The 5500's USB sharing feature is also very basic, with only a media server enable and name box tucked into the Server page, which handles single port forwarding. There is no mention of Shareport Plus, D-Link's drive and printer sharing feature found on its other routers.
The good news is that the 5500 connected to our USB standard drive (Startech USB 3.0 eSATA to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station (SATDOCKU3SEF) containing a WD Velociraptor WD3000HLFS 300 GB drive) without a problem. I was even able to pull and reconnect it for formatting without ejecting it (there is no control for this) and had no problem reconnecting. The SMB implementation appears to not support Windows browsing, so I had to mount the drive using \\192.168.0.1.
I ran Windows filecopy tests using the standard NAS testbed to the 5500 with formatted in FAT32 and NTFS. Table 3 compares the 5500's performance with three AC1200 class routers.
|Processor||QCA9558||Realtek RTL8197D||Broadcom BCM47081A0||Atheros AR9344|
|FAT32 Write (MBytes/s)||4.0||6.1||8.9||7.8|
|FAT32 Read (MBytes/s)||11.6||9.7||10.8||10.5|
|NTFS Write (MBytes/s)||4.0||5.3||3.6||9.9|
|NTFS Read (MBytes/s)||11.0||7.2||9.4||10.5|
Table 3: File copy throughput
The results compare storage performance using four different processors, one of which is dual-core (Broadcom BCM47081A0). From what I can see, none of these routers has a strong performance advantage in this department.
The main reason D-Link is hoping you'll pay $200 for an AC1300 class router is its StreamBoost automatic traffic shaping feature. The explainer from QCA provides background details and will have to hold you for now. I spent a short time trying to see if StreamBoost made a difference and the only conclusion I reached was that I'll need to spend more time. So we'll be doing a separate article on StreamBoost to give it a good workout to see if it is truly a differentiating feature.
Routing throughput was measured running 1.01 firmware, using our router test process. Table 4 summarizes the results.
|WAN - LAN||556 Mbps|
|LAN - WAN||498 Mbps|
|Total Simultaneous||471 Mbps|
|Maximum Simultaneous Connections||32,734|
Table 4: Routing throughput
The IxChariot composite plot below shows generally well-behaved throughput in each direction. With around 500 Mbps of throughput in each direction, D-Link clearly isn't going for Gigabit wire-speed routing with the 5500. I suppose they wanted to reserve valuable CPU for the StreamBoost features.
D-Link DGL-5500 routing throughput unidirectional summary
The simultaneous up/downlink throughput shows even throughput sharing between up and downlink with, again, around 500 Mbps of total throughput available. Simultaneous session handling should be fine for everyone at well over 32,000 sessions.