X

D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router review: D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router

D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router

Dong_Ngo.jpg
Dong Ngo
Dong_Ngo.jpg

Dong Ngo

SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews

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.

See full bio
5 min read

Unveiled at CES 2012, the D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router is the first cloud-based wireless router I've reviewed. While Cisco released its app-enabled Linksys EA series a while ago, the cloud features of these routers are not available until later this year. That said, the DIR-605L's new feature, which allows users to manage their home network no matter where they are, proved to be a great extra in my trials.

D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router
7.9

D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router

The Good

The entry-level <b>D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router</b> is affordable and easily manageable via the Internet, using a browser or mobile apps. The networking device also offers decent performance and a stable wireless signal.

The Bad

Apart from the cloud-based novelty, the DIR-605L is a frills-free wireless router that lacks many common features found in others, such as Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band, the support for the IPv6, or guest networking.

The Bottom Line

The D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router makes a great solution for those who just need a simple wireless network to share the Internet access among devices. Its cloud-based management feature also proves to be a helpful and practical bonus.

Other than that, the new router is a dead-simple single-band wireless-N router that operates in the 2.4Ghz frequency. It has no other bells and whistles, lacking Gigabit Ethernet, USB ports, IPv6 support, and even guest networking, which is a feature available in almost all D-link's routers I've seen since 2009.

The new DIR-605L more than makes up for its spartan packaging, though, by offering decent performance and very stable wireless signal. On top of that, you shouldn't expect much from a networking device that's priced at just around $40. And for those who don't need a high-end wireless network, the DIR-605L is worth every penny.

Design and ease of use

The DIR-605L is tiny and yet quite bulky at the same time. That's because while the router itself is small, fitting right on a large hand, its two non-detachable antennae, which stick up from the back, are oversize, making the whole package a little disproportionate. Since all of the router's ports (including four LAN ports and one WAN port) as well as the power port are also on the same side as the antennae, you'll find the back of the router quite crowded to work with.

On the front, the router has the usual array of tiny LEDs that show the status of the port on the back as well as the Internet and wireless connections. On one side, there's a WPS button for quickly hooking up clients using Wi-Fi Protected Setup. The router comes with four rubber feet to keep it steady on a surface. Since the router is very light, it's a little hard for it to stay put, especially when there are multiple cables connected to it. The DIR-605L is not wall-mountable.

The DIR-605L doesn't come with setup software, but it's very easy to get it up and running anyway. All you have to do is plug it in the power, connect the router to an internet source, such as a broadband modem, via its WAN port, and connect a computer to one of its WAN port. After that, from the connected computer, point a browser, such as Firefox, to its default IP address, which is 192.168.0.1 and you'll be greeted with its Easy Setup page. Here you can change the router's wireless network, set the encryption key and so on. You can also use this page to create a mydlink account and associate the router with it. If you want to access other features of the router, click on the Manual Setup button at the bottom of the page and you'll find the common Web interface, similar to that of other D-link routers.

D-Link's mydlink portal is a free service that allows users to manage D-Link's Webcam. Starting with the DIR-605L, this portal is now also used to manage supported routers.

Once you have associated the router with a mydlink account, the router now becomes a cloud-based router.

Features

The term "cloud-based" means that the router can be access and managed via the Internet. Note that most, if not all routers, can be programmed to be accessible from the Internet, but the process is generally cumbersome for novice users. It's now much easier with the DIR-605L. For example, from any computer connected to the Internet, you can to go mydlink.com and login to go view the status and change the settings of the DIR-605L. Furthermore, there is also myDlink mobile app for iOS and Android devices that allows for doing similar things.

I tried this out with my iPhone 4 and via myDlink lite app, and I was able to do many things, such as such as changing the network's name, rebooting the router, viewing sites that connected, clients' visits, and so on. I could even quickly block or unblock connected clients.

The DIR-605L comes with a mobile app that allows users to monitor and manage their home network from anywhere in the world.
The DIR-605L comes with a mobile app that allows users to monitor and manage their home network from anywhere in the world. Dong Ngo/CNET

The app doesn't allow for accessing all of the rotuer's settings and features, however. For example, if you want to use the DIR-605L's parental control feature, you'll need to use its Web interface. Other common settings such as port forwarding, MAC filtering, and so on will also require the Web interface.

In all I found that the DIR-605L's cloud-based feature, while convenient and easy to use, doesn't provide enough depth and for now can't replace the router's Web interface that, by default, can only be accessed from within the local network. Nonetheless, this is an exciting and very promising step to a new approach that will potentially change the way we look at wireless routers.

Performance
The DIR-605L's performance met my expectations. Considering its price, it wasn't expecting too much and the router offered data rate about the average among its peers. In close range test, at 15 feet, it scored 41Mbps, at this speed, it'd take about 100 seconds to finish transmitting 500MB of data. When I increased the distance to 100 feet, the router now averaged around 37Mbps.

Despite its huge antennae, the DIR-605L's range wasn't as impressive as other recent routers from D-Link. In my trials, it capped at around 200 feet, which is quite good for a router of its size. Even better is the router's signal stability; it passed my 48-hour stress test without disconnecting once.

2.4Ghz Wireless-N Performance(in megabits per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Range
Throughput

D-Link DIR-825
40.4
57.44

Netgear WNDR3700
38.6
54.8

D-Link DIR-655
38.4
50.6

D-Link DIR-605L
36.8
40.8

Linksys WRT610n
28.8
35.76

Cisco RV110W
28.4
62.6

D-Link DIR-645
24.5
51.3

Service and support
D-Link backs the D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router with a one-year warranty, which is short but 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.

Conclusions
Affordable, reliable and simple, the D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router makes a very good router for a simple home network. Its cloud-based feature will also be the icing on the cake, a pleasant surprise for those who want to effectively monitor and manage their home network when on the go.

D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router
7.9

D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router

Score Breakdown

Setup 8Features 8Performance 7Support 10
laptop
Get the best price on everything
Shop your favorite products and we’ll find the best deal with a single click. Designed to make shopping easier.
Add CNET Shopping