More than half a year passed since our test lab hosted equipment by D-Link company. Did you miss the reviews of their new models? Welcome a DIR-825AC wireless router with Gigabit interfaces, USB 2.0 port, and AC1200 wireless module.
D-Link DIR-825AC wireless router comes in a black plastic case with the dimensions of 195x155x35mm and the weight of only 250 grams. The device needs an external power source with the following characteristics (included in the box) for functioning: 12V and 1.5А.
The best part of the upper panel of the router is glossy. There are LEDs indicating status of the entire device as well as those of its user ports and wireless module located on it.
On the front panel of the case there is a WPS button that facilitates connection of wireless clients and enables/disables the wireless module.
Side panels are not remarkable at all and there is only a ventilation grate located on them.
On the perforated bottom of the router there are four rubber legs and a sticker with brief information about the device. Also, there are two mounting holes used for wall mounting of the device.
Two non-detachable antennae are located on the rear panel of the case. Apart from them, there are five Gigabit Ethernet ports (1 WAN and 4 LANs), USB 2.0 port, ON/OFF button, power socket, and sunken Reset button located over here.
Now let's have a look at the insides of the case. The electronic stuffing of D-Link DIR-825 wireless router is one green textolite card which has all essential elements located on one of its sides.
There is Realtek RTL8197DN microchip, which runs at 660 MHz and acts as the SoC CPU, located under the radiator. Two chips produced by the same vendor answer for support of the wireless network: RTL8192ER and RTL8812AR. It's worth noticing that the same hardware platform is used in Upvel UR-825AC router. The system is fitted with a DDR2 64 Mbyte RAM module powered by Nanya NT5TU32M16EG-AC microchip. Support of the wired network segment is performed by Realtek RTL8367RB managed switch that has five Gigabit Ethernet physical ports.
That is where we bring the review of the hardware platform of D-Link DIR-825 wireless router to a conclusion and pass on to examining capabilities of its software component.
Firmware upgrade is carried out in Firmware Upgrade section, System group of the router web-interface. The firmware upgrade can be carried out both in manual and semi-automatic modes and doesn't require any technical experience from the user.
Upon upgrading the firmware in the semi-automatic mode the wireless router will automatically connect to the vendor's servers and download the new firmware version. Naturally, in order to perform this step one needs to be connected to the Internet. Firmware upgrade in the manual mode is only a bit more difficult. One simply needs to download the file containing the new firmware version and upload it to the wireless router. The whole upgrade process takes a bit more than six minutes.
That is where we bring this short section dedicated to the firmware upgrade process to a conclusion and pass on to examining capabilities of the device web-interface.
D-Link DIR-825 web-interface is different from the one we are accustomed to from the previous reviews, but still we will not review all of its capabilities in detail, but focus on the most interesting ones. The device web-interface is available in seven languages. Upon successful authentication the user will find him/herself on Information page, Home group in the web-interface menu.
Other sections in Home group are used to launch various wizards that can help the first-time user to significantly reduce the device set-up time.
Monitoring group contains brief information about the settings and current device status.
Sections in Status group feature varied statistics as well as data on the active sessions, connected clients, existing subscriptions for the group traffic, and so on.
LAN and WAN settings are located in Net group. A really nice option that the device possesses is the capability of connection to not only wired service providers using PPTP, PPPoE, and L2TP tunnels with either dynamic or static addresses, but also to wireless providers using an external 3G or LTE modem.
Wi-Fi group contains settings associated with the wireless network. We just cannot help it but mention that upon selecting the wireless channel the user will be shown information about the current usage of channels. Indeed, the life gets really sad with the 2.4 GHz channel workload in the centre of Moscow. Another helpful feature is that D-Link DIR-825 wireless router can act as a wireless client, allowing connection to the wireless networks in range.
The device under review supports VLAN too and the corresponding settings are available in the same-named section in Advanced group.
Using Redirect section in the same group the administrator can specify cases in which the router can send out messages about redirecting the traffic to other devices.
Settings of static routing for IPv4 and IPv6 can be managed using Routing and IPv6 routing sections in Advanced group.
The fact that the device supports IPSec tunnels, which can be managed in IPsec section in the same group, stroke us as a bit strange.
Management of virtual servers and various filtration rules is done using sections in Firewall group. In order to manage URL filtration one will need to use Control group.
At this point we would like to point out that the filtration of access to various content may be performed not only in the manual mode, but automatically too, which is done via Yandex.DNS service that filters the resources by URL. Configuring of the router operation parameters with the above-mentioned service is done using sections in Yandex.DNS group.
Sections in 3G/LTE modem group are meant for managing the external USB modem in order to connect to mobile networks.
The USB port can be used not only for connection of the modem but the flash card, external HDD, or even printer too. Management of printers and data access protocols located on the external drives is done via sections in USB storage group.
Settings of the built-in torrent client are changed using Transmission group.
Sections located in System group are used for managing the device configuration files, changing administrator password, reviewing log information, upgrading the firmware, setting the system time, managing the users that have access to the data stored on the external USB storage, and finally checking the availability of the remote hosts.
However there's yet another peculiarity in the web-interface operation that we would like to expound on. All settings made by the user in the router settings are not saved automatically. In other words, after the device initial set-up has been made, one will need to literally save the settings. This can seem a bit confusing to the beginner users, but still we believe that it may be useful if someone is configuring the router remotely. In cases like these, one only needs to reboot the device in order to cancel the wrong changes in the settings.
That is where we bring a brief review of D-Link DIR-825 wireless router web-interface capabilities to a conclusion and pass on to examining capabilities of its command line.
Switching the access to the command line of D-Link DIR-825 router on and off is performed using Telnet section in System group of the device web-interface.
In order to access the command line one must use the same log-on information as for the connection to the device web-interface. BusyBox 1.19.2 library is installed in Linux with a pretty outdated 188.8.131.52 core on DIR-825AC router.
Dlink-Router login: admin
_______ ___ __ ____ _ _ ___
| ___ \ | | |__|| \ | || | / /
| | | || ___ | |__ __ | \| || |/ /
| |___| || |___| | || || |\ || \
|_______/ |______||__||_| \____||_|\___\
= Building Networks for People =
BusyBox v1.19.2 (2014-10-17 18:41:43 MSK) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.
$ cat /proc/version
Linux version 184.108.40.206 (builder@rd) (gcc version 4.4.5-1.5.5p4 (GCC) ) #1 Fri Oct 17 18:37:40 MSK 2014
BusyBox v1.19.2 (2014-10-17 18:41:43 MSK) multi-call binary.
Copyright (C) 1998-2011 Erik Andersen, Rob Landley, Denys Vlasenko
and others. Licensed under GPLv2.
See source distribution for full notice.
Usage: busybox [function] [arguments]...
or: busybox --list[-full]
or: function [arguments]...
BusyBox is a multi-call binary that combines many common Unix
utilities into a single executable. Most people will create a
link to busybox for each function they wish to use and BusyBox
will act like whatever it was invoked as.
Currently defined functions:
[, [[, addgroup, adduser, ash, basename, brctl, cat, chgrp, cp, crond, crontab, date, dd, delgroup, deluser,
echo, false, free, grep, gunzip, gzip, halt, hexdump, httpd, ifconfig, insmod, kill, killall, klogd, ln,
logger, login, logread, ls, lsmod, md5sum, mkdir, mount, nc, nice, nslookup, ntpd, passwd, ping, ping6, pmap,
poweroff, ps, reboot, renice, rm, rmmod, route, sh, sleep, syslogd, tail, tar, telnetd, test, top, touch,
traceroute, traceroute6, true, umount, zcat
Let's see what processes are currently running on the device using ps command. By using top utility one can obtain information on the current activity of the launched processes.
PID USER VSZ STAT COMMAND
1 admin 1816 S /sbin/init
2 admin 0 SW< [kthreadd]
3 admin 0 SW< [ksoftirqd/0]
4 admin 0 SW< [events/0]
5 admin 0 SW< [khelper]
8 admin 0 SW< [async/mgr]
124 admin 0 SW< [kblockd/0]
134 admin 0 SW< [khubd]
151 admin 0 SW [pdflush]
152 admin 0 SW< [kswapd0]
153 admin 0 SW< [crypto/0]
730 admin 0 SW< [mtdblockd]
802 admin 2616 S resident[mngr]: building networks for people...
936 admin 740 S /usr/sbin/link_watcher 0
938 admin 1188 S klogd
940 admin 1224 S syslogd -S -m 0 -C32 -l 7 -L
1033 admin 1676 S yasslews /tmp/yasslews.conf
1034 admin 1108 S yasslews /tmp/http_srv_redirect.conf
1036 admin 1196 R telnetd -p 23
1038 admin 1108 S yasslews /tmp/http_srv_redirect.conf
1039 admin 1108 S yasslews /tmp/http_srv_redirect.conf
1040 admin 1108 S yasslews /tmp/http_srv_redirect.conf
1041 admin 1108 S yasslews /tmp/http_srv_redirect.conf
1044 admin 1676 S yasslews /tmp/yasslews.conf
1045 admin 1676 S yasslews /tmp/yasslews.conf
1046 admin 1676 S yasslews /tmp/yasslews.conf
1047 admin 1676 S yasslews /tmp/yasslews.conf
1048 admin 1676 S yasslews /tmp/yasslews.conf
1049 admin 1676 S yasslews /tmp/yasslews.conf
1051 admin 2448 S tr069
1374 admin 3224 S racoon -f /tmp/racoon.conf -l /var/log/racoon.log
1376 admin 1028 S miniupnpd -f /tmp/miniupnpd.conf
1386 nobody 1004 S dnsmasq --keep-in-foreground --conf-file=/tmp/dnsmas
1394 admin 2636 S resident[wrkr]: waiting for something...
1399 admin 996 S dnsmasq --keep-in-foreground --conf-file=/tmp/dnsmas
1613 admin 1196 R -sh
1657 admin 1196 R ps
Mem: 26300K used, 22120K free, 0K shrd, 3080K buff, 9712K cached
CPU: 0% usr 0% sys 0% nic 100% idle 0% io 0% irq 0% sirq
Load average: 0.00 0.05 0.03 1/37 1658
PID PPID USER STAT VSZ %VSZ %CPU COMMAND
1374 1 admin S 3224 7% 0% racoon -f /tmp/racoon.conf -l /var/lo
1394 802 admin S 2636 5% 0% resident[wrkr]: waiting for something
802 1 admin S 2616 5% 0% resident[mngr]: building networks for
1051 1 admin S 2448 5% 0% tr069
1 0 admin S 1816 4% 0% /sbin/init
1047 1044 admin S 1676 3% 0% yasslews /tmp/yasslews.conf
1049 1044 admin S 1676 3% 0% yasslews /tmp/yasslews.conf
1048 1044 admin S 1676 3% 0% yasslews /tmp/yasslews.conf
1046 1044 admin S 1676 3% 0% yasslews /tmp/yasslews.conf
1033 1 admin S 1676 3% 0% yasslews /tmp/yasslews.conf
1044 1033 admin S 1676 3% 0% yasslews /tmp/yasslews.conf
1045 1044 admin S 1676 3% 0% yasslews /tmp/yasslews.conf
940 1 admin S 1224 3% 0% syslogd -S -m 0 -C32 -l 7 -L
1613 1036 admin S 1196 2% 0% -sh
1036 1 admin S 1196 2% 0% telnetd -p 23
1658 1613 admin R 1196 2% 0% top
938 1 admin S 1188 2% 0% klogd
1034 1 admin S 1108 2% 0% yasslews /tmp/http_srv_redirect.conf
1038 1034 admin S 1108 2% 0% yasslews /tmp/http_srv_redirect.conf
1040 1038 admin S 1108 2% 0% yasslews /tmp/http_srv_redirect.conf
Now let's turn to /proc catalogue to view its contents and find out the system uptime, its average utilisation, information on the CPU installed, and the amount of RAM.
1675 152 buddyinfo rf_switch gc_overflow_timout
1613 151 pagetypeinfo watchdog_reboot alg
1399 134 vmstat wlan0 hw_nat
1394 124 zoneinfo wlan0-vxd url_filter
1386 8 vmallocinfo wlan0-va0 qos
1376 5 slabinfo wlan0-va1 br_wlanblock
1374 4 filesystems wlan0-va2 br_igmpsnoop
1051 3 locks wlan0-va3 br_igmpDb
1049 2 cmdline wlan1 br_mCastFastFwd
1048 1 cpuinfo wlan1-vxd br_igmpVersion
1047 self devices wlan1-va0 br_igmpquery
1046 mounts interrupts wlan1-va1 br_igmpQuerierInfo
1045 net loadavg wlan1-va2 br_mldQuerierInfo
1044 sysvipc meminfo wlan1-va3 br_mldVersion
1041 fs stat custom_Passthru_wlan br_mldquery
1040 driver uptime rtl865x br_igmpProxy
1039 tty version eth0 enable_dos
1038 bus kcore eth1 filter_table
1036 sys kmsg custom_Passthru fast_pptp
1034 irq kpagecount peth0 pptp_conn_ck
1033 misc kpageflags StormCtrl fast_l2tp
940 scsi crypto eee fast_hello_reply
938 execdomains diskstats phyRegTest fast_pppoe
936 ioports partitions br_mldsnoop fast_nat
802 iomem gpio reInitSwitchCore
730 timer_list usb_mode_detect mtd
153 modules load_default suspend_check
$ cat uptime
$ cat loadavg
0.00 0.03 0.02 3/40 1681
$ cat cpuinfo
system type : RTL819xD
processor : 0
cpu model : 56322
BogoMIPS : 658.63
hardware watchpoint : no
tlb_entries : 32
mips16 implemented : yes
$ cat meminfo
MemTotal: 48420 kB
MemFree: 22132 kB
Buffers: 3080 kB
Cached: 9716 kB
SwapCached: 0 kB
Active: 5340 kB
Inactive: 9532 kB
Active(anon): 2076 kB
Inactive(anon): 0 kB
Active(file): 3264 kB
Inactive(file): 9532 kB
SwapTotal: 0 kB
SwapFree: 0 kB
Dirty: 0 kB
Writeback: 0 kB
AnonPages: 2088 kB
Mapped: 2140 kB
Slab: 10000 kB
SReclaimable: 684 kB
SUnreclaim: 9316 kB
PageTables: 232 kB
NFS_Unstable: 0 kB
Bounce: 0 kB
WritebackTmp: 0 kB
CommitLimit: 24208 kB
Committed_AS: 4400 kB
VmallocTotal: 1048404 kB
VmallocUsed: 1040 kB
VmallocChunk: 1039536 kB
Let's find out what kind of content /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, and /usr/sbin catalogues have.
$ ls /bin
zcat sh ping l2tpd iapp dd adduser
wscd rm odhcp6c_script kill gzip date addgroup
urlfilterd resident_cli nice iwpriv gunzip cp 3gcli
umount resident mount iwlist grep chgrp
uboot.img ps modprobe iwcontrol false chat
true pptp mkdir iwconfig echo cat
touch pppoe-relay ls ip dnsmasq_script busybox
tar pppd login initdongle deluser auth
sleep ping6 ln igmpx delgroup ash
$ ls /sbin
wpa_supplicant syslogd poweroff lsmod insmod halt
wpa_passphrase route mount.ntfs-3g logread init event
wpa_cli rmmod miniupnpd led_test ifconfig dcfg
tr069 reboot mfc klogd hotplug button_test
$ ls /usr/bin
yasslews sqlite3 plainrsa-gen logger cyassl-config
udhcpc smbpasswd passwd libusb-config crontab
transmission-daemon smbd odhcp6c killall basename
traceroute6 setkey nslookup iptables-xml [[
traceroute renice nmbd inadyn [
top racoonctl nc hexdump
test racoon mtd_write free
tail pmap md5sum event_rpcgen.py
$ ls /usr/sbin
zebra ripd notify_all iptables-restore ip6tables-multi crond
vconfig pure-ftpd minidlnad iptables-multi ip6tables brctl
usb_modeswitch p910nd madwimax iptables httpd arptables
test4g ntpd link_watcher ip6tables-save drop_caches
telnetd ntfs-3g iptables-save ip6tables-restore dnsmasq
Information on the current firmware version is located in /VERSION file.
$ cat VERSION
SYSBUILDTIME: Fri Oct 17 18:44:53 MSK 2014
VENDOR: D-Link Russia
SUMMARY: Root filesystem image for DIR_825AC
That is where we bring a brief review of the router command line to a conclusion and pass directly on to testing it.
The first testing procedure we usually begin our testing section with is estimating the booting time of the device, which is a time interval starting with the moment when the power is on until the first echo reply is received through ICMP. D-Link DIR-825AC wireless router boots in 41 seconds. We believe that the result is decent.
The second traditional test was a security scanning procedure, which has been carried out using Positive Technologies XSpider 7.7 (Demo build 3100) utility. On the whole, there were ten open ports discovered. The most interesting data are presented below.
Before getting down to performance tests we would like to get our readers familiar with the key specifications of the test stand we used.
|Motherboard||ASUS Maximus VI Extreme||ASUS M60J|
|CPU||Intel Core i7 4790K 4 GHz||Intel Core i7 720QM 1.6 GHz|
|RAM||DDR3 PC3-10700 SEC 32 Gbytes||DDR3 PC3-10700 SEC 16 Gbytes|
|NIC||Intel PRO/1000 PT
|OS||Windows 7 x64 SP1 Rus||Windows 7 x64 SP1 Rus|
We decided to begin the throughput tests by measuring routing speeds upon execution of NAT/PAT translations and without it. The tests were carried out with 1, 5, and 15 concurrent TCP sessions.
Connection to service providers functioning in the ex-Soviet Union countries is still carried out via various tunnels. And probably one of the most popular technologies is PPTP. As a matter of course, we couldn't help but measure the performance of D-Link DIR-825AC router upon operation with these tunnels.
As soon as all tests had been carried out and the review had been finished, we received a letter from the vendor telling us that the speeds we received for PPTP are too low. The vendor's measurements show the figures that are twice as high. We tried to puzzle out why this happened with our test stand. Everything turned out to be really easy. In our case the tunnel support was carried out by a host where Microsoft Windows OS was installed. Windows enables MPPC compression to PPTP tunnels by default and the router resources were simply not enough for performing high-speed compression. This led to the decrease in performance. It looks like the compression on the test stands of the vendor was disabled. We performed this test once more by disabling MPPC (by specifying nomppc parameter in Extra options field in settings of the VPN connection of DIR-825AC). After that the speed increased to the same values received by the vendor. That's why we recommend people that use high-speed plans to disable the compression for tunnel connections. Results of the measurements are presented below.
We believe that PPTP tunnels are more resource-intensive than the rest. In other words, users may see even higher speeds upon using L2TP and PPPoE tunnels.
DIR-825AC wireless router supports operation not only with the current IP version, IPv4, but also with the new one, IPv6. Measurement results of the data transmission speeds using IPv6 are presented on the diagram below.
IPSec tunnels with various encryption and authentication protocols may be used in order to connect two local networks of the user. We decided to test the device performance upon operation with IPSec tunnels with AES encryption. In order to do this we asked the vendor to provide us with another DIR-825AC router.
It's worth mentioning that D-Link company is actively refining the support of this protocol by its routers. For example, in the next firmware version users will see many other features that they will be able to adjust upon setting-up of IPSec. But keep schtum! This is a secret!
Since the device under review has a USB 2.0 port, we decided to measure the access speed to the user data located on an external data storage connected to the USB interface. In order to carry out this testing procedure we used our standard 750 Gbytes Transcend StoreJet 25M3 hard disk, which we successively formatted into three file systems: NTFS, EXT3, and FAT32. Results of the measurements are presented on the diagram below.
One of the most interesting tests in this chapter is, we dare say, the measurements of performance of the wireless segment. One can find the results of speed measurements we received for the data for every of the two frequency ranges on the diagram below.
Now it's high time to sum it all up!
Generally, we are glad about D-Link DIR-825AC wireless router we tested. We believe that this is a good entry-level device that can meet all essential needs of the majority of users. PPTP connection speeds will be enough for almost all possible service plans of the majority of providers, whilst the capability of 3G/LTE modem connection to the USB port won't let you go offline if the wired service provider is having some internal problems.
The strength areas of D-Link DIR-825AC wireless router are presented below.
- High routing speeds
- Support of IPv6
- High traffic transmission speeds via PPTP
- Support of traffic filtration powered by Yandex.DNS
- Ability to connect user LANs using IPSec tunnels
- Support of two wireless frequency ranges
- Competitive price
Unfortunately, we cannot help to mention some of its drawbacks.
- Not really high access speeds to the data located on the HDD
- Not really high IPSec tunnel performance
As of when this article was being written, the average price for D-Link DIR-825AC wireless router in Moscow online shops was 2870 roubles.