User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Installation:
Ease of Use:
Pros:reliability, price, speed.
Cons:user interface, design, ease of use.
The Bottom Line: Excellent router, good price, but not very user friendly for advanced networking.
I have set up over 50 routers to date, but I have to admit - I still don't understand them and every single time hook them up, close my eyes and kind of hope they will work... same feeling that I get when trying to link bluetooth devices.
Recommend this product?
What amazes me is that similarly comparable devices by the same manufacturer usually give completely opposite results. It happened to me with Linksys, with Netgear, and now with D-Link. Two different models, they look the same, have similar specs, use the same interface, yet one works, the other does not.
Fortunately the DIR-615 is one of those that worked for me from the start, and has been working for over 9 months now. I have only had to reset it once in this entire time, which is an absolute record.
This D-Link replaced a really nice Linksys, which I was perfectly happy with, but was limited to the 54mb G standard and ever since I got my new N equipped laptop I was itching to upgrade.
I bought the DIR-615 for $35. It was the cheapest N router I found and I didn't hope for much. I really like the slick design of my older Linksys - one of those antennaless, stealth jet looking routers. In comparison the D-Link looks old and ugly, but it's a router so it stays hidden out of the way. Its power adapter is quite big and unattractive as well.
Some time ago I read a very useful tip on a forum somewhere about setting up routers - throw away the set up disc and use the browser based interface. This came after hours of frustration with one router, whose software disc kept giving error after error. It turned out that person on that forum was right - usually routers sync with cable modems right away, all that is needed is a reboot by turning off the modem, turning it back on and turning on the router. After that all that is left to do is set up security through the web interface.
I almost through away the disc, but I was just curious to see what it was like so I popped it in. To my surprise it was a little different: instead of loading directly the set up wizard, it first asked to choose to either load the wizard or open the web interface. This is much more useful though not really necessary. The set up wizard can be initiated through the web based interface as well.
Little by little I have been learning more about router set up, having to perform various tricks while trying to make my old PS3 work with my network ultimately with no success. The D-Link interface is not nearly as intuitive or easy to use as the Linksys one. For instance the Lniksys interface kept a record of connected devices with IP and MAC addresses, allowing for easy set up of static IPs and MAC filtering by simply selecting from a list of previously connected devices. This truly wonderful feature is sadly missing from the D-Link set up. Since I already got rid of the stupid PS3 I didn't need to do any of that stuff, but was disappointed to see this feature missing.
As far as wireless security, it supports all of the latest encryption technologies. Since I have a really old iPaq PDA though, which does not work with anything newer than WEP, that's all I use on my network. I've also always had various problems from enabling router firewalls and I leave that off as well.
There are tonnes of other things in the settings, which to this day I still don't understand: beacons, thresholds, ppp... something, I have no idea what all that is about.
Another thing I was disappointed to find missing was auto firmware update. This was very easy on the Linksys, which had a little button to check for available new firmware and made the entire process very easy.
Now I don't mean to say that updating the firmware of the D-Link is particularly difficult, but it does require going to the D-Link web site, searching for the right product, and the worst part is that even though the model number is easy to find, there are several revisions of it. Of course the revision number is tucked away in small print on the bottom of the router so finding it requires digging it out of whatever hole it's hidden in, finding a magnifying glass, staring intensely, and then running quickly back to the other room before I forget the number I just read. Sooo... no nearly as automated as it was on the Linksys.
Frankly, I would've never bothered with the firmware update, but the one time that the router crashed, it really did crash and would not recover until I updated its firmware. The procedure wiped out all of my settings so I had to set up everything from the beginning again. This episode happen about 3 months after I bought it, so it's been working trouble free now for at least 6-7 months since then.
The strength and speed of the signal are a lot better than they were with my Linksys, which is to be expected given their different transmission rates. Yet I am disappointed that the D-Link maxes out at 130mb speed. I recently got a new Trendnet router, which maintains consistent connection of 230Mb.
Despite some aesthetic and interface objections I have against this router, I'd have to say I have been amazed at its quality and reliability. I don't think it would be the best choice for someone who doesn't feel comfortable with network set up and needs to use some of its advanced security features. For basic wireless networking though it has been the most trouble free router I've had.
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Amount Paid (US$): 35.00
Driver Availability: Don''t Know