Friday, 04 December 2015 08:14

D-Link portable router ideal for holiday sharing (review)

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Going on hols? This portable router may be the answer to solving the kid’s boredom as you can share 3G/4G, Wi-Fi, or Ethernet connection with multiple computers, smartphones and tablets.

D-Link’s AC750 portable travel router DIR-510L allows you to share broadband while its inbuilt battery can charge a USB device and access content from a USB hard disk or flash drive – kind of the Swiss Army Router.

Let’s look at the connectivity first – assume that you have multiple computer devices at the other end.

  • From a cable or ADSL modem via Ethernet cable (it is not a modem)
  • From a hotel Ethernet plug in your room
  • From a Wi-Fi hot spot in your hotel room or office
  • From your smartphone tethered hotspot
  • From 3/4G USB adaptor
  • From a public Wi-Fi hotspot in a café especially because of the battery operation

It has two USB 2.0 ports – one provides 1A and the other 500mA. You can use these to charge a device or to plug in a compatible USB hard disk or flash drive. 1A will drive most self-powered devices but will be slower to charge a tablet or smartphone that may require 2A for faster charging.

It is charged/powered by a handy 2A micro-USB charger that you can use on other devices. It has a 4000mAh battery that should give at least four hours use. It has a WPS button to connect devices or you can use the older password method. It has indicator LED for charge and internet state.

It is a dual band 2.4GHz (2 x 150 = 300Mbps) and 5GHz (433Mbps) router that can be used in three modes – as a broadband router, as a mobile router, and as a Wi-Fi hot spot. Its speed won’t rock you but it is around two to three times faster than any rival - the fastest travel router I have tested. You buy it for its sharing ability. It is great up to about 20 metres – enough to get out to the pool or garden. You can even set up a guest network that is throttled – for the kids.

It has a firewall, UpNP and IPv6 support.

Setup is easy via a web browser (http://dlinkrouter.local) or D-Link provide mydlink SharePort app for Android and iOS. This also allows for file access to connected storage, to act as a DLNA server, and remote access to files on presumably storage device connected to a D-Link router at home.

It weights 154g, it is 140x59x16mm in size and will operate in 0° temperatures. While it feels study I would be hesitant to drop it.

D-Link does not say how may devices can be attached – theoretically there is no limit but I think 4-8 sharing what could be a slow original internet connection, is about optimal.

Price and availability

RRP is $199.95 online from the D-Link shop or major retailers although it is also available via many computer stores so you may be able to bag a bargain.

Conclusion

I am definitely going to take one on my Xmas travels to satisfy the need of several smart devices! Most now support dual band so the 5GHz band is the best one to connect to – and has the fastest and longest range.

But what about the rest of the year? You can use it as a Wi-Fi repeater to extend your home router’s range. In an office environment like a boardroom you can set up a guest network to keep users off the corporate network. Or in a car you can access a 3G/4G connection and share that.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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