Jan 26

Editor’s review:

The D-Link Wireless N Router DIR-615 annihilates any excuse you may have to not move to Wireless-N (300Mbps speed cap). With a price of about $40, the router is cheaper than even some Wireless-G routers–which cap at 54mbps–such as the Linksys WRT110. And you’ll get a lot for the price. While the DIR-615 lacks Gigabit Ethernet and USB ports, it has everything else you’d want from a Wireless-N router. It has decent wireless throughput speed and range and accompanies an easy-to-use Web interface and a generous set of networking features. If you are looking for upgrade your network to Wireless-N and don’t need any fancy features, look no further than the essential DIR-615. It is a great entry-level Wireless-N router that gives you possibly the biggest bang for your buck among wireless routers.

D-Link DIR-615 Wireless N Router User Reviews

Features:

The DIR-615, as expected from the price, doesn’t have a lot of wireless features found in high-end D-Link routers, such as Dual-Band, GuestZone (which enables you to make a separate wireless network for guests), or SharePort (which allows for use with USB devices). It does have a long list of networking features and a very responsive and intuitive Web interface.

Starting with the DIR-685, D-Link incorporates a Capcha with the log-in of the Web interface. This provides more security, but if you hate having to read the distorted text, which is how the Capcha determines that the input is not generated by a computer, this could be a nuisance. The DIR-615 offers numerous network features found in other Wireless-N routers from D-Link. You can then set up manual port forwarding–where you map information coming to a certain port to another computer in the network–or use the router’s preset settings for different applications and services such as instant messengers, BitTorrent, IP phone software, virtual servers, and so on. It also offers a comprehensive set of parental control tools including Network Filter, Access Control, Web site Filter, and Inbound Control. These tools allow you to control the network and limit access to the Internet by specific criteria, such as setting a computer to only allow access to instant-messenger services during a certain period of time. The router also lets you customize its firewall to allow some services, but not others.

Some user reviews:

techzav said:

D-Link DIR-615 works great for me! We tried a Linksys WRT-120 but it was not wrking well. The D-Link is easy to set up and does everything we need. For us, an outstanding product.

It Works great for us! Easy to set up and install. Even if the DIR-615 were more expensive it would be a super value. After spending 5 hours with Linksys “live chat” our WRT-120 still would not work. We use ours for Laptops and Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DSI.

rancher33 said:

I registered just to say it works fine for me. I used the set-up CD. I connected it wireless to a Blue Ray (Wireless N) for streaming Netflix. No problems…streaming wirelessly within a hour. (On the Blue Ray I had to disable wired Dynamic IP after doing a firmware update via ethernet on the BD) Excellent signal strength…. Wireless G laptop immediately recognized the network, excellent signal strength. Ran a ethernet cable to my Directv HD DVR….recognized the connection immediately.
No lock-ups, no reboots, no error codes, no tech support calls.
Haven’t had a reboot yet.
Everyone’s experience and equipment is different, but I wanted to chime in with how it went for me.

crvols said:

On Windows 7, it is a quick, easy and flawless install. Good solid connect during heavy downloads. Steady, quick during on-line gaming such as World of Warcraft.

Many had perhaps not followed the simple instructions. Read the instructions and follow the prompts from the provided CD install disk. Full configured by itself without intervention on my behalf on a newly installed Windows 7 operating system. Excellent security settings.

I had attempted to install two different manufacture routers Netgear and a Linksystem unit. Neither would function. The perceived cheapness of the DIR-615, is no reason to pass by the unit. It is an excellent starter unit or even that of an upgrade over an older and none functioning unit.

Now Price Range

$50.71 – $64.99

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Jan 23

D-link DIR 685 Storage Router  –  A router, photo-frame and NAS

Color screen, 2.5-inch internal hard drive bay, Framechannel and BitTorrent support, 2 USB ports

The D-Link DIR-685 is a aggregate of an 802.11n wireless router, a digital photo anatomy and a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device. It also has air-conditioned appearance like a built-in BitTorrent downloader and the ability to appearance a variety of content on the awning by affairs it from the internet.

 

D-Link DIR-685 Storage Router Expert Reviews

Design and Build

 

The DIR-685 is unlike any ordinary router and looks rather cool with its upright posture. The overall build quality is quite decent. The front face bears a 3.2-inch LCD display. It is meant to also double up as a photo frame other than displaying information. But here lies the problem – 3.2 inches is a little too small to be viewed clearly from a distance. Thus, you can only admire photos if the router is kept right next to you. Also, the glossy pane covering the display offers a slightly irritating glare.

There are touch-sensitive buttons at the side of the display. They were alright, but the UI is to accusation (more on that later). There’s also a WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Security) button. At the back, we accept the regular array of ports: 1 WAN, 4 LAN, 2 USB and one power. There’s aswell a side-door through which a 2.5-inch laptop harder drive can be amid into the device, which is the different aspect of the device. It supports up to 500GB HDDs. There’s an banish button at the added ancillary to get the drive out.

 

D-Link DIR-685 Storage Router Expert Reviews

Features and User Interface

 

The DIR-685 is an 802.11n wireless router. Unfortunately, it only supports the 2.4 GHz spectrum. Some other routers in the market have support for 5 GHz frequencies. The basic advantage of 5 GHz is that there’s less interference from other devices than 2.4 GHz (on which many cordless phones operate). As mentioned above, it supports a 2.5-inch internal hard drive – which is great. We were able to easily read/write data to the drive over all the PCs connected to the router.

The only flaw we observed is that the device supports drives only in the EXT3 file format. Linux fans would know right away that EXT3 is a popular file format used by many OS distributions. So neither can you just pop in any FAT32 or NTFS drive in there and use it, nor can you remove that EXT3-formatted drive and use it directly with Windows. But assuming that one wouldn’t be swapping drives so often, it’s something users can live with.

Moving on, let’s take a look at the User Interface on the device. It is operated using the touch buttons at the side. The main issue with it is the UI’s laggy behavior – which makes it somewhat irritating to use. On the other hand, the coolest thing about the UI is FrameChannel. It is an online content delivery service right to your device. You have to register at their website and then select from an array of widgets. Thus, you can have Facebook/Twitter updates, Facebook photos, RSS feeds, Blog updates and a lot of other stuff streaming on to the DIR 685’s screen. This feature makes best use of the screen in our opinion; now only if the device had a bigger screen.

The Statistics menu will show current internet upload/download activity. The Photos tab will let you slideshow photographs, but only from the internal hard drive. It is silly to see that you can’t just connect a USB media device at the back and view photos from it. There are a few things missing from the UI. For example, it does not display the progress of your BitTorrent downloads – which would have been nice. It would have been nicer if it let you control downloads directly via the router.

The router’s interface (accessed via a web browser) is easy to use. It has the regular array of options and settings like a regular wireless router. The built-in BitTorrent manager lets you download files directly to the hard drive – without the need for the PC to be on. This is indeed a cool feature for those who like to suck the life out of their unlimited internet connection. But the interface is pretty basic. There is no option to schedule downloads or select individual files from a torrent. Also, it is surprising to see that there’s no regular manager for downloading files from HTTP websites.

Lastly, the two USB ports at the back let you connect a storage device, scanner or printer – which can then be used over the network. But you can’t simply access it directly via Windows Networking. You need to install a bundled utility called SharePort. We would’ve rather preferred a simple plug-and-play solution.

 

Performance

 

We tested the device in three zones. We used Wireless Monitor software to test the network strength of the device. Zone 1 was when the test laptop (a Dell Studio 14) was kept next to the router, where it gave 95% range. Zone 2 was when the laptop was kept in an adjacent room about 40 feet away. Here it gave 50%. The third zone was in another section of the office, roughly 75-80 feet away. Here the signal strength ranged between 25 to 30 percent. Thus we can say that the router provides decent signal range.

We transferred a 50MB test file between the router’s internal hard drive and the laptop in the first zone to determine speed. It gave us a fair download rate of 2.6 MB/s, but the upload speed struggled at just 0.27 MB/s. Thus copying data onto the built-in hard drive was fast. But copying data from the hard drive to our test laptop was very slow.

 

Verdict

 

The D-Link DIR-685 works well as a wireless router and offers a fairly wide range. Some of the features like Framechannel and BitTorrent support are well appreciated. But priced at Rs. 15,000, the DIR-685 is priced almost three times more than regular Wi-Fi 802.11n routers. It may be a unique product – but for its asking price, it is not even close to perfect. The photo frame feature didn’t really appeal to us due to the small screen size. That, along with the DIR 685s other shortcomings and its high price tag forbid us from recommending it.

Reference:
http://www.techtree.com/India/Reviews/D-link_DIR_685_Storage_Router/551-108885-621-1.html

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Jan 22

The company announced at CES 2010 two new Wireless-N routers: the the D-Link Touch DIR-865 and the D-Link Wireless N Pocket Router. The Touch is a flagship high-speed Wireless-N router,whereas the Pocket Router is a minimobile router for people on the go.

The D-Link new Wireless-N routers DIR-865 reviews

According to D-Link, the Touch blends power, speed, range, security, functionality, and energy efficiency into one economical box that has the shape of traditional D-Link routers, complete with three external antennas. The router sports a 3-inch interactive touch screen for easy setup, configuration, and management of the router and Internet traffic.

The Touch supports true dual-band capabilities, working in 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands at the simultaneously. Three data streams offer throughput speeds of up to 450Mbps when used with the same standard wireless clients. Like all Wireless-N routers, it’s also backward compatible with earlier standards (802.11a/b/g).

The D-Link new Wireless-N routers DIR-865 reviews

If the Touch is a high-end router for the savvy user, the D-Link Wireless N Pocket Router is designed as a travel companion for people on the go, and features multimode functionality. It can be used either as a wireless router to create an 802.11n Wi-Fi network anywhere one is needed, or as an access point (AP) to add Wi-Fi to an existing wired network. The device can also be used to add wireless capability to an Ethernet-ready device, such as a desktop PC or an Xbox 360.

Despite its small size, the Pocket Router also comes with a USB port and supports D-Link’s SharePort technology, which allows the router to work as an extension of a networked computer’s USB port.

Neither of the new routers from D-Link will be available until mid 2010. Their prices and other details will be revealed then.

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