After taking a long break, I haven’t updated my blog due to no fund. Okay, today, we are going to look at the TM’s famous router, D-LINK DIR-850L (Cylindrical Router). Based on the forums, this router gets tons of negative feedback. So I recently purchased the router wrapped in plastic from a person which has to be the TM’s version. The router does come with pre-loaded 2.09TM firmware. Hence, I don’t have to upgrade the firmware. There is some report that, recently D-LINK releases firmware version 2.10 globally. But in order to do that, the router has to be flashed with 2.08SG firmware then only you able to upgrade to 2.10GL (Global version). However, in today’s agenda, I am only going to focus on 2.09TM firmware and wanted to know why this router got such a bad review from the users.
#1 BASIC INFORMATION OF THE ROUTER AND REQUIREMENTS
Router Brand: D-LINK
Router Model: D-LINK DIR 850L (TM ver.)
Hardware Version: B1
Firmware Version: 2.09TM (Pre-loaded)
Number of Days (w/out reboot): 8 Days
Subscribed Package: UniFi Pro 100 (Thank You Surprise free upgrade)
This router extremely light like a leaf. You won’t feel that you’re holding anything. This router perfectly design with the cylindrical shape.
Remarks: If you purchased a retail version, the back of the router will be pure black as the cover of the router.
The router has decent login interface along with the details of the hardware & firmware version along with language selection option.
When you first time login to the router, the router will prompt you to change or pick a new admin (if you decide to use your own username) and password. After the process completed, you will require to enter your new password in order to proceed to the next setup process.
Remarks: Decent login interface with locked admin name field.
#3 INFORMATIVE PAGE
Once you finish setting up the admin password, you will be directed to the landing page of the router. The displayed information quite decent compared with the TP-LINK Archer C1200. I am currently using GoogleDNS.
Although the page not informative unlike Archer C1200, I feel it is decent to browse through the icons given. It is rather better than making the informative page complex and compressed. The placement of the icons, nice and novice users obviously will have an instinct to click on the router. A hyperlink given on each feature to be customized by the users.
Remarks: I am using the third party DNS server. I don’t prefer to use TM’s DNS server due to some limitations accessing to some websites and blogs. Some users do lodge a report in a forum on how to change the DNS server in the router. In order to do that, disable the ipv6 in your router and change your DNS server either to OPENDNS or GoogleDNS. Restart your router and let the new settings to take effect. However, when you’re accessing to some websites, you will be prompted with a false alarm, just ignore the alarm and move forward.
I personally feel that the wireless experience with this router is average. Though it doesn’t have an external antenna, it is slightly better than the Archer C1200 router which tends to freeze sometime.
This is my current 2.4 GHz wireless band settings.
This is my current 5 GHz wireless band settings.
I disabled the WPS feature so that, this router can be more secure. I have a wireless printer, I setup the printer via WPS and once the setup process completed, I immediately turn off the WPS feature.
Hereby, I attach the result of both bands. I can easily archive over 100 Mbps even-though I am 10 feet away from the router. Decent wireless speed.
#5 USB READ & WRITE
One of the most common things that comes with most commercial routers nowadays is, USB ports. Some low end routers does comes with USB 3.0. However, this router comes with a single 2.0 USB port.
The setup process is easy actually.
- First, plug in the hard disk / pendrive to the USB port given.
- Next, go to run and enter your default IP address of your router
- You will be prompted with a windows message and asking you to enter the admin and password. Enter “admin” and your router login password.
- Finally, you will be directed to the folder from your hard disk. Just map the folder into My Computer.
- Now, you can access to it anytime.
The USB writing speed is slow which is “normal” for most low end routers. However, I tried to do some minor testing to test the writing and read process simultaneously. When I am copying the file to the hard disk, I tried to play a video of the completed, copied file in the hard disk. From my analysis, the reading process is too slow and laggy to access the files when the writing process is going on. However, if there is no writing process, then, the reading process is smooth.
#6 QOS SERVICE
The QOS service is useless. One thing I don’t like it, it auto-reboots when I drag a connected devices to the boxes available.
The hypptv experience is good. There is no sudden freeze during the screenings. Unlike the Archer C1200 which tends to freeze during the screenings of hypptv although the router flashed with the latest EU firmware, the DIR-850L works well with the hypptv.
#8 SECURITY (If you wish to change it – Extremely Recommended)
Normally I will customize the IP address of the router. I don’t prefer to use the factory settings. This will further improve your home network security from getting hacked by the hackers.
You can change the admin password here.
Firewall settings of the router. Currently, the features were turned off.
#9 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF THE ROUTER
Shall we have a look at the pros and cons of the router? I’ve come up with my list of critics of this router.
Advantages of D-LINK DIR 850L
- Awesome design. I personally don’t like a router that has a huge antenna because it consumes more space and limits the placement of the router. The cylindrical shape really attractive.
- The wireless coverage. The wireless coverage in this router quite decent for the price (if you bought the retail unit) you paid. I am staying in 20×70 double storey house and I can get the wireless coverage from the entrance of my parent’s house.
- Light weight. This router is not heavy. Its simple design makes the router to be one of the lightest routers I ever hold before. It is even lighter than the legendary D-LINK DIR615.
- No overheating issues. Even-though I maximize the transmission power of the router (wireless), the router stays cool and thus saves the cost of buying a laptop cooler.
- No auto-reboot issues.
- No hang during torrenting. I am a heavy user. When torrenting with decent seeds and peers, I feel that this router can handle heavy torrenting.
- Able to achieve full internet speed 100 – 105Mbps / 51 – 54Mbps (d / u).
- Fast boot-up.
Disadvantages of D-LINK DIR 850L
- No logout button in the firmware. This is very dangerous if you are novice in networking field.
- No option to turn off the led. The led stays statically without even blinking and this will cause the led to go wrong / unresponsive after some time.
- The wire adapter is short.
- No memory and CPU usage real time graph.
- Fixed “@unifi” behind the SSID. This also implies for those who upgrade to the TM firmware either you’re using the retail version or the router provided by TM unless, you upgrade to the global firmware.
#10 D-LINK DIR-850L vs. TP-LINK ARCHER C1200
To save your time, this is my unbiased review on both routers.
Currently, TM still supplying both of this router to their customers while TIME shift to only supplying Archer C1200 due to vulnerability issues that recently highlighted by a person publicly after D-LINK refuses to listen to him. Based on the overall comparison of both routers, I personally feel that, DIR-850L outperforms Archer C1200 in many aspects, which I would like to highlight to auto-reboot issues. I tested the DIR-850L for 8 consecutive days with heavy torrenting, surprisingly, the router able to handle multiple torrents, streaming videos and surfing in the internet.
Archer C1200 able to handle streaming to 4K videos without buffer while DIR-850L have some difficulties to stream to 4K videos simultaneously. When torrenting, Archer C1200 tends to freeze and auto-reboots, but, on the other hand, DIR-850L able to get the job done and able to achieve to full subscribed bandwidth.
You can monitor your current wired and wireless bandwidth usage here, something Archer C1200 lacks off.
A router’s most important feature is the logout feature. Without this, you wouldn’t know whether you having an active session or vice versa towards the system. DIR-850L lacks this logout feature which is very dangerous for novice users. They can easily customize the settings, however, they might don’t know whether they are currently having an active session going on in the background and thus, enable the hacker to control your home network easily. However, D-LINK DIR-850L has an auto-logout feature where, when you close the tab, it logout by its own. As for safety precaution, I would strongly recommend to clear the caches each time you finish using / accessing / make any changes (if it reboots then it is fine) of your router admin interface. So Archer C1200 wins here by having a physical logout button.
So, which router is the best for small home and for normal users? I would strongly say, D-LINK DIR-850L. Whether you like or not, it is by far not the best router supplied by TM, but better when compared with Archer C1200 which as tons of problem in it.
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