We tried the SharePort USB port with multiple devices, including printers and external hard drives, and it worked as intended. We found that you can still share the attached USB device with multiple computers if you just share it from the one computer that has control over it, the same way you would share a folder or a computer on that computer. This seems to be a workaround to spare you from having to install SNU on multiple computers. However, this also means the host computer has to be on for the device to be available to the rest of the network.
Other than that, the DIR-655 offers numerous network features found in other Wireless-N routers from D-Link and a very well-organized Web interface. You can set up manual port forwarding--where you map information coming to certain ports to a certain computer in the network--or use the router's preset settings for different applications and services such as instant-messaging software, BitTorrent, IP phone software, virtual servers, and so on.
It offers a comprehensive set of parental control tools including Network Filter, Access Control, Web Site Filter, and Inbound Control. These tools allow you to control the network and limit access to the Internet according to specific criteria; for example, you can prevent a particular computer from accessing adult Web sites, or you can only allow it to run IM programs during certain periods of time. The router also has an easily customizable QoS feature that helps you prioritize your Internet and network traffic for different services.
Like other new high-end routers from D-Link, the DIR-655 comes with an interesting and useful feature called Guest Zone, which lets you create a separate wireless network to be used by guests or the public. Any wireless client connected to these guest networks gets access to the Internet but not your local LAN resources.
We tested and stacked the DIR-655 against recent routers and it fared really well. Though not the fastest, it is among the top five in terms of throughput performance.
In a close-range throughput test, the DIR-655 scored 50.6Mbps, significantly faster than the Apple Time Capsule, which scored 32.2MBps, but noticeably slower than the TrendNet TEW-691GR's score of 70.7Mbps. At this speed, the D-Link can finish transmitting 500MB of data in less than 80 seconds.
In the long-range test, where the router was put 100 feet away from the client, the D-Link's throughput reduced to 38.4Mbps. In the mixed-mode test, where the router was set to work with both N and pre-N clients, it registered 41.4Mbps.
The router offered decent range and was able to hold a steady connection from up to 270 feet away in our testing facility. Note, however, that 100 feet or less is the optimal distance if you want to stream content, especially hi-def movies, over the wireless connection.
The DIR-655 impressed us with its signal stability. It passed our 48-hour stress test without a hitch. During this time the router was set to transfer a large amount of data back and forth between multiple clients. It didn't disconnect once.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Service and support
D-Link backs the DIR-655 with a one-year warranty, which is standard for most home routers. At the company's Web site, you will find a wealth of support information including downloads, FAQs, and a searchable knowledge base. You can also seek help through the company's toll-free technical support phone line, which is available 24-7. We tried the number listed on the Web site and, within less than 10 minutes, were able to get a hold of a support representative, who was friendly and seemed to know the product well.