User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Installation:
Ease of Use:
Pros:Speed boost over 802.11g. Consumes less power than older D-Link routers. Improved configuration page.
Cons:Speed boost is marginal. Router does not provide range improvement. Definitely not "true" 802.11n.
The Bottom Line: If you are looking for a true 802.11n solution to stream HD content, skip the DIR-601. If you are looking for a cheap solution with improved "G" speeds, its ok.
I bought this unit on black friday at $20 to replace an old (but working) 802.11g D-Link router (DI-524) to hopefully add 802.11n speeds. While the unit works and is an upgrade to the previous unit, I would hardly consider this a "true" 802.11n unit.
Recommend this product?
First, and most importantly, the speed. With all the 802.11g routers I have used the max throughput I am able to pull is 2.7MBps (or 21-22mbps), including the DI-524 unit that was replaced. Note that these speeds were obtained even with my laptop directly next to the router. Using this new DIR-601 unit I was able to pull around 4.2MBps max (or 32-33mbps). While this is definitely an upgrade from the previous unit, this is not what I would expect from a router capable of 802.11n. Yes, I understand the unit is not rated for 300mbps, rather being rated at 150mbps, but I would expect to get at least 50mbps if not more.
Secondly, the range. Honestly, I don't see an improvement in range. In fact, I think the range has decreased from the previous DI-524 unit. The DI-524 unit was 2.4GHz, like all 802.11g routers. The DIR-601 unit is set to 20MHz by default, with an option to do auto 20/40MHz switching. Just the increase in frequency would lead me to believe an increase in range but it is not the case. I instead saw a quicker dropoff in range, with a dropoff in speed consistency. This might be due to the fact that the power consumption of this unit is half as much as the previous DI-524. The DI-524 is rated at 5V@2.4A (~12W), the DIR-601 is rated for 5V@1.2A (~6W).
Lastly, the rest (which no one really cares about...lets be serious here. All people care about with routers are speed and range, right? :) ).The router configuration page is a major upgrade from older D-Link units (including my DI-524). The old D-Link router config page looked like something out of the Netscape Navigator days. The new one, with this DIR-601 unit, looks quite a bit more modern and offers a lot more features and options. The only caveat is that you are not directed to the advanced options by default. Maybe there is a way to turn this off, but everytime you go into the configuration page you are presented with a page to either select use the wizard or do manual configuration (the latter of which allows you to access all the advanced options). Also, like all previous D-Link configuration pages, every change you make forces the router to do a full reset which is quite annoying. Nothing has changed with D-Link...oh well. Power consumption is rather low (as mentioned above). 5V@1.2A (~6W). Considering the unit it replaced was used sparingly, it is nice to know I am wasting less electricity. I doubt I will ever get to the point were I recoup the $20 value by just the energy consumption alone, but this wasn't on my mind when I bought the unit.
Not much else to say. The 50+% speed boost was worth the $20 for a router that is used sparingly, but if you are looking for a full blown 802.11n solution that can be used to stream HD content over a wireless network I do not think the DIR-601 should be your choice. 4.2MBps is 32-33mbps which SHOULD be enough to stream HD content, but it all depends on the quality of the content. Content that I have compressed at 10-15mbps streams fine, while uncompressed content at higher bitrates stutters. As such I would label this router 802.11g+ not 802.11n.
Amount Paid (US$): 20
Driver Availability: Don''t Know