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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch out for default security!
First of all let me say that this is a great little device. I'm a road warrior and this offers:

1. A super portable way to connect to hotel ethernet and turn that into a wifi hotspot. No more weak wireless signal and having to plug the laptop in!
2. A super easy way to share files from a USB drive to anyone within wifi range, great for meetings!
3...
Published on October 8, 2012 by MM

versus
63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
The manufacturer commented on the review below
3.0 out of 5 stars Some user interface problems, but does work
This review is significantly rewritten from my first, as I've discovered the solution to most of the issues I had with the DIR-506L. As I did in my review of the D-Link All-in-One Mobile Companion (DIR-505), I will update the review as I learn more. [Some content superseded by later text]

The DIR-506 and DIR-505 would seem, at first glance, very similar in...
Published on September 22, 2012 by S. Lionel


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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some user interface problems, but does work, September 22, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: D-Link SharePort Go Mobile Companion with Rechargeable Battery (DIR-506L) (Personal Computers)
This review is significantly rewritten from my first, as I've discovered the solution to most of the issues I had with the DIR-506L. As I did in my review of the D-Link All-in-One Mobile Companion (DIR-505), I will update the review as I learn more. [Some content superseded by later text]

The DIR-506 and DIR-505 would seem, at first glance, very similar in concept. The major difference being that the DIR-505 requires AC power and the DIR-506L has a rechargeable battery. Both claim to serve as a wireless router for an Ethernet connection, and as a wireless hotspot where connectivity is provided by some existing wireless service (such as a hotel, coffee shop, etc.) Both have a USB port where you can connect a USB flash drive (or externally powered USB hard drive) and let you access files on the USB drive and upload them. Both have a DLNA/uPNP streaming server for use with DLNA clients (for iOS devices I suggest Goodplayer.)

The DIR-506L is a slim, attractive white box with a swivel-out stand on the bottom. On the left is an Ethernet jack, the power switch, and a MiniUSB jack used for charging the device. A suitable cable is provided. On top is a standard USB jack for connecting external storage and a WiFi Protected Setup button - you use this if you want to connect to a router using WPS. There are no other controls, but there are three LEDs for USB activity, Internet connectivity and wireless activity. A short "getting started" leaflet is provided - I did see on the D-Link web site yesterday a full manual but it has apparently been removed - all there is is a "datasheet" PDF. Too bad, as the leaflet is insufficient. [Edit: the full manual appeared over the weekend.] Worse, the printed leaflet would just frustrate you if you tried to follow the advice to use the Quick Router Setup app. A revised PDF is now on D-Link's web site, but it too could be frustrating. I'll explain in a bit.

I expected the DIR-506L to be nearly identical to the DIR-505 in use - it isn't. The DIR-505 has a three-position switch for selecting router/repeater/hotspot modes. The DIR-506L lacks the switch and appears to have omitted the Repeater mode - no great loss, it's not something you'd typically use anyway. It's possible that Repeater mode is hidden in the menus - if I find it I will report on it.

A manual was not available when I first wrote this review, and now that it has been published, it may be a bit overwhelming to a new user. I will try to provide an introduction to it here. While the 506L does have many of the capabilities of a mid-line home router, I will focus on the three things you'd typically want a travel router for. But first do some setup at home before you go on the road.

Slide off the back cover of the DIR-506L and insert the provided Lithium-Ion battery. Replace the cover. Connect the provided USB cable to a source of USB power and plug the MiniUSB plug into the side of the DIR-506L and let it charge a few hours.

Once charged, turn it on using the slide switch above the power jack. On your wireless device, wait for a WiFi connection DIR-506L to appear. Connect to it - it doesn't require a password. If it doesn't connect right away, wait a minute and try again. Open a web browser and go to 192.168.0.1 . You can also use dlinkrouter.local (if you're on an Apple device) or just "dlinkrouter" otherwise. It should present the router login page. The User Name is already filled in as "admin", no password is required. Click Login.

Tap/click TOOLS in the strip that runs across the page. If needed, tap ADMIN in the left column. In the space for an administrator password, type in the password of your choosing. In the V2.11 firmware, this password must not be longer than eight characters - that will supposedly be lifted in an update. Tap Save Settings - the router will reboot.

Wait for it to come up again, reconnect and again go to the router login page. (You may have to reselect the DIR-506L SSID in your device's WiFi settings.) Log in using the password you set. Now tap SETUP in the top strip and then WIRELESS SETTINGS in the left column. Tap "Wireless Connection Setup Wizard". This is where you'll change the default of unsecured WiFi to a secured one. Tap Next to go through the screens. On Step 1, you'll name your wireless network. What I did here was pick a name different from my home wireless, but it might be convenient to just match your home wireless (as long as you didn't use the manufacturer's default!) On Step 2, select BEST to get WPA2 security. This is the only one you should be using, unless you have a decade-old device that doesn't support WPA2. On Step 3, select TKIP/AES for the key type (it isn't labeled as such) and then enter the WiFi password of your choosing. This should be at least eight characters - more is better. Tap Next and you'll be shown a summary screen with the settings - tap Save. The router will reboot again. When it's done, test that you can connect to it with the new wireless settings. If you mess up, you can reset the router to factory defaults by inserting a paperclip or pin in the small hole next to the larger USB jack on top of the unit. Hold it down until you see the router reboot.

Now let's take it on the road.

You're at a hotel or perhaps an office and you've got your tablet or other wireless device, but the only network connection available is an Ethernet cable. The Quick Reference Guide would have you run the QRS app, but you don't have to. In fact, I recommend against downloading the app at all. Just connect the Ethernet cable to the jack on the side of the DIR-506L and turn on the power. Wait for the WiFi to come on and connect to it. Log in to the admin page as above - it should take you to the STATUS page. Check that under WAN you have an IP address other than 0.0.0.0 listed - it may take a minute or two for this to show up. At this point you can go to some other unsecure (non-https) web page, say, weather.gov, and you'll be connected to wherever the Ethernet drop takes you. (At a hotel, usually to some sort of login page.)

You COULD use the Quick Router Setup (QRS) app to perform the above step, but the most likely result is that you'll get to the last page, click Connect, and it will just refresh the page, doing nothing. It does this when you haven't changed any settings - and for Ethernet access, you don't need to. This drove me crazy for a long time, and was responsible in part for my initial two-star critical review - but after getting off the phone with D-Link support a lightbulb went on and I realized what the problem was. It's the same thing that happens if you use the wizards in the admin page and no settings are changed. One amusing note - the QRS app tells you to connect "the included Ethernet cable" - but none is included with the DIR-506L (one is with the DIR-505.)

Here's another scenario - there is WiFi available, but you'd like to connect multiple devices. Sometimes there's a limit or a charge per device. No problem. Turn on the DIR-506L and wait for its WiFi to come up. Connect to it and log in to the admin page. Tap SETUP, and if necessary, INTERNET in the left column. Tap Internet Connection Setup Wizard. The first two steps, setting the admin password and time zone should be self-explanatory, but yes, you have to repeat the admin password you established earlier. Now the fun starts. Step 3, "Configure your Internet Connection" presents six choices with little explanation. Five of the six are generally not applicable when you're traveling - they're things you might use at home when connecting to a cable modem, etc. The only one you want here is Wi-Fi Hotspot. Select it and tap Next.

The next page scans the available WiFi connections and asks you to pick one. If you're at a hotel, etc., you may see multiple entries for the available wireless - usually on different channels. They are listed in descending order of signal strength, so pick the first one for your hotel (or whatever). It will also probably pick up other access points from people tethering phones, using MiFi boxes, etc. Ignore those. If you see one labeled "Free Public WiFi", do NOT pick it, as it isn't anything of the sort. When you have picked the one you want, tap Select. If the access point you have selected needs a password, you'll be prompted for it on the next page - enter it if needed, and tap Next. On the last screen it will say SETUP COMPLETE! and present a Connect button. Tap that. If all goes well, the router will reboot. But be aware - if all the settings you entered matched what you specified before, it will simply refresh the page. If that happens, then tap Cancel - as you should already be configured for the network. Once it reboots, I suggest logging in to the admin page and waiting for an IP address as above. Then connect to an unsecured (not https) web page to bring up the access point's login page, if any.

There are, of course, many more settings available in the admin panel - eventually I expect D-Link to release a full manual describing them. Most of them you would typically not touch for a travel router.

The third thing the DIR-506L can do is share files from a USB drive plugged into the port on the top. (The one on the side is for power only.) I was delighted to find that it does provide enough power to spin up some of the newer USB hard drives, but some others may need an external power source. Flash drives are fine. You don't need to be connected to an external network for this. Connect the drive to the DIR-506L. I suggest going to the Admin page and then select STORAGE on the left column of the SETUP tab and waiting for the drive to appear under "Number of Devices". When it does, you can access the drive in several different ways. You can use D-Link's SharePort app for iOS or Android, you can connect to the URL listed under Shareport Web Access Link (you may have to refresh the screen to show this), or if you are viewing media files (movies, etc.), use a DLNA client. On iOS, I recommend Goodplayer. On Windows or OS X, the free VLC player works well for this.

While I found that media access generally worked well, both the SharePort app and the web page can be very slow to recognize files and folders if there are a lot of files on the device. DLNA seems to work better.

The DIR-506L has one other thing it can do - it will charge a phone from its USB port. Don't expect to power a tablet or other power-hungry device there, but it can take the place of a smallish battery pack.

One thing it cannot do is upload (or download) multiple files at once, so it would not work to, say, provide a way to copy multiple digital photos from a tablet to a USB drive. If that along with streaming is your primary interest, consider CloudFTP (Black) makes Any USB Storage Device Wireless share data with Apple iPad, iPhone and the Cloud as an alternative. With a recent firmware update (and a card reader and USB hub), the CloudFTP can even automatically copy new photos from a memory card to a USB drive.

I noticed in the technical specifications that the DIR-506L has two antennae for WiFi - I found the signal from it quite strong.

I can now recommend the DIR-506L if the "use it anywhere" freedom the battery gives you is important. Otherwise, the DIR-505 is a less expensive and smaller solution without some of the aggravating issues of the 506L.

October 8, 2012

I am "on the road" with the DIR-506L and have found that some of what I wrote above isn't correct. The issue with the wizards failing to save settings and reboot the router is not due to the settings being the same - this happens no matter what. So here are some revised instructions.

To connect to a wireless hotspot, use Setup > Internet > Manual Internet Connection Setup. For Internet Connection Type, choose WiFi Hotspot. It will then scan for access points. Select (with the radio button) the one you want that has the best signal strength and then tap Select. If the access point needs a password, you will be prompted for it. Then tap Save Settings and the router will reboot.

To connect to an Ethernet cable, use Setup > Manual Internet Connection Setup, and choose DHCP as the connection type.You can tap "Clone" below by MAC Address, though it probably isn't necessary. Then tap Save Settings and the router will reboot.

I will say that, unlike the DIR-505, once you have the 506 configured it works very well, never rebooting on its own the way the 505 does for me. The Shareport feature, though, continues to be problematic, not showing any files even on a relatively empty drive.

April 9, 2013

D-Link released updated 2.13 firmware for the DIR-506L in February. The SharePort feature seems to work a bit better, but they didn't fix the two bugs that annoy me most: 1) The Network Configuration Wizard not working (see October update), 2) The admin password is limited to eight characters (it will accept more than eight when you set it, but if you try to log in with more than eight it will reject you. Just type the first eight. This is a classic Linux restriction that the DIR-505 doesn't have.)

Also, I did manage to discover a way to download multiple files in one operation - use a separate download manager such as the Firefox add-on DownThemAll. It's a user interface problem - the web page you are shown doesn't offer the option of selecting more than one file for download. However, my testing shows no issues with downloading or streaming files from more than one client at the same time.

All in all, though, the DIR-506L works pretty well. I note that D-Link has announced a successor product, the DIR-508L, but as of this writing Amazon doesn't sell it.
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The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Sep 26, 2012 9:16:57 AM PDT
Hi Steve,

We appreciate your thorough review of the DIR-506L. D-Link is dedicated to delivering high quality products and a great user experience, so we're sorry to read you had experienced some issues in using the SharePort Go device. From time to time D-Link updates our apps and device firmware to provide enhancements, support new devices and incorporate additional features. D-Link always recommends users download the latest app from the appropriate app store and check the D-Link website for any updates to the firmware.

Below are responses to your issues and comments from your review --

* We released a new version of the SharePort Mobile App which improved file indexing for content on USB drives and based on your review you have the latest version installed. However, it can take a few minutes for content on the USB drive to be indexed. The length of time depends on the amount of files and size of the USB drive. The SharePort device supports drive capacities of 500GB or less, which covers virtually any USB Flash Drive. If you are using a larger capacity drive, please try a smaller USB drive capacity.
* Please make sure your SharePort Go (DIR-506L) has the latest firmware installed. You can download the latest firmware (v 2.11) on the DIR-506L support page - www.dlink.com/dir506l.
* The Quick Router Setup (QRS) App is designed to configure the device (as well as other D-Link Cloud Routers) for Router functionality. Please stay tuned for an additional version that will support multi-mode setup, including Wi-Fi Hotspot.
* The current firmware supports admin passwords up to 8 characters. A future firmware will extend the password length to 16 characters.
* We have posted a new Quick Install Guide to the SharePort Go (DIR-506L) support page.

If you have additional comments or difficulties, you can reach our D-Link Customer Service at 1 (877)-453-5465.

Sincerely,

D-Link Product Marketing
 
 

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch out for default security!, October 8, 2012
This review is from: D-Link SharePort Go Mobile Companion with Rechargeable Battery (DIR-506L) (Personal Computers)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First of all let me say that this is a great little device. I'm a road warrior and this offers:

1. A super portable way to connect to hotel ethernet and turn that into a wifi hotspot. No more weak wireless signal and having to plug the laptop in!
2. A super easy way to share files from a USB drive to anyone within wifi range, great for meetings!
3. Charge your smartphone off the battery! Awesome when you're stuck in the airport forever and your cell is going to die from too much netflix. ;)
4. It's a full featured wireless router including url filtering, mac filtering, port forwarding, bridging and so on. Kudos to dlink for not making it limited despite it's intended use.

It really is impressive given it's size, this has instantly become part of my travelling kit. I gave it 4 stars, what kept it from being 5? I'm an infosec pro by trade and it just bugs me that:

1. The default wifi security is open, meaning when joe blow user boots this thing up anyone can jump on and use it.
2. The default SSID identifies the manufacturer and model, making it really easy for anyone to google and find out the default username and password.
3. Not that they need to, because the default admin user is 'admin' with NO PASSWORD. Literally the first thing hackers try when password guessing on consumer devices, haha!
2. USB storage sharing is on by default. You need a username and password to access it at least, good think there is a premade account called 'guest' with the password guest. Seriously dlink?
3. DLNA media server is active by default. Since the default security is none that means free streaming for everyone who cares to do so, woohoo!

Yeah, a reasonably security savvy person knows to modify them. The issue with consumer devices is that many users are not security savvy. Like many manufacturers dlink has made an attempt to make the device as close to 'turn it on and go' as possible. But in doing so they've made some really bad judgement calls when it comes to security. A better way to go is to have the device plug in for the first power on and run a short setup program setting security to WPA2 PSK by default, require a change of admin password, ask if sharing should be turned on and axe the guest/guest account, etc...

I know dlink reads these reviews and responds. If I've misread any setting or mispoken about any of the security foibles I'll happily edit my review. I think it's an awesome tech toy, especially for travel. Just needs a few security tweaks initially to get it right!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars D-Link's killer Shareport Go moves mp3s, files, avis and boosts wifi signals!, October 2, 2012
By 
This review is from: D-Link SharePort Go Mobile Companion with Rechargeable Battery (DIR-506L) (Personal Computers)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
WOW! Turn any internet connection into a Wi-Fi hotspot! Rechargable, D-Link's sweet, tiny SHAREPORT is a Pocket Cloud Router that puts any mobile gadget into the wifi loop... fast, and simultaneously. Letting you store, play or darn near anything possible, plus is a battery is AWESOME.
Built for "road warriors" and for hotel weak wifi, well, using the Shareport for our iPad and our iphones to move files and watch video is very smart, particularly when our wifi connection is miserable. No more. THAT just got replaced by the Shareport.
Set up is not that big a deal (takes a bit of concentration, but if we could do it, you can do it); the potential is terrific. You'll find yourself watching movies and shows on the run, thanks to the ability to move, view and share anything.
Exceeded my desire to just speed my wifi up, and the list of stuff it does just keeps growing. For about a hundred bucks, you'll boost your connectivity and USE DEVICES like you never thought possible. Buy it to connect; use it for a ton of storage and serious work back-ups... anywhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful when traveling., October 14, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: D-Link SharePort Go Mobile Companion with Rechargeable Battery (DIR-506L) (Personal Computers)
I picked this up as a travel companion to share hotel internet and wifi and it has served us well. I like that you can charge it to run on an internal battery. I think I heard that it could even be used to charge other devices. I have yet to try that though.

We found the DIR-506L particularly useful connecting an Apple TV in a hotel room. Since the Apple TV doesn't have a web interface, it's unable to connect to hotel wifi and authenticate a connection (e.g., type in hotel room and code). With the DIR-506L, we can use a smart phone, tablet or computer to connect to the hotel wifi and also provide a way for the Apple TV to connect to the internet.

I was on the fence for awhile debating on spending the money for this little guy but glad I did. Per the above mentions, it has provided us some welcome conveniences.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Geekbeat TV, June 30, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: D-Link SharePort Go Mobile Companion with Rechargeable Battery (DIR-506L) (Personal Computers)
Bought it after review on podcast Geekbeat. It works extending the range of wifi in RV park where we stayed at.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice portable router in your pocket., December 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: D-Link SharePort Go Mobile Companion with Rechargeable Battery (DIR-506L) (Personal Computers)
I bought this item after seeing an extensive video review on Geekbeat.tv. I decided to purchase this since I was going to be traveling overseas, and was not sure what kind of internet options I would have. With the help of the video review from John Pozadzides I made sure that I went through all of the necessary settings and made sure I had a secure SSID before I left.
I have seen other reviews that remarked about the lack of security out of the box. I don't really mind, even though I am somewhat savvy when it comes to security settings, I liked having the defaults set as simple as possible so I could make sure it was working properly.
This model can run on its own battery, and I found that it would run for a good 8-10 hours before needing to be charged. I normally prefer it to remain plugged in, but when outlets at some hotels are hard to find, I am glad it has a battery. Unfortunately I wasn't able to test the internet connectivity of it while I was away since there were many internet issues. However, I did use it as part of an ad-hoc network within our apartment so my wife and I could access files on shared folders on our laptops.
The next long trip we take this will go along again to be an extra backup
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love my DIR 506L so much that i bought two ..., December 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: D-Link SharePort Go Mobile Companion with Rechargeable Battery (DIR-506L) (Personal Computers)
I love my DIR 506L so much that i bought two of them!! I was able to set up the one a repeater with out any problems. Then i came into a snag when i was setting up the other one a router. So i called D-Link customer support got a hold of Ronnel (id ar004624) he was very nice any knew what he was doing and walked me through the steps with total ease. The phone call and setup of the DIR-506L lasted for about 15mins. My customer support experiences was excellent I would recommend there product line to anyone. In the near future i will be buying a few more of these DIR-506L as gifts.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars With a little refining, it could be excellent, December 5, 2012
This review is from: D-Link SharePort Go Mobile Companion with Rechargeable Battery (DIR-506L) (Personal Computers)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My husband does a good bit of traveling, so there was a draw to this type of device. This review is based upon his findings while using it.

I am not technologically challenged, but I still found the initial setup to be difficult. The instructions received with the device were confusing at times. Once the device was set up, I found that it worked well with wifi as well as wired to produce it's own wifi signal for all types of devices. I appreciated the fact that it supports encryption.

I found the device to be difficult to transition between internet sources if travelling; constant logging into DLink, changing settings. It was also difficult to transition between setups (repeater, media mode).

An app would be awesome to make interface much more user friendly.

The device only accepts FATS 32 format on drive which is not mentioned anywhere in instructions. I found this out through trial and error.

On the positive side, the device works well when set up. It's easy to connect to and provides sufficient signal for hotel room size setup. The battery life is good. It's a huge advantage to be able unplug and then recharge with a common mini-usb end.

Overall, I was pleased with the device even with some of the difficulties that I initially had. With a little refining, it would be an excellent device.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Nice idea, portable and would have been perfect for ..., November 8, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: D-Link SharePort Go Mobile Companion with Rechargeable Battery (DIR-506L) (Personal Computers)
Nice idea, portable and would have been perfect for my situation, but the app does not function with iOS 8.1. Returned the item after working with the tech support folks for 3 days. They were helpful and they narrowed the issue down to iOS 8.1. Told me I'd have to wait for the app to be updated. Sorry, couldn't wait. If you have iOS 8.1 make sure the app has been updated before you buy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars OR get this product which has a very good built in firewall, July 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: D-Link SharePort Go Mobile Companion with Rechargeable Battery (DIR-506L) (Personal Computers)
First - you may not need this if you properly set up your firewall. However, if you use your laptop / tablet in a home or business network, you may have configured your firewall to allow sharing of anyone on the attached network. To stay with just the firewall, turn sharing off when you leave home / business.
OR get this product which has a very good built in firewall. Lots of other good features such as sharing / extending a hot spot. No power supply needed - it charges thru a USB cable.
Issue with all such products: Access points / routers come configured as 192.168.0.1 so you need to set this one up with a different gateway / AP address, such as 192.168.5.1 so there is no conflict between this and the router on the network you are attaching to.
Be aware that this does not work on the 5 ghz band (the "AP" stuff) just your old "n" and "g" bands. But most devices out there don't work on AP yet anyway.
This unit actually can do more than many of the "static" access points / routers out there.
Makes a good Christmas present for your favorite business wanderer.
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