Over the past few months we’ve seen quite a few ISPs start rolling out ADSL2/2+ services in the UK and there are plenty of router vendors that have launched compatible products in readiness for the anticipated rush of bandwidth hungry users. We were impressed with Netgear’s DG834PN and now it’s the turn of D-Link’s DSL-G623M.
Pricewise, it looks good value coming in at around £20 less than Netgear’s sleek white lozenge and as you’ll see it does offer a similar level of features. The chassis feels a little lightweight but it’s built well enough and comes with a pair of chunky, paddle-shaped wireless aerials. Four switched Fast Ethernet ports are provided at the rear along with a port for the ADSL2/2+ modem. A simple array of LEDs is spread across the front panel showing status and activity for each LAN port, whether the wireless access point is switched on, activity for the Internet connection and the status of the router itself.
Installation is commendably swift as you connect a PC, leave DHCP to weave its magic and then point a web browser at the unit’s default IP address. The home page opens with a quick start wizard where you can change the administrative password, set the time zone and add your ISP username and password. During testing we had the router up and running with Internet access enabled in a matter of minutes. As we found with the DG834PN, the default wireless settings on the DSL-G624M will need immediate attention as the access point starts up as enabled, the SSID is broadcast for all to see and no encryption is selected. In other words the wireless access point is left wide open and DHCP services are ready for any wireless enabled device in the vicinity to hitch a free ride on your Internet connection or worse, have access to the PCs on your LAN.
All the key wireless security features are present and correct as you can change the default SSID, stop it being broadcast and implement 64/128-bit WEP or the stronger WPA-PSK or WPA-AES encryption. We would recommend checking for and uploading the latest firmware as this brought the review unit up to date with support for 802.1x authentication via an external RADIUS server. However, it was disappointing to see our ISP details had been wiped out after the update and the only way we could achieve a new Internet connection was by resetting the unit back to factory defaults and running the startup wizard again. If you do have any problems with the firmware then D-Link does maintain previous versions on its FTP site.