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on July 23, 2012
In my capacity as IT admin, general geek, and most importantly family tech support rep, I make lots of recommendations for tech purchasing. So when both my parents and myself needed new routers to replace aging 802.11g routers, I went to work researching. Long story short -- this router from Dlink, the 605L, is extremely reliable and has excellent range, which are the most important criteria for home users.

Solid routers are notoriously difficult to find/recommend. You may have noticed that even the highest-rated routers on Amazon (such as the Cisco-Linksys e4200v2 and the Asus Dark Knight n66u) both have as many as 15-30% 1 and 2-star reviews! Why is there so much divergence in opinion? For one, networking equipment performance varies depending on location installed, and the experience of the installer. Choosing the right place to put the router, upgrading to the most stable firmware, and choosing the right channel/band/bandwidth are just as important as the device itself.

In my personal research I narrowed the field down to 4 models: two expensive, feature-rich models (the above-mentioned linksys and asus), capable of hard-drive/printer sharing, gigabit switch ports, and three-stream dual-band operation for maximum bandwidth, and two inexpensive but reliable, stable, and easily configured models (this model, Dlink 605L, and the linksys-cisco e3200). If the advanced features I just mentioned don't interest you, the cheaper models are all you need -- and at less than forty dollars, the 605L (this router) is a clear winner. (What about dual-band 2.4/5Ghz vs single-band 2.4Ghz operation of this router? In most locations, even though there is more traffic on the 2.4ghz band, it usually has better range. Bandwidth on the 5ghz channel tends to be higher but only at close to medium range. For most, 2.4ghz works just fine and supports the most devices.)

I settled on the 605L and bought it two weeks ago, setting it up in a relatively central location in a medium-sized single story house. In that time it has operated reliably with zero connection drops or required resets since I plugged it in 2 weeks ago, which is a remarkable feat in and of itself. Also, it has excellent range; I would estimate the wireless range is in the 65-75th percentile for home routers and is comparable to the range of most $60-80 routers. My parents' furthest device is about 40 feet away with 4 walls in between, and it gets about 50% signal which is enough for ~50Mbit of bandwidth (half of what you get when you plug in to the 100Mbit ports on back of the router, of which there are 4). Since most home internet connections are less than 25Mbit, this is more than sufficient for 99% of people who might consider this router. From the same location, I was able to do a file transfer between two computers (the other plugged into the router directly) at a rate of 1GB/2.5 min, which is reasonably fast (about 7-11MB/s).

Most important for novices is the easy setup interface. After plugging the device into your modem and a computer for initial setup with ethernet cables, typing in 192.168.0.1 takes you right to the web-based setup interface (admin/). You start with the simple setup wizard -- allowing you to set up your basic ISP settings and your desired WiFi name/password -- and for most people this is all they will need to setup and the router's default settings will take care of the rest. For advanced users, the manual settings provide a lot of additional control, such as parental controls, access lists, firewall tweaking, 40mhz band option, QoS settings, etc. But both routers I purchased were connected to the internet and all devices (asus laptop, mac mini, smart tv, roku, ipad, printer) with the basic setup option within 5 minutes.

The 'cloud' features allow you to view/block connected devices and reboot the router from a website (mydlink.com), as well as seeing your current internet bandwidth use (an instantaneous poll of your current use -- not cumulative use). Handy for family techs.

For its reliability, range, and simplicity, this is an excellent choice. (Other options under a hundred dollars to consider might be the linksys-cisco e3200 and apple's 2012 model airport express.

Feel free to ask questions in comments.

Tech specs:
CPU: Realtek RTL8196C 5 port 10/100 switch & 32 bit RISC CPU SoC
Switch: Realtek RTL8196C
RAM: 32 MB
Flash: 4 MB
Radio: Realtek RTL8192CE 802.11b/g/n 2T2R WLAN SoC

------------
An update, 7-nov-2012:
I have been running this router since purchase months ago without restarting once due to connection issue! This is a small miracle. I continue to highly recommend this router, esp now.

Competitive update:
Asus has announced a soon to be available router, model RT-N12HP (google search if curious) that has huge 9dBi amplified antennas specifically designed for implementations where maximum range is required. If you have a largish area to cover, this router might be a better choice, though the release date hasn't been announced yet.

A response to a comment question:
I did a stress test where I ran a Netflix video, Skype call, iPad online game, a large file download, and a 4GB local transfer from a wired to WiFi computer simultaneously; the local network was only marginally affected by the Internet traffic, and I was able to determine using a network monitoring tool that the Netflix stream was using half of our internet bandwidth, and the other devices split the rest. This is because the QoS will prioritize rich media and VoIP over things like downloads. This seems to me to be optimal behavior, where bandwidth is split rather than gobbled up by one device.
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on July 11, 2013
I just spend over TWO HOURS on the phone with D Link. It took me an hour to get a person to talk to...
They just issued me an RMA number. Now I will be without a router for several weeks until I jump through all their hoops to have them send me a new one. This sucks!

Also, I never did access any of this routers features.
...and I thought my Linksys E3200 router ($140) was bad.
At least the D Link was only $34.

OH, one more thing, after posting the above last night...

I just noticed they charged $59.99 to my credit card for the return of their crappy, broken product!! Unbelievable!.
After spending two hours on the phone with tech support to determine the router was faulty, I was sent instructions on how to return. As part of the "RMA" process, I was forced to enter my credit card. WTF!? It stated I would be charged if all of the contents were not included (ie, charger, install CD, etc.) in the return. However, they charged the full price instantly...AND I ONLY PAID $34 FOR THE THING TO BEGIN WITH. They charged me $60. So, now I have almost $100 in a broken router that I am no longer in possession of...this is insane!
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on September 27, 2012
I am a Comcast performance Internet user. We used to rent a modem from Comcast and use an old linksys 802.11.b wireless router. The Internet speed is extremely slow, both upload and download speed <1M. Sometimes it's even stuck wile the signal strength looks fine. I bought a Motorola cable modem 3.0 and this dlink wireless router. The cable modem arrived earlier than dlink cloud router. I replaced it with the old Comcast cable modem. Our Internet speed improved. The download and upload speed both are around 3M for iPad 2, but the speed is still very slow for iPad 3 and old notebook (about 1M).I don't know the reason. After the dlink cloud router arrived, our Internet totally changed. The download speed reaches 20M, upload speed above 3M. The set up is very easy. I just unplug all the devices( cable modem and other devices connected to the router), replace the router, plug all the devices from lower grade device to higher grade device one by one and wait for several minutes. Then I try to connect dlink wireless using iPad. Instructions appear and step by step I complete password set up etc. You can also change wireless name and password by connect to 192.168.0.1. The initial user name is admin and password is blank. Log in and change your set up. The only problem is that you can not use linksys as your wireless name. I tried that and problems occurred. I reset the modem and the router works ok again. The Internet speed test is completed by an iPad application speedtesthd.
The rang of the router is also good. We live in 2300 sq feet two stories house. The modem and dlink router are in the corner of first floor. Signals are strong enough in anywhere of second floor. In some place of the basement the iPad can also catch signals.
I only have these new devices for less than 10 days.
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on July 29, 2012
I really like this router. I had a problem setting this up, I called them and they were very patient and walked me through it. It had something to do with IP address, had comflicting problems. I have had no problems with it since. It will carry all through our house, I have 4 computers and a kindle and a tablet hooked to it and can use all at the same time. Another great product from D-Link.
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on July 24, 2012
We purchased this as a replacement for our older Belkin G unit which was choking on our new Samsung SmartTV. Our new Galaxy cellphones were also not able to receive the WIFI signals from the Belkin unit that our old Palm Pres handled without issue. For these reasons we bought this basic D-Link router, and so far we are pleased. The problems with the Samsung SmartTV disappeared, and the WIFI signal strength increased to workable levels. We have not used the "cloud" feature but our needs are very basic. The only drawback seems to be the very long antennae but this is a minor blemish on a fine product.
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on December 8, 2012
This is good basic router; an excellent value for most home networks.

It is relatively easy to set up using either the manual method or the automated method that the included instructions recommend. We've only been using it for a couple of days so far, but no dropping or intermittent connection issues for our 11 devices. It is not dual-band, which isn't really an issue for us, and it does NOT have IPV6, which some descriptions indicated it did have. That's not really a problem for most home networks at this point, but it could be a problem in the future if / when we run out of IPV4 addresses for stuff... At ~$40, it's a solid, reliable option for a basic home router.

The caveats:
- The 'my dlink' service touted by dlink as a way to (remotely, if you prefer) manage your connections is not very robust. The options to configure the router are minimal at best; the connections list is extremely slow to respond to requests to refresh it, and the 'blocking' capability requires that you know the MAC addresses of all the devices in your network- which might be easy for some people, but isn't very intuitive. It identified one of our Android ereaders as a 'suspect' device and recommended blocking it with no other information except a MAC.. It seems to drop some connections from the displayed list of connected devices without explanation or reason, even though I've physically verified the devices are still connected to the network.
The 'my dlink' service also allows you to connect remotely using an Android device...which seems to me to be inherently full of security problems that I'd personally prefer to avoid.

- The speed of the router is just "OK". It's fine for most networks in a smaller household, but it is nowhere near the specs listed on the box. Several organizations' testing has verified this.

- You can't remove the dual antennas and add bigger/better ones to increase the gain; they are large and permanently fixed to the router (whatever happened to those nice 'screw on/off' connections?).

Hope that helps!
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on August 28, 2013
Called D-link with questions and put on hold for one hour so gave up. Emailed customer support with questions- immediately answered "thanks for your question" but never got an answer. Called next day and put on hold 45 minutes. I gave up and returned router.
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on February 3, 2014
I have been using home routers since the first Linksys where it was supported by a single office in Irvine, CA. This router was incredibly easy to setup and has good features. The only problem is the fact that over time it has terrible performance. It will run great from boot, but handles DOS attacks poorly. It does block them, but at the cost of overall performance. Something I never had issues with when using Linksys and Netgear. I am sure we could develop a config to solve this issue, but why would I want to spend hours on something I could replace and fix in minutes.
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on January 1, 2013
I bought this to replace an old Netgear router, but it worked much worse than the old Netgear. Wouldn't connect to my laptop at all until I updated the laptop wireless card driver. As for my desktop computer, it would only connect occasionally. And both computers worked just fine with the old Netgear. Got rid of the Dlink and replaced it with a no-name brand router, and the no-name brand one worked with no problems at all and was also much faster than the old Dlink when it did work (no-name connected at 150 Mbps, while the Dlink only connected at 75 Mbps). The settings used for all 3 routers were exactly the same; WPA2 security.
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on June 9, 2014
I knew that opinion was split, but I took a chance, and I lost. Although setup was easy, the device could not maintain a steady internet connection over wifi. If you plugged in to the back, it acted as a fine router, but it would just randomly drop the wifi connection. I replaced it with a Linksys router and it worked fine. I was running it off a Time Warner router in Dayton OH, and the Time Warner router had the same default IP address as this did, which might have been part of the problem, but even after I changed the device's IP address, it still dropped the signal... if you are looking to install off a Time Warner router, you should probably go another way.
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