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D-Link DFL-300 VPN Router

2003-04-29 (updated: 2014-08-17) by

I bought this high end D-link DFL-300 Router in October for about $340.00. It offers one of the more complete solutions that D-Link offers. I am an IT consultant and I base a large part of my business out of my home. I liked the ability to to set up an IPSec VPN Tunnel and it offered many other features that I also found attractive. I received it and set it up. Things were going well. I was able to set up the VPN with no sweat. I checked and upgraded the router to the latest available firmware. I was set (or so I thought).

Now, I run an FTP server and I open up ports 20-21 whan I am going out on a job or going out of town so that I will be able to send and retrieve files I need. I set up the router to point to my server's local IP from the WAN. I found that no matter what I did, I could not open any port what so ever. Now I admit that I am CCNA and am used to working the Cisco IOS but I was sure that I had set up all of the policies correctly. I called the D-link support line and soon found out that their level 1 and level 2 tech support could not handle calls about the DFL-300. They gave me another number to call. At first they gave me a toll number. After a little prodding I was able to get a toll free out of them. After 1 hour on hold I gave up as the on hold recording was about 40 seconds long and played in an endless loop. Talk about torture. I tried my luck about three days later. Once again I was on hold. I held for 1 1/2 hours and finally gave up. After about a week I got brave and attempted another call. Finally after about 15 minutes I was able to speak to a live person. After about 1 hour of diagnosing and what not it was determined that the unit was defective and he gave me an RMA number.

After two weeks I receives the replacement unit. Unpacked it and set it up. I was wise this time and immediately tried to open ports 20-21, 80, and several others. Guess what? No joy. Same issue I was having before. Just for the record, I had brought home a Cisco from a client and set it up and had no problem opening what ever port I pleased. I am hooked up to cable broadband that dynamically assigns IP addresses. I was using a dynamic DNS service to access my server. Well to say the least I was quite disappointed. I did not even mess with it as I had several large jobs I was working on at the time. Finally I called up the direct support number. After finally getting through (It took two calls to accomplish this) I was told that once again the router was defective.

I kindly asked the support tech if there any known issues with this router as It would be hard to believe that I was just unlucky enough to receive two defective routers. He told me that he was not aware of any. I asked him to kindly ask around and see if there was anyone else who had the same issues and what the resolution was. I think to humor me he agreed. I was called back an hour or so later and he found out that the DFL-300 seems to be exibiting this interesting problem on systems with dynamically assigned IPs. the solution for the problem was an unpublished firmware upgrade.

According to D-Link's web site the latest firmware upgrade is version 2.25. They e-mailed me firmware that was 2.33. It has many additional features on it that are not on the 2.25 firmware. At any rate I upgraded the firmware and have not had a bit of problems since.

I am only relaying my experience in such a long winded fashion as I am sure that there has to be others out there with the same problem. Nowhere does D-Link reference this problem and as I found out not too many tech support personnel are aware if it either. Kind of a poor way to handle a problem if you ask me ans there were many more hoops I had to jump through to get all of this done.

That about wraps up the tale of the D-Link.


Todd Hargis

  User Reviews/Comments:
by anonymous - 2008-01-24 04:41
Thanks for the write up Todd. It seems most if not all the low cost companies have very bad support. I like your write up because I dont feel alone in what's happening. - tech support seems to only know how to handle simple troubles not the complex ones.
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