|At a Glance|
|Product||D-Link RangeBooster N Dual Band Router Review (DIR-628)|
|Summary||Dual-band single radio Wi-Fi Certified 802.11n Draft 2.0 router based on Atheros XSPAN silicon.
Basically, a cost-reduced version of the DGL-4500.
|Pros|| Inexpensive access to 5 GHz band
Street priced below $100
Automatic QoS for Internet uplink
|Cons|| High wireless throughput variation
100 Mbps LAN
Bi-directional routing performance
It appears that D-Link has decided to aggressively pursue the sub-$100 dual-band draft 802.11n market by tweaking basic product platforms. The recently introduced the DAP-1522 Bridge / AP [reviewed] is essentially a cost-reduced version of its DAP-1555, primarily through the susbstitution of a Ralink processor and wireless chipset in the DAP-1522 for the Ubicom SoC and Atheros radio in the DAP-1555.
Similarly, the DIR-628 is meant to serve as a lower-cost alternative to D-Link's DGL-4500 Xtreme N Gaming Router [reviewed]. But the DIR-628 takes a different approach to reduce cost.
First, the flashy, but non-essential OLED display is replaced by the good ol' array of LEDs that you see on most other products. Then, a 10/100 switch is substituted for the 4500's gigabit. Next, the 628 stays with a Ubicom SoC, but substitutes a Ubicom IP5100, running at 200 MHz for the 4500's IP5160, which is clocked at 275 MHz. And finally, the same Atheros-based radio is used, but with only two antennas connected instead of three.
Figure 1 is taken from the FCC ID docs and shows the 628 disassembled into its primary components. I'm surprised to see the radio on a separate mini-PCI board, considering the cost sensitivity of the design.
Figure 1: DIR-628 inside
Figure 2 is a close-up of the board in my test sample, since the FCC ID photo was so fuzzy. The Ubicom IP5100U has a heatsink on it, but you can see the Marvell 88E6060 6 port 10/100 switch. There is a single chip providing 16 MB of RAM and a 4 MB Spansion flash chip on the bottom of the board.
Figure 2: DIR-628 main board
D-Link opted to stay with an older Atheros XSPAN AR5008 chipset, with AR5416 Baseband/MAC and AR5133 3 Tx, 3 Rx, dual-band chip. The FCC photo in Figure 3 shows a third miniature antenna connector. But if you look closely at the larger version of Figure 2, you see that the connector hasn't been loaded since only two antennas are used.
Figure 3: DIR-628 dual-band radio board
Average user rating from: 2 user(s)
NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.
|User Rating [Back to Top]||Overall:||2.8||Features :||2.5||Performance :||3.0||Reliability :||3.0|
Works for my needs as a home-grade router.
April 12, 2010
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The previous/first review should just be a warning since you are given an option whether or not to install the toolbar. I personally did not and I know most toolbars that are packaged with installers are bound to have some sort of catch to them.
This router is great for a multi-story home or workplace as I was able to attain my ISP's max bandwidth of 25mbps downspeed and 4.5mbps upspeed on a wired connection. I have two laptops and another desktop with various (and very old) G adapters around the house and they were all able to reach 12-17mbps downspeed, as opposed to my old G router could only reach max speeds of up to 6mbps downspeed. The router is currently setup upstairs, but even computers downstairs have 5/5 bars. I haven't had any drops in connections, even during multiple torrent uses between the computers.
I have yet to check out most of the features of this router, but since I don't have an N wireless adapter for my main desktop, I cannot review the features like using the 5ghz band. As for now, this router works great and I'm a happy consumer.
D-link toolbar hijacks your browser
April 06, 2010
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With the D-link router installation you will get the D-link toolbar powered by AOL in your browser. This toolbar cannot be removed any normal method you use to remove unwanted software. The AOL toolbar hijacks your browser. It takes huge part of your home page, set your default search to AOL search and interferes with web browsing. If you close the toolbar, all webpage will be loaded with errors.
I contacted the D-link customer service. They refuse to remove the AOL toolbar.
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