capsule review

D-Link Wireless N Router DIR-615 vB2

At a Glance
  • DLink Wireless N Router (DIR-615)

    PCWorld Rating

    This router is priced right and hits all the routing high notes (gigabit ethernet aside), but it stumbles on performance and ease of use.

The D-Link Wireless N Router DIR-615 is among the least-expensive draft-n routers on the market and has a great feature set. Un­?fortunately it performed poorly on our speed and range tests.

At close range, it pumped out only 36 mbps on average, compared with 48 mbps for the competing Belkin N Wireless Router F5D8233-4 v3. And in our long-range tests (about 60 feet, with multiple walls and appliances in between), the D-Link's throughput dropped to just 3 mbps, versus 13 mbps for the Belkin. Even worse, 15 percent of our long-range tests failed completely due to disconnections, whereas the Belkin had no connection failures.

The model that turned in those results was actually the second DIR-615 router we tried. We were unable to test the first, a revision A1 model provided by D-Link, because it provided no way to turn off 40-MHz channel-bonding (making that unit ineligible for Wi-Fi Alliance certification); as a result, we bought a revision B2 (the latest model, which is Wi-Fi Alliance-certified) for our testing.

The DIR-615's performance may improve with firmware revisions, and the router has a very good feature set drawn from D-Link's higher-end models. You get WPA/WPA2-Enterprise and Radius server security support for corporate use, as well as a laundry list of features such as UPnP, WMM, WPS, DDNS, and DHCP reservation.

The unit's setup, though uneventful, wasn't as well thought out as that of other models we reviewed at the same time. The Web configuration interface is a confusing mix of wizards and manual tools; after initial setup, we prefer to skip the wizards. We also struggled to convert the router to access-point mode, though we finally located the necessary directions in the manual.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This router is priced right and hits all the routing high notes (gigabit ethernet aside), but it stumbles on performance and ease of use.

    Pros

    • Very good routing features
    • WPA-Enterprise support in a budget product

    Cons

    • Poor performance at close range and long range
    • No gigabit ethernet
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