D-Link DI-524 Wireless Router
D-Link was founded in 1986, and since then has catered to both consumer and SOHO users. D-Link is already a well known name in the home networking market, however in the past D-Link products have been considered inferior to those of their competitors such as Linksys (Cisco) and Netgear (Bay Networks). Recently this stigma has begun to disappear with D-Link taking a large portion of the home and SOHO markets. The D-Link DI-524 is one of the company's new series of Wireless-G routers, offering transfer speeds of up to 54Mbps and WPA encryption.
In the Box
- D-Link Users Manual and Software CD
VPN Pass Through/Multi-Sessions
Advanced Firewall Features
Wireless Operating Range**
Wireless Frequency Range
Wireless Transmit Power
External Antenna Type
The DI-524 supports the PPTP WAN addressing scheme (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol, a new technology for creating Virtual Private Networks VPNs) which is a nice non-standard feature.
I am writing this review after using the product for approximately 2 months. I will start with an examination of the user interface and configuration options:
As you can see this model offers the standard Wizard feature offered by D-Link.
Certain DSL providers in Canada such as Telus restrict the connection to a single computers MAC address. The clone MAC address feature on this router is extremely useful to users who have an ISP with this policy as it will save you a phone call to their Customer Service department.
The next screen presented by the wizard is the wireless SSID (Service Set Identifier the public name of your wireless network) configuration page. Here you can set the SSID and channel of the device.
After this configuration you are prompted to set up encryption, and can enter a WEP encryption key to secure your wireless network.
This concludes the wizard setup and should satisfy most home users; however, for those of us that like to set up every little detail there are a few more pages of advanced configuration. I will start with the advanced tab.
Here you are presented with basic virtual server configuration, which is used to give WAN users access to LAN services.
The next pane is the Application tab where simple port forwarding rules can be set for applications that need multiple connections.
You can configure port ranges to be allowed or disallowed for a range of IP addresses, and also dictate traffic source and destination. Another useful feature is the option to limit traffic based on time of day if for instance you wish to block all Bittorrent ports overnight.
The DI-524 offers standard DMZ configuration, however it does offer an interesting panel for changing wireless performance settings:
A number of interesting settings can be changed fron this page, but I will only focus on antenna power, as the remaining features are beyond my needs and knowledge to explain appropriately. You can set the antenna power to 100, 50, 25, or 12.5%. This is useful for users who are concerned with broadcasting inside an apartment building and wish to limit the range of the device.
Under the Tools tab the user is presented with the option to change the password, set up remote management, and upgrade the firmware. Another feature that has been included in this product and is becoming more popular is the ability to save or load configuration settings on your computer from the System pane.
Finally back under the home tab you can access wireless settings. Here you can enable or disable WEP and WPA encryption, (Note that WPA cannot be enabled from the wizard with the current firmware) set the SSID, and set up a WEP key or configure WPA radius servers.
That concludes the interface portion of the review, now on to some numbers.
I tested internet throughput both with and without the router, and as you can see, the difference is negligible:
I highly recommend enabling WEP despite the speed decrease it poses (please see Tom Bouncer Blakelys review of the SMC 7004AWBR as he evaluates these differences).
D-Link has put out a solid product in the DI-524. In the time I have used it I have had to reboot it once during heavy file transfer. The configuration options are more than adequate for your average user and the product is extremely easy to configure. Selling for under $50.00 I have to recommend this router as a great performer for its price. It offers remarkable stability compared to other products I have owned and with a solid management interface it is a safe choice for the less technically inclined.
Rating: 9 out of 10
by Eddie Z - 2006-01-08 17:43
by John - 2006-02-08 10:24
by anonymous - 2006-03-12 11:28
by craigchambers - 2007-03-22 07:17
Caveat emptor -
If you're looking for something with full WPA support, look elsewhere. I have no problems with my Cisco access point, but having bought this to do some testing, I find that it doesn't make any attempt to speak with the radius server.
The tech support have not answered my query in 3 months regarding this - useless.
by Jeff - 2007-04-07 10:36
I have been using a DI-524 for about 3 1/2 years now and have been very pleased with the ease of installation as well as it's continued performance. I purchased it to set up a home wireless for when my daughter brings her destop home from college. Both our computers have D-link wirless cards plus I have added a D-Link DWL-710 range extender so I could use my laptop anywhere in the house or yard (Router is in the basement.)
While I don't understand all the different types of encryption for security, I do have my network secured. Initially it was only WEP 64 bit, but I've moved up to the 128 bit encryption. All of this was easlily accomplished both on the router and the range extender.
One of the reasons I bought the router originally was 1. the price and 2. the availability of the range extender.
Overall, a good easy to use, even for a beginner, product.
by chumly - 2007-04-22 08:12
While I have stayed away from WEP and opted for MAC address filtering and turning off broadcast of network and DHCP this gives me a seure network. I like the router, easy to use.
I stayed away from WEP because I install many operating systems and it is a pain to set up wep everytime. I have used this router for 3 years with no problems. The only times i have had to reboot is when I am having trouble with my cable modem.
by hocco - 2007-06-09 08:17
by anonymous - 2007-06-12 02:54
by anonymous - 2007-06-12 15:40
To counterpoint some of the early comments. Linksys may have a few products that work, but you are making a mistake to buy "new" or "cutting edge" products from them. Their customer service stinks, and they release defective products without proper testing or support. I've not heard similar complaints concerning D-link.
by Gil13 - 2007-10-06 06:41
by anonymous - 2007-12-17 17:38
Earlier, someone wrote:
"While I have stayed away from WEP and opted for MAC address filtering and turning off broadcast of network and DHCP this gives me a seure network."
This is absolutely incorrect - turning off SSID broadcasting and using MAC address filtering will NOT give you a secure network. Actually, neither will WEP. At a minimum use WPA with a long Pre Shared Key.
by eXtreM3 - 2008-04-20 04:48
Hello i have a problem with the Dlink DI 524 Wireless router... It is a good product, but after a random period of time , the router goes in someking of stanby mode or... I don't know.. It just disconnects from my broadband internet protocol and I lose my conection... The interesting thing is that it doesen't disconnect when there is no traffic, exactley the opposite, when I'm playing or when downloading or just chatting...why? If u can help , please post a reply, thnx.
by anonymous - 2008-05-26 17:16
For downloading with torrents, i followed all the guides but still had problems with my router having a full connections. (Incoming) There was one step that was left out of all the guides. In the router setup 192.168.0.1 blah blah Under the DHCP menu, I had to enable Static IP for my pc's ip address instead of letting the router use DHCP to assign the IP. As soon as that was done, my lights lit up green.
by anonymous - 2008-06-15 23:39
by blue_bottle_boy - 2008-08-01 08:58
by anonymous - 2008-10-09 17:33
by tomapio - 2008-12-27 11:49
by anonymous - 2008-12-27 13:40
by joseph - 2009-01-13 11:41
I recently attempted to upgrade the firmware from v1.11 to v1.23. Now, my wireless connection doesn't work. The wireless switch icon continually shows the red 'X'... even though I can view available networks... I just can't connect. (My connection via ethernet cable still works fine.) Restarting router and laptop doesn't fix.
Could all this have been caused by my performing the firmware upgrade using the wireless connection (which was advised against by Dlink)?
I've tried using the cable connection to re-update the firmware. No effect.
I've tried downloading new drivers (Intel(R) PRO/Wirelss 2200BG and Wireless Switch Setting Utility). No effect.
by Philip - 2009-01-13 17:00
by anonymous - 2009-09-03 23:06
by antyl - 2009-09-06 18:40
by zoltan - 2009-11-17 10:40
by zoltan - 2009-11-17 10:41
by mewnlite - 2009-11-22 05:31
One of my computers is a webserver. So there is a lot of port forwarding going on. I started out with a Linksys that was a pain. After only a few months I lost a port on it and switched to a DI-604. I never had a bit of problems with that but I wanted wireless so I went to the DI-524. I have never had any issues with it. One port feeds a switch which has 4 live webcams attached to it, all ported differently. Any time I make any port forwarding changes I also program them into the old 604 which I keep to fall back on just in case. I haven't had to use it in probably about three years time. The wireless feature is turned off most of the time, but works flawlessly when I need it.
OK - what got me here in the first place was I was searching for an answer to why I am getting TWO MAC addresses in my status window. One is just MAC address and the other is WAN MAC address. They are both identical except that one ends in f4 and the other f5. How can the same piece of equipment have 2 MAC addresses at the same time? :-)