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Wireless Reviews

Features

The DIR-657 exposes D-Link's standard set of routing features. The shot of the Status page (Figure 7) that you land on upon login should look pretty familar.

DIR-657 Status page

Figure 6: DIR-657 component detail

There's an online emulator if you want a more detailed look at the GUI, which is standard D-Link. Most of what's listed here is a rehash of what I found in the recently tested DHP-1320. I've highlighted differences with italics.

Routing

  • DHCP, Static, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, DS-Lite WAN types
  • DHCP server with MAC address reservation, lease time setting and NetBIOS controls
  • Built-in dynamic DNS client for dlinkddns.com and dyndns.com free and custom services
  • Static routes
  • DMZ host
  • SPI firewall disable, UDP / TCP endpoint filtering, anti-spoof checking
  • WAN ping allow / deny
  • Multicast stream enable
  • IPv6 support (auto-detect, static, link-local, autoconfiguration (SLAAC/DHCPv6), PPPoE, IPv6 over IPv4 tunnel, 6to4, 6rd)
  • IPv6 static routes
  • IPv6 port forwarding
  • PPTP, IPsec, RTSP, SIP ALG disables
  • Schedulable single port, port range and triggered port forwarding. (Can set source and destination ports on single ports [virtual servers])
  • Allow / deny (global) MAC address filtering for network access
  • Outbound schedulable port filtering by IP or MAC address with selectable web access logging
  • 40 domain-based allow / deny (global) Web access filters
  • 8 inbound IP range allow / deny (global) filters
  • Remote admin access enable, IP access filtering, port setting and graphic authentication enable
  • UPnP support
  • WAN port speed set
  • HTTPs admin access enable
  • Syslog support
  • Email alerts and log send
  • Ubicom automatic uplink QoS with manual / automatic uplink speed detection and manual rule option

Wireless features

  • WEP, WPA / WPA2 Personal and Enterprise (RADIUS) support
  • Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) support, pushbutton and PIN
  • Auto and manual channel set
  • Transmission rate set
  • SSID broadcast disable
  • Wireless modes: b-only, g-only, n-only, mixed b/g, mixed g/n, mixed b/g/n (default)
  • High / medium / low transmit power adjust
  • Beacon period, RTS threshold, DTIM interval, Fragmentation Threshold adjusts
  • Wireless client isolation (from each other)
  • WMM disable
  • Ubicom WISH automatic wireless traffic QoS
  • Short GI disable

Sharing features

  • UPnP / DLNA Media server enable
  • SharePort Plus drive and printer sharing
  • Sharing to/from embedded SD card reader

Missing features

  • WDS bridging repeating
  • Physical wireless disable button
  • AP / Router mode switch

There are both 20 and 60 second saves that got old real quick during testing.

It's good to see Ubicom based routers coming back. Even though its automatic QoS is focused primarily on managing uplink traffic, it can control downlink speed indirectly by delaying TCP/IP ACKs. Ubicom was the first networking chipmaker to implement auto QoS and they still have the most advanced technology. But if you want to tweak the rules, they also give you 10 sets of controls to do so.

I'm not a fan of USB drive sharing in routers, since it's good only for those who don't mind pretty slow transfers. I ran a quick file transfer speed test with an Iomega UltraMax Pro drive attached and FAT formatted, using our standard Windows filecopy test from our NAS test bed. Write and read speed measured just under 4.5 MB/s.

D-Link isn't very forthcoming with details about SharePort Plus. But it looks like they have eliminated the need to load a driver in order to access shared USB devices. At least I didn't need to use any.

My Win 7 and Win XP machines couldn't browse to the shared drive, but found it fine when I opened a Run box and entered \\dlinkrouter. (The user manual instructs you to enter \\dlinkrouter in a web browser. Maybe that works for Internet Explorer, but not for FireFox.).

I ran a quick check of media sharing features by loading an SD card with a few music, video and still image files and trying to access it from a Win 7 Home Premium machine. The Win 7 machine detected the DIR-657 as a media source and enmumerated and played the few music and video files on the card. It did take about 30 seconds for the five video files to be indexed. So it could be awhile if you give it a big library to chew on.

Note that the only Media server control you get is an enable - there is no way to force or schedule an content index or safely dismount either an USB drive or the internal SD card.

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