Usually we get the equipment for testing directly from a vendor or an official distributor in the territory of the Russian Federation. Today we have an exceptional case: we have received D-Link DIR-809 A1 wireless router directly from the Chinese online store GearBest. At the time of writing this review DIR-809 is not officially sold in Russia, however, it has been available for order from online stores in other countries. The sample received was not adapted to work in the territory of the Russian Federation, so that users who also want to make an order in foreign online stores will face with some features of the equipment, which we will describe in this review. Let's get started!
The first thing we noticed when we have received the parcel, - the packing exterior, neither on the box nor in the manual it has a word in Russian or in English – hieroglyphs only. In our view, a Chinese online store users should be ready for this, so we are not referring it to the disadvantages of the product. Also, despite the additional packaging of the delivery service, the box was extremely crumpled, fortunately, the equipment inside was not damaged, but it will not be suitable to use the router as a gift. Of course, this does not apply either to the quality of the online store service, which sent us the good, or to D-Link DIR-809 wireless router, but we could not help but mention the detected features. Now let's look inside the box. The case of the model has the following dimensions: 190x133x83 mm (without antenna) with weight 229 grams (without power supply adapter).
The device needs an external power source (included in the box) with the following characteristics for functioning: 5V and 1А. Perhaps a few words should be told about the power supply adapter, which has a non-standard for Russia plug (Type A). Therefore, users have to purchase an additional adapter or a new power supply unit with the appropriate plug and specifications. The appropriate adapter can be purchased immediately with the goods in the online store.
The front and side panels do not have anything remarkable on them apart from a ventilation grate on the front panel.
A small ventilation grate is also presented on the upper panel, consisting of two parts - opaque and glossy. Also there are LEDs indicating status of the entire device as a whole, the availability of the Internet connection, status of LAN-ports, as well as wireless module status.
On the rear panel there are four LAN ports and one WAN port Fast Ethernet, three non-detachable antennae, power socket and also Reset/WPS button located on it.
On the bottom of the case there are a ventilation grate, four plastic legs and a sticker with brief information about the device.
Now let's have a look at the insides of the case.
The electronic stuffing of D-Link DIR-809 wireless router is one green textolite card which has all essential elements located on one of its sides.The system is powered by Realtek RTL8881AN SoC. Winbond W9825G6KH-6 chip with the size of 32 Mbytes performs functions of the RAM. Support of the 2.4 GHz frequency range of wireless network segmentis performed by Realtek RTL8192ER chip with 2x2 antennae configuration. SoC is responsible for the operation of the third antenna.
That is where we bring the review of the hardware platform of D-Link DIR-809 wireless router to a conclusion and pass on to examining capabilities of its software component.
After the first switching on the router it is necessary to perform the initial setup of the device. The LAN-interface default address is 192.168.0.1. Unfortunately, we understand nothing in Chinese therefore we had to change at first web-interface language to make further setup. First, you need to download a language pack file from the official website of the vendor, then go to advanced settings button marked with a red box in the image below.
At the time of writing this article only two language packs were available: for Portuguese and Spanish languages. At first it is required to install any language file, then to delete it. These manipulations lead to the fact that English becomes language of the web-interface of the device.
Not obligatory, but extremely desirable step is firmware upgrade. The upgrade takes about one minute and doesn't require any technical experience from the user: it is only required to choose the file downloaded earlier and to upload it on the device by means of FIRMWARE item of TOOLS menu.
You can ensure successful change of the firmware either via the web-interface header or via DEVICE INFO item of STATUS web-interface group.
D-Link DIR-809 wireless router supports the firmware recovery mode to which the device can be transferred manually (by holding the Reset button for 15 seconds while boot) or can be transferred automatically in case of failure when updating the firmware. One can ascertain that DIR-809 is in recovery mode by slowly flashing power LED on the upper panel of the case. To recover the firmware it is necessary to connect to the LAN port of the device, assign IP-address from 192.168.0.0/24 network to the NIC and appeal by means of any modern web browser to the address 192.168.0.1.
That is where we bring a review of initial setup and firmware update process to a conclusion and pass on to brief examining of its web-interface. In conclusion we will note that on the FTP server of the vendor contains the bigger quantity of firmwares and language packs, than is available for download via D-Link Web server.
One can access D-Link DIR-809 wireless router web-interface using any modern browser. LAN-interface default address is 192.168.0.1. The password field will have to be left blank upon the first entry.
Upon successful authentication the user will find him/herself on INTERNET page, SETUP tab by means of which it is possible to choose type of connection to a provider and specify the main settings of this connection. Advanced network settings are available in the ADVANCED NETWORK item, ADVANCED tab.
EASY SETUP item, SETUP tab also allows users to make setup of connection to the Internet. Besides, here it is possible to change main parameters of a wireless network. However, to our surprise, not all options of connection are presented in this menu item.
Wireless networks operation is performed by means of WIRELESS SETTINGS item, SETUP tab, and also 2.4G ADVANCED WIRELESS, 5G ADVANCED WIRELESS and WI-FI PROTECTED SETUP items.
One can change IP parameters of LAN interface, and also control operation of the built-in DHCP server via NETWORK SETTINGS item, SETUP tab.
Control of IPv6 protocol addresses can be managed using the same item of the same tab.
By means of VIRTUAL SERVER, PORT FORWARDING and APPLICATION RULES items, ADVANCED tab the administrator can set up redirection and dynamic opening of TCP and UDP ports.
The administrator can allow or deny a certain traffic on the basis of MAC addresses, IP addresses and numbers of TCP/UDP ports, and also on the basis of requested URL in HTTP. The appropriate settings are available in the MAC FILTER, WEBSITE FILTER and FIREWALL SETTINGS items, ADVANCED tab.
If it is required to restrict access rate of this or that client to the Internet resources, it is necessary to use the TRAFFIC CONTROL item.
One can change admin password, allow remote control of the device, control user settings, set up time synchronization and connection to DDNS providers, update a firmware, and also execute cable diagnostics by means of TOOLS tab items. It is worth noting that some time zones for Russia are incorrect. So, for example, Moscow time offset indicated +4, whereas actually Moscow has time offset +3.
By means of STATUS tab items the administrator can view information about the router and its interfaces, get access to log information, study the list of connections, and also view statistical information about operation of the device. Unfortunately, sending logs to the remote Syslog-server isn't provided.
The web interface of D-Link DIR-809 wireless router has the built-in help, access to which can be got using SUPPORT tab items.
That is where we bring a brief review of the router web-interface 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-809 wireless router boots in 21 seconds. We believe that the result is excellent.
The second traditional test was a security scanning procedure, which has been carried out using Positive Technologies XSpider 7.8 utility. Scanning was carried out from the LAN-interface side. On the whole, there were three open ports discovered: TCP-80 (HTTP), UDP-67 (DHCP) and TCP-52881 (HTTP). The most interesting data of those we obtained are presented below.
To be fair, it should be noted that in the course of testing D-Link DIR-809 wireless router regularly rebooted, that, in our opinion, can become a serious problem even in the home networks.
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 VIII Extreme||ASUS M60J|
|CPU||Intel Core i7 6700K 4 GHz||Intel Core i7 720QM 1.6 GHz|
|RAM||DDR4-2133 Samsung 64 Gbytes||DDR3 PC3-10700 SEC 16 Gbytes|
|NIC||Intel PRO/1000 PT
|OS||Windows 7 x64 SP1 Rus||Windows 7 x64 SP1 Rus|
The first test was performance of DIR-809 model upon performing of NAT/PAT. For loading emulation we used JPerf utility version 2.0.2. It can be seen from the diagram below that routing speed with NAT is restricted to wire interfaces performance of the device.
In Russia and on the territory of ex-Soviet bloc countries PPTP still remains extremely popular method of connection to the Internet therefore we couldn't help but test DIR-809 performance by operation with this tunneling protocol. To our regret, the encrypted tunnels aren't supported. We tried to turn on PPTP together with MPPE, the tunnel was established, but right there broken, - no data were transferred through it.
It is time to test the wireless module. In 2.4 GHz frequency range DIR-809 can operate in two modes: with enabled and disabled 20/40 MHz channels coexistence. We have tested the performance of the device during operation in both modes. Performance DIR-809 with disabled 20/40 customers support was expectedly higher.
Also we measured transmission speeds of user data in case of connection of the client to a 5 GHz wireless network. At first we used one wired client for this test.
From the diagram above it is visible that the received speeds are restricted to wired interfaces’ performance of the router. We decided to alter the test a little bit, by connecting the second wired client. On the diagram below maximum transmission speeds of user data of the wireless client in the 5 GHz range by operation with two wired clients are presented. Data received pointed out that wired interfaces of DIR-809 are a device bottleneck. To be fair, it is worth marking that we took measurements in situation of rather close lay-out of wireless devices. When moving away the wireless client from the router the speed of wireless connection will decrease, equalizing wired and wireless throughput.
D-Link DIR-809 can work not only in the wireless router mode, but also perform functions of the repeater. Naturally, we couldn't but test operation in this mode. D-Link DIR-809 can extend wireless network only in other frequency range that is if the initial network worked in the range of 2.4 GHz, then DIR-809 will expand its covering only at a frequency of 5 GHz. In this test DIR-809 increased a covering of the network created by ASUS RT-AC88U wireless router, review of which will appear on our website in the near future.
Another useful function of DIR-809 is the possibility of rate-limiting of the user traffic. For this experiment we used a UDP stream instead of TCP connections. Results of measurements are given on the diagram below.
Practically on all of the speed ranges the rate-limit mechanism works correctly, however on very small speeds the considerable errors are possible. We decided to provide the separate diagram for speeds up to 4 Mbps. Also it is necessary to note that we couldn't force this mechanism to work for the outgoing traffic, so rate-limiting works only for incoming packets.
On the announcement of the vendor D-Link DIR-809 wireless router supports the IPv6 protocol, however, to our regret, we couldn't force the device to transfer IPv6 packets.
In conclusion we would like to note that during testing the case of D-Link DIR-809 wireless router didn't heat up more than 38,2 degrees Celsius while average temperature in the room was equal to 23 degrees Celsius. Measurements were taken by means of our laboratory pyrometer ADA TempPro-2200.
That's where we draw the testing chapter to a close and move on to summing it all up.
D-Link DIR-809 is an inexpensive low-end wireless router which will suit those who wish to lower ones costs or aren't ready to overpay for not used functions of high-end models. The routing speeds provided by the device don't allow calling D-Link DIR-809 the high-performance top router today. However, to most of the users wishing to update the network equipment and get support of both frequency ranges them will be quite enough.
A number of features of the device associated with the way we have received the equipment. These features are, for example, power supply unit which plug is not accepted by sockets in Russia. Or initial language of the web-interface. However we decided not to refer these features to drawbacks of the model.
The strength areas of D-Link DIR-809 wireless router are presented below.
- Support of two wireless frequency ranges
- High traffic transmission speeds via PPTP
- Support of several operation modes
- Acceptable wireless speeds
- IEEE 802.11AC support
- Existence of the built-in cable tester
- Competitive price.
Unfortunately, we cannot help but mention some of its drawbacks, which aren't depending on the place of acquisition of the equipment.
- Absence of the web-interface in Russian
- Wrong time zones for Russia
- Instability to network attacks
- No IPv6 support
- Impossibility to rate-limit outgoing traffic.
As of when this article was being written, the price for D-Link DIR-809 wireless router in online store GearBest was about 30 dollars, and the best price for D-Link DIR-809 in German-speaking Europe countries, according to website Geizhals Preisvergleich, was 139 euro.