D-Link DIR-657 review: A totally new router that remains familiar

CNET Editor Dong Ngo reviews the D-Link HD Media Router 1000 (model DIR-657) Wireless-N router.

Sleek and improved, the new D-Link HD Media Router 1000, model DIR-657, is a decent replacement for the previous model, the DIR-655.
Sleek and improved, the new D-Link HD Media Router 1000, model DIR-657, is a decent replacement for the previous model, the DIR-655. Dong Ngo/CNET

The HD Media Router 1000, model DIR-657, is the first in the Media router series that D-Link introduced at CES 2011, and it's a totally new router. At least on the outside.

Unlike previous routers, such as the DIR-655, DIR-825, and DIR-855, the DIR-657 doesn't have external antennas that stick up from its back anymore. Following the lead of Cisco and other vendors, D-Link now uses the internal antenna design, making the new router seem much more compact than previous models. The router's chassis is as sleek as many other new routers, and attracts fingerprints very easily.

The DIR-657 is the first we've seen that incorporates a card slot to host an SD card for its built-in media-streaming features. It's also the first from D-Link that offers the OpenDNS-based parental control feature that allows parents to keep tabs on their kids' access to the Internet from anywhere in the world.

On the inside, however, the DIR-657 is very similar to the previous model it's supposed to replace, the DIR-655. It's a Gigabit Ethernet single-band router that broadcasts Wireless-N on the 2.4GHz frequency. It offers guest networking and a USB port to be used with D-Link's SharePort technology, which enables any computer in the network to work with any USB device connected to it. The new router remains rather similar to its predecessor in terms of performance, too, with decent throughput speeds and relatively short range.

At a street price of just around $100, the DIR-657 should make a very good router for any homes. For more information, check out CNET's full review of the D-Link HD Media Router 1000.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.


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