D-Link DGL-4300 Wireless 108G Router Review
July 20, 2005
After my little Linksys WRT55AG adventure, I did what I should have done to begin with — my homework.
What I settled on was the D-Link DGL-4300 Wireless 108G “Gaming Router”.
I’m not a gamer (although I’ve got one on the premises), but their “Gamefuel” feature essentially operates much like the Hawking Broadband Booster — in fact, it uses an earlier version of the same Ubicom Streamengine that the Broadband Booster does, but exposes more of the interface for controlling how the Quality of Service (QoS) feature operates.
Although some other reviews suggest that the Gamefuel features don’t work quite as well on insuring the quality of VOIP calls as the Hawking box does, it still seems to help considerably.
The other big feature I was looking for was gigabit ethernet — the DGL-4300 has a built-in 4 port gigabit ethernet switch. At some point in the near future, I plan to dump my two or three remaining 10/100 switches and replace them with 10/100/1000 switches, so this puts me slightly ahead of the game on that item.
I should note that at this point the D-Link router does not support Jumbo Frames on gigabit ethernet — hopefully that will come in a firmware upgrade soon, however.
Other features include:
- 10/100 WAN Port (which is becoming increasingly important)
- Up to 256 Firewall Port Configurations
- Access Control Policies / Parental Controls
- Internal and External System Logging
- Static/Dynamic Routing
- Oversized NAT table (excellent for ambitious upstream operations)
- Email Alerts
- Wireless Distribution System (WDS)
- 64/128-bit WEP
- MAC Filtering
- IEEE 802.11g
- IEEE 802.11b
- IEEE 802.3
- IEEE 802.3u
- 108G “TurboG” 108mb wireless
- Detachable Antenna
Setup was simple; I plugged in the connection my cable modem (Comcast), connected it to my office switch, powered it on, and it was immediately online.
The embedded web administration system works well, although I could do without the bit of flash at the top of the pages. A quick look at the firmware page showed that it was about 3 revs down, so I downloaded and flashed it to the current firmware with no problems, and proceeded to configure the box.
It took me about 30 minutes to run through all of the settings, enabling security, putting on passwords, configuring the wireless, configuring Gamefuel, enabling the firewall, etc.
A few nice features I found when configuring include the ability to download or upload the configuration (which makes firmware flashing a little more convenient), a built-in NTP client, and the ability to schedule rulesets. I also liked that the default was set to not respond to pings from the WAN side.
On the whole, I’m fairly impressed so far. I’ve always liked D-Link (their stuff tends to “just work” for me), and this product appears to be no exception. It’s a little pricey for a consumer router (about $110 street), but the added features appear to be more than worth it.