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Wireless Reviews

Wi Fi AC750 Portable Router and Charger
At a glance
ProductD-Link Wi Fi AC750 Portable Router and Charger (DIR-510L)   [Website]
SummaryBattery-powered AC750 Mediatek-based travel router with USB 2.0 file sharing and repeater and hot spot modes.
Pros• 4000mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery for power and USB device charging
• Multiple modes including hotspot (WiFi WAN)
• Support for 3G/4G USB modems for WAN connection
Cons• Lacks physical mode change switch
• Android/iOS SharePort apps not particularly useful
• Ethernet cable not provided
• No AP mode
• No routing controls

Introduction

If you're a road warrior looking to add a travel router to your carry on or are looking to upgrade that old travel router that you've been using for years, D-Link's DIR-510L just might fit the bill. The top-of-the line $99 DIR-510L features a 4000 mAh Li-ion battery that can power the router and recharge your mobile USB-chargeable devices.

More importantly, it's a simultaneous dual-band router with maximum link rates of 300 Mbps in 2.4 GHz and 433 Mbps in 5 GHz. The latter spec is the main reason you would spend about twice as much for the DIR-510L than for most other wireless travel routers. If you're fortunate enough to have mobile devices with AC radios, the DIR-510L is currently the only travel router that will let you connect them using a much less crowded and faster AC connection.

The DIR-510L has an attractive white "slab" form factor measuring 140.0 x 59.0 x 16.0 mm (5.5 x 2.3 x 0.63 inches) and, according to my scale, weighs in at 175 g. The callouts below identify the locations and major physical features of the DIR-510L.

D-Link DIR-510L Hardware Overview

D-Link DIR-510L Hardware Overview

The right side of the DIR-510L (callouts 4, 5, 6 & 7) has two USB ports and two multi-color LED indicators. The upper USB port (callout 4) is a high power port supporting up to 1.0 Amp. It can be used for charging mobile devices, or you can connect a 3G/4G USB modem to use as your WAN connection.

The lower USB port (callout 7) is for attaching a USB drive to share files via SharePort. The two LEDs also shine through the plastic casing and are visible on the front of the device. The left side has the reset button hole. The top of the device has a three position slide switch (callout 1) and a WPS (Si-Fi Protected Setup) button. The description of the switch positions is molded into the plastic using tiny white-on-white lettering that was very difficult to read.

On the bottom of the device, you'll find a 10/100 Ethernet port for WAN connection and a micro USB connector to charge or power the device. The included AC adapter is rated for 5VDC @ 2 amps.

D-Link DIR-510L bottom callout

D-Link DIR-510L bottom callout

The DIR-510L supports three operating modes: Router (using a traditional Ethernet cable); 3G/4G connection via a USB modem; and Hotspot mode that allows you to connect to another Wi-Fi network as your WAN connection. Unlike some other travel routers, the DIR-510L does not include access point or repeater modes. There are no mode change switches on the case; all configuration is done through the web UI.

Setting up the DIR-510L is a simple matter. When you first turn it on, it is configured without any security and broadcasts its two SSIDs: DIR510L and DIR510L_5GHz. By default, the device is configured for router mode and there is no password for admin. To configure the device, you merely connect a Wi-Fi device to either SSID and point your browser to http://192.168.0.1 or http://dlinkrouter.local.

If you've configured other D-Link routers in the past including travel routers such as the DIR-505, you might be expecting to see the traditional D-Link router UI. Instead, you'll land at the new, redesigned simplified UI shown below. D-Link has stripped out all of the complexity (and many features) found in its traditional routers, resulting in just a small core of features most likely to be needed on the road. Gone are features such as port forwarding, port triggering, firewall settings DMZ and QoS features. You do get a NAT-based firewall, just no knobs to tweak.

Landing page for the DIR-510L

Landing page for the DIR-510L

In this image, the blue Internet bubble and the green checkmark indicate that you have an internet connection. If you tap on the blue Internet bubble, you can see details about your internet connection. If the bubble is gray, you don't have an internet connection and you need to either connect an Ethernet cable with a WAN connection, configure a 3G/4G USB modem, or connect to a wireless network using hotspot mode. The yellow warning triangle warns you that your network isn't secure. Once you enable security, the triangle disappears.

As with the internet bubble, if you tap on the router icon, you'll receive a status screen. Similarly, if you tap on Wi-Fi clients, you'll see a list of wireless clients connected to your 2.4 and 5 GHz networks. Tapping on those clients allows you to set up a DHCP reservation for them or to block them. Across the top of the screen you'll find two tabs in addition to the currently selected Home tab: Settings and Management. D-Link hasn't provided an online emulator, so I've included a number of screenshots in the gallery below.

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