Gadget Review: D-Link DIR-615

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A router is one of the things in your home that you really don’t think about once it’s setup. My first Wi-Fi router just gave up on me recently, it keeps on restarting itself every few minutes. It seemed like it’s about time for me to replace it. I originally had a D-Link DI-524, it felt natural for me to use the get a model with the same brand. So, as I looked around, I had tons of options to choose from, but my budget was difficult to choose the best out of the rest. I ended up choosing a D-Link DIR-615.

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I chose this model because it seemed like a mid-range router in terms of price. The price is Php3000. I know there were lower models which were cheaper, but I had to choose a model which can support the needs of my home. Considering my home is not pretty small, it’s like 30+ years old, and it covers a lot of land area. I know a low end router would have a hard time reaching certain areas in my home. Actually, this model I got is still designed for a small home, but it should be fast enough for my needs since the Ethernet port uses 10/100 mbps speed while the Wi-Fi uses 300mbps. We generally use wifi at home since we have several devices that rely on Wi-Fi like my Samsung Galaxy 5, the Xbox360, a few computers and other friends who bring their gadgets and use the internet. Considering I was using an old wifi which uses 54Mbps, this is a big step up.

When I asked around in the store about how to set it up, I was a little turned off that the salesman said that I need to use the installer CD before I could use the router. I did look at the package and there was a sticker on blocking the Ethernet ports indicating to use the CD first before removing the sticker. What I liked about the package is that it had a stand, a few screws in case I think of mounting it on the wall and an Ethernet cable. Anyway, this was my first time to buy a router, I think or presume that I know what to do with a router based on my experience with my old one. I bought it and went home as soon as I can.

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As a usual tech geek, I don’t strictly follow the instructions. I read the manual and was happy to see that there is a way to setup the system without using the CD. I was happy. I immediately removed my old router and hooked up the new DIR-615. My computer uses Wi-Fi so I can’t access the main setup screen by Ethernet cable, so I tried my luck on accessing it wirelessly. My computer (with Windows 7 Stater) immediately detected the Wi-Fi signal and automatically told me that the router is new and will be setup for the first time. It asked for a pin number which could be found on the router and as soon as I inputted the details, it asked for the new SSID number and password. Once I’ve set it up, the connection was flawless.

Now since I made the connection properly, setting it up for my home network was my next priority. I checked out the main menu by accessing the default router address through the web browser. I immediately saw that you can easily setup your internet connection from there, thankfully the myPLDT settings are pretty open that I didn’t have to do anything to get the internet running. Internet was running as soon as I got the router started. One of the initial menus showed me all the running computers already connected to the router, this helped me immediately see who’s using the router. It also tries to recognize them by using the names given by the ones who setup the computer. Although my phone, PS3 and Xbox360 wasn’t given a name, all of them were labeled “unknown”. It wasn’t hard to recognize my equipment though, because it automatically indicated the MAC address of each device connected, which I already have a list of before when I setup my old router.

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Going through the menus, I also needed to filter anyone who uses the network. Since the system automatically lists down all devices that uses the network, it was pretty easy to add the computers to the list of MAC addresses allowed. As I listed them all in, I press SAVE and the system restarts. It takes 1 minute to reset itself, but it takes another minute to access the router’s main menu.

It took less than an hour to make the initial setup with the security set in place. Although I know I could do more, but that should be enough. Now I check out what the router can do. I was impressed that there were filters that were software specific, it was nice to see that a lot of games are listed on it like Half-Life and World of Warcraft. I was hoping to see Minecraft on the list, but I know that was a long stretch. Port Forwarding was easy to setup too, and it had lots of options, the old DI-524 had a very limited screen that I was worried that I might make a wrong move, while here on the DIR-615, the screen is clear and it made more sense to me.

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Anyway, there are so much more options, but so far, it has already served my purpose. I was able to do things that I wasn’t able to do on my broken DI-524. I was able to update my Xbox360 with the new Metro Update and I’m able to update my games on the PS3 which was a trouble before.

So, would I recommend it? Well, I don’t have much experience with other routers, but this works fine for me. It was easy to setup and it was pretty straight forward for someone like me. Although I don’t use the automated features of the CD installer, but even without it, it does setup a secure system before you even before you use it. So, what I can say it that I am very happy with it, especially for my own purposes.

Note: I’m happy with my purchase since I bought this at PhP3,000 at Octagon. I just saw in another store that they sell this at PhP3,400.

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