Real world performance was on a par with the majority of competing wireless N products as copying a 690MB video clip from the laptop to a system on the LAN over a WPA encrypted link saw average speeds of 56Mbps. Moving the laptop to the floor below the router saw signal strength drop to a shade over 50 per cent and the same copy test returning speeds of around 20Mbps. We also tested compatibility with a Trendnet wireless N PC Card in the laptop and saw very similar speeds.
For such a low cost router D-Link hasn’t skimped on features and we particularly like the web access controls which are far more useful than those offered by vendors such as Netgear. You can create a list of up to forty web site addresses and use the Access Control feature to create policies that determine what each system can access on the Internet.
You have a choice of black or white lists where the latter lets you block access to everything except listed sites. This feature worked fine during testing enabling us to determine precisely what sites our wireless and wired users could access. Users that attempt to access a banned site are redirected to a warning web page. Schedules make the lists even more versatile as these can be used to limit access to specific times of each day. Alternatively, you can use policies to block all access during specified times or merely log user activity.
There’s plenty more to play with as virtual servers allow you to direct external users to a specific system on the LAN whilst application rules are used to define specific applications that external users can be directed to via port triggers. The SPI firewall is enabled by default and the DMZ option lets one LAN system sidestep the firewall for full exposure to the Internet.
For only £50 D-Link’s DIR-615 router looks particularly good value as it offers an above average set of features. Wireless N performance is as always well below the quoted speeds and you only get Fast Ethernet ports at this price but D-Link’s web access controls are a cut above the rest.
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