User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Installation:
Ease of Use:
Pros:Gigabit, Stable, flexible control panel, price
Cons:No DDWRT support, Shareport still buggy
The Bottom Line: Lots of recent technology on-board at a price that for the most part remains unchallenged. Buy it.
Back in the days it seemed like D-Link made inferior products; in the time where the WRT54 was the king of the castle, D-Link was cheaper made, had a less extensive list of options available from the web interface, and generally was less appealing. Times have changed, thanks to products like the DIR-655.
Recommend this product?
First of all, don't be fooled into thinking this product is anything new. D-Link is currently distributing the second revision of this best-selling device, which used to be a Draft-N product but is now a full fledged 802.11N device. I've had extensive experience with this product, as I have purchased it very close to it's initial release date. What I'll be stating in this review therefor concerns the first revision of the device more than the second, so your mileage may vary.
This gigabit/Wireless-N product is pretty much the best bang per buck in the home networking world. A lot of manufacturers are putting out routers that support full wireless-N but that totally disregard the now established gigabit standard that offers 1000 mbps transfers over Cat5e or Cat6 network cable. Don't settle for this compromise: the day you decided to add a gigabit-ready NAS/media server/computer to your home network, you will be greatly disappointed. This is what makes the DIR-655 the best router to me: it's a solid, futureproof device that doesn't throw proverbial sand in your eyes with it's capacity at handling Wifi to hide the fact that it doesn't support gigabit.
The firmware was my biggest surprise when I bought this router. I was used to seeing the more advanced options only on the Linksys routers, but in this series D-Link gives total control over the device to the user. Power users will enjoy the finer-grained controls of the wireless broadcast, the built-in firewall, QOS and other security systems. But don't worry if you aren't as computer literate: this router supports setup from a disc (like most other routers) and WPS (Wireless protected setup), a technology now built in to computers with Windows 7.
I also like that unlike Linksys and some other brands, D-Link chose to keep a simpler, trusted and true design that incorporates replaceable antennae. Sure, it doesn't look as sleek next to your brand new iMac, but it gets the job done, and if you really cared that much about keeping your desk aesthetic, you'd use the supplied mounting hardware to hang it under your desk like I did. Like almost every other D-Link product out there, it also supports stacking onto other D-Link devices via rubber pins.
My only real gripe on this router is how buggy the Shareport feature still is. Even with the most recent firmware, it doesn't support printer mounting correctly, at least not with both my HP printers, the latest being an F4435. It would also be pretty cool that the storage shares would be accessible as normal Samba/NFS shares, to maximize the compatibility and eliminate the need for the D-Link software.
It is also pretty sad that the device doesn't completely shutdown and restart on smaller power spikes of outages... on smaller blackouts it freezes rather than shutting down completely, while all my other computers restart and then start working normally again. This induces downtime through an issue that can only be resolved by completely shutting down and restarting the router, but it isn't that much of a big deal: after all if I wanted to solve the problem and wasn't such a cheap bastard I'd get an uninterruptible power supply.
Before contemplating the purchase of this router though, look around for the best price: I work at a big box electronic's store and I've seen the price on this router go from a low of 80$CAD to as high as 130$CAD.
Overall, it's a solid investment because of it's set of features and it's utilitarian design, and best of all you don't have to pay the Linksys tax.
Amount Paid (US$): 90
Driver Availability: Windows, Linux, and Mac