connected to the 3 other computers to share files, printers, and most importantly.. the Internet. The lonely computer isn't so lonely anymore. There is no need to replace your current LAN if you don't need to, it's just great to add computers that are isolated or add newfound portability to a laptop. Going wireless sure has it's perks.
The AP, once connected to an Internet signal, will automatically obtain a DHCP IP and send DHCP IP's to every client connected to the Wireless Network. Translation: true plug and play. The AP gives every computer on the network an IP address so it's identical to having a Wired LAN. With default settings, 11Mbps transmit and receive speeds are normal but you can set them to: 11Mbps, 5.5Mbps, 2Mbps, 1Mbps or auto through software included with the kit. Running on a 2.4Ghz frequency, it can transmit up to 100meters with typical indoor obstructions and up to 300meters outdoors with no obstructions. In the case that there is a huge area that the wireless network needs to cover, multiple AP's can be employed to relay signals to each other to form a larger radius. Although this is a great factor in the unit's usability, it will hurt the pocketbook.
The USB adapter for each computer is a compact device that plugs into a computer's USB slot, enabling them to connect to the wireless network and accept/send transmissions to the AP. The size of the unit is very small and sleek, making it ideal for a system admin to keep in his shirt pocket and it's pretty easy to keep out of sight. There's not much else to say about the unit that's as interesting as the AP but the greatest thing about the Adapter is its easy installation just like any other product with USB support. It would be good to mention now that there is no Macintosh support for the Wireless Network from D-Link but software in the future might add Macintosh compatibility.