For some time now I have had on my to do list looking at how to expand the wireless network in my house. My wireless router (Linksys WRT610N) is located in a corner of the basement of my house where my cable modem is. On the first floor of my house I can get the wireless signal, although it gets weaker as I move across towards the opposite end of the house from where the router is located. Once I go to the second floor the signal is either very weak or cannot be accessed at all. About a week ago NewEgg had a great deal on the D-Link DAP-1522 Xtreme N Duo Wireless Bridge/Access Point (for $65) so I decided to purchase to finally cross one item off my to do list. As seems to be the case with many tech products, the provided instructions were about as useful as a poopy flavored lollipop (great movie). After doing some digging on the DLink forums and the web (and not being too savvy when it comes to networking) I was able to get everything up and running.
The D-Link DAP 1522 has wireless N streaming in either Bridge or Access Point mode. In bridge mode it lets you connect up to 4 Ethernet-enabled devices such as set top boxes, game consoles, or computers to an existing Wi-Fi network for on-demand broadcast, online gaming, or media streaming throughout the home. In Access Point mode you can either add a wireless N network to your existing wired network or expand your current wireless network. The DAP 1522 can run on either the 2.4 GHz or 5.0 GHz band (not simultaneously). The 4 ports in the back are Gigabit.
Since I am just looking to expand my current wireless network I will be using the DAP 1522 in Access Point mode. I will have it connected to a wired switch in my office to help expand the wireless signal to the top floor of my house.
1. Using a networking cable (Cat5 or Cat6) connect the DAP-1522 directly to your PC (I am using Windows 7). Since I want to use the Access Point mode on the back of the DAP-1522 set it to “AP”
2. From the Start Menu go to Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center.
3. Click on “Change adapter settings” on the toolbar on the left hand side. This should show all network adapters available. In my case I have two network adapters, the one without the red “x” through is the one to use.
4. Right click on the network adapter and select “Properties”. You should now see the Local Area Connection Properties for the network adapter. Select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click the “Properties” button.
5. You should now be in the properties for TCP/IPv4. By default “Obtain an IP address automatically” and “Obtain DNS server address automatically” should be selected. To allow the DAP 1522 to be recognized by your PC you need to select “Use the following IP address” and enter the following values:
IP address: 192.168.0.99
6. Now open up your web browser and go to http://192.168.0.50 or http://dlinkap. The D-Link web admin page should now show up. By default the User Name is “admin” and the password is left null. Click the “Login” button to proceed.
7. Once logged in the default screen should be the “Setup” screen. Select the “Launch Wireless Setup Wizard” button.
8. Choose a device name to be used for your DAP-1522
9. If you want to change the login password, do so here.
10. Next you will have the option to automatically set up the DAP-1522 (this would be used if you have another wireless router in your house that you want the DAP-1522 to connect to, and it supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup) or set up manually. Since I am looking to set up my DAP-1522 connected to a wired switch I chose “Manual”
11. Next step is to set up the Network Name (SSID) you want to use, which band (2.4GHz or 5GHz), choose a channel, decide whether you want a network key automatically or manually assigned, and decide whether to use WPA or WEP encryption. If you have several wireless Access Points that you want your wireless devices to move back and forth between an easy way to do so is to make sure the settings (i.e. SSID, etc…) are universal with each Access Point.
12. You should now see the details of the DAP-1522 setup. Either write down or print this information as it will be needed to connect wireless devices to the DAP-1522. Click “Save” to finish the process. You can always go back into the D-Link web admin page to change any settings.
13. Once done with the D-Link setup you can disconnect the DAP-1522 from your PC and place it the area of choice ( I connected it via cat6 to my network switch in my office). Make sure you go back into your PC adapter setting and change the TCP/IPv4 settings back to their original settings (in my case both Obtain IP address and Obtain DNS server should be set to automatic)
As the final test, try connecting a wireless device to the new wireless network created by the DAP-1522. If everything went well your wireless device should see the SSID and be able to connect once the network key is input.
I have had the DAP-1522 up and running for several weeks now without a hitch. I mostly use it to connect my iPod Touch to the internet/network and to date I have had zero drop outs and have been able to successfully stream video content from my Windows Home Server via AirVideo. The one potential drawback of the DAP-1522 is that there is no antenna(s) which may limit the wireless range. I like the option to turn the DAP-1522 over to Bridge Mode to access my network in rooms in my house that aren’t wired, but for right now I don’t have a need for that option. I was also looking at the D-Link DAP-2553 AirPremier PoE Access Point or the Hawking HW2R1 Repeater, but decided with the price of the DAP-1522 and favorable reviews it was the right now. My next project, get a PoE switch so I can set up networked surveillance cameras!
For anyone who has expanded the wireless network in their house, please feel free to leave comments on how you accomplished, what gear you used, etc…
EDIT (6/18/2012): Writeup for the newly released DAP-1525 has just been posted: