Over the past few months, Wi-Fi has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Though Wi-Fi usage has proliferated and grown in India, awareness about the dangers of open Wi-Fi connections has not reached the average consumer. This was adequately reflected in the way open Wi-Fi routers were used during the recent terror attacks. This led to people labeling Wi-Fi as an unsafe technology and an invitation for disaster.
On that somber note, and hearsay aside, let’s move on to our review. The product we have today is the D-Link DIR-655 Wi-Fi Xtreme, a popular mid-range Wireless N router. Read on to find out how it fares.
D-Link in many ways is an interesting manufacturer. Easily one of the largest in the field of networking, the company has always tried to make functional products that that are often segment-leading. How is this different from anyone else?
Well, practically every company has at some point chosen to make flashy products that eschew performance for looks, which cost the earth. Having been a victim of such products myself, I appreciate that D-link does not favor style at the cost of performance, and offers decently attractive components which do the job fine.
The DWL-655, with its simple white matte overall finish and a black bezel around the network display LEDs, looks classy enough to be display in the main computing area without looking too clunky.
The DIR-655, being a Draft-N range product, has been equipped with three antennas, all of which are replaceable. This is a good feature, as a power-user can easily pick up third-party antennas for boosting the range, should the provided antennas not be sufficient.
Since the DIR-655 is an Internet gateway and not designed to function as a modem, there is no inbuilt cable modem/ADSL2+ functionality, though the router supports both DHCP from internet connections and ADSL dialup client. The DIR-655 also sports 4 Gigabit Ethernet points and can also be used a network switch.
The interface adapted by D-Link however hasn't changed. It's consistent with previous iterations of this router. That said, it’s robust, allows easy navigation, and is well-grouped. Though it’s not a DD-WRT, it allows easy customization for both novice and advanced users who wish to configure and tweak every possible setting.
Security settings are clearly marked and are easy to set up, even for a first-timer. This is a good move, as a secure Wi-Fi network is becoming an essential thing now.
Updated 20 Jun, 2013, 1:21 pm IST
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