Dual-band router D-Link DIR-516: compact model with support for the new 802.11ac!

Dual-band router D-Link DIR-516: compact model with support for the new 802.11ac!

In most cases, when it comes to your home wireless router, there is an image boxes of medium size with a pair of external antennas. However, the development of microelectronics and allows you to create a much more compact devices. Specifically, they may be interested in when the user operates only with the mobile wireless clients in a small room. One of the options – connect multiple smartphones and tablets in the hotel, setting personal point of access in the office or organization of a wireless network on the go. On pages of our site have been considered more suitable models, and today we look at the decision D-Link – DIR-516 router.

This device was presented by the foreign markets almost a year ago, but only now got to our lab.In addition to the compact dimensions, the model is interesting that supports two wireless network range, and at 5 GHz, it is able to operate on standard 802.11ac.

D-Link DIR-516: Scope of delivery

The router comes in a decorated in tones of branded products a small cardboard box. It provides a transparent window, so that the photos are not required. And here are some specifications, system requirements and other useful information on the package is present. For example, you can specify the hardware version of the model (in our case – A1).

Supplied with only the router itself, a description of the conditions and guarantees a quick tutorial to get started in several languages, including Russian. Note that to use the device, you will need a power supply with USB-output. This may be the charger from the smartphone and the laptop port.It is difficult to assume the absence of power supply complete disadvantage because most users probably have such devices, and managed to slightly reduce the price.

The manufacturer’s website in the support section you can find the electronic version of the description of the model and the firmware update file. Local warranty router is one year.

D-Link DIR-516: Appearance, design and specifications

The housing is made of black matte plastic. Its overall dimensions are 44 × 63 × 23 mm without cable USB. It is only used to power the device inoperative and the connector snaps onto the bottom of the housing. The length of the flat cable without connector is about three centimeters.Given the small weight of the device (31 g), it is quite likely option when it is just going to hang on the cables, and not placed on the table. Note that the standard may be anchored to a wall or other surface is not provided.

On the side of the gap can be seen passive ventilation. During operation, a slight heating of the case.

On the opposite end of the USB cable is wired network port 10/100 Mbit / s. He is, depending on the mode of operation of the device can act as a WAN to connect to the Internet or LAN to a wired client. Speed ​​indicators and activity he does not.

On one side is the hardware wireless switch range – 2.4 or 5 GHz, WPS button to securely connect customers and opening concealed button reset the router.

Dual-band router D-Link DIR-516: compact model with support for the new 802.11ac!

Approximately opposite, substantially at the bottom of the device has two display signed as they «Power» and «Internet». Both have a green glow and determine their value can only at very close range.

At the bottom of the device are official sticker with the name of the model name and key wireless network device version, serial number and MAC-address.

On the whole body can be considered quite comfortable for this class of models. Also note once more compact devices that may be useful for certain uses.

Router serves as the foundation platform chip Realtek RTL8881AM. Its processing core is clocked at 500 MHz. The chip also contains 8 MB of RAM, a network controller 100 Mbit / s and the radio with support for 802.11b / g / n 2.4 GHz with a maximum connection speed of 150 Mbit / s and 802.11a / n / ac in the 5 GHz band with maximum connection speed of 433 Mbit / s (standard model with capabilities for one antenna). Note that there is only one radio unit, and the user can select his desired range at the moment – the two can not operate simultaneously. Of the major external chips only have a flash memory of 2 MB. Note that the processor is a small radiator, the board present Micro-antenna (to replace the built-in) and the console port.

Power is supplied from a source router 5 on the integrated standard cable USB. No official figures of consumption, we have not found. In fact can be used as mass chargers 1 A and port.

A router operates at ambient temperatures of 0 to 40 degrees and a humidity of 10 to 75%.

Capabilities of the model are determined by the firmware. The manufacturer claims the implementation modes of the router, access point and the wireless client. To configure using the traditional web interface.

The router was tested with firmware version 1.02b03.

D-Link DIR-516: Use cases and opportunities

By default, the device is configured to operate as an access point. Just connect the power and network cable – and your room will be a new wireless network. The only pity is that it will be open and to change the settings required to go to the web interface. Many other manufacturers have mastered specify individual security settings at the factory. In this mode, the model gets the IP-address via DHCP from the primary router. So that its location is required to view logs, which is not very convenient.

Web interface does not have password protection “out of the box.” Its appearance is similar to other traditional devices D-Link. At the top we see the hardware and software version of the model. Below are four top-level menu item. The list of available pages displayed on the left side of the page. Note that the language I have only English. Formally provided for the use of translation engines, but for this model, we did not find them on the support site.

Basic settings for the access point configured in the section «Setup». In particular, you can select the local network interface (static or receipt by DHCP) and specify the name of the device. Set up the wireless module include name selection network mode (protocol), and the width of the channel, as well as protection. The latter includes WEP and WPA / WPA2 with passphrase. Also there are settings WPS, including disabling this technology, change PIN and starting a client connection (the duplication button on the body). Range (2.4 or 5 GHz) can only be changed at the switch housing. 5 GHz supported by work on channels 36-64. Guest networks and access lists are not here, as well as the adjustment of thin access point settings, including the level of the signal.

Dual-band router D-Link DIR-516: compact model with support for the new 802.11ac!

System Preferences gathered in the group «Tools». Here, the setting of the administrator password, save / restore / reset, reboot the router, firmware upgrade and language module.

«Status» contains three pages. Here you can view current addresses and modes of operation of wired and wireless interfaces, learn the statistics of received and sent packets on Wi-Fi, check the list of current connected wireless clients.

In the «Support» is built-in help system. Unfortunately, its content may differ from the actual interface pages.

The second mode is the manufacturer calls «Residential Gateway», which can be considered analogous to a router. It wired port is used to connect to the Internet channel and customers can only wireless.

The last three configuration section in it almost does not differ from the description above. On the status page to add information about the external connection, the statistics are now calculated and wired interface, system options you can enable administration via WAN. The parameters of a wireless network is to be expected correspond to the access point mode.

The amendments clarify the section «Setup». In addition to choosing the home address of the router is now possible to check and configure the DHCP table of fixed correspondences MAC-IP for this service.

As for the modes of connecting to the Internet, provided options permanent address, it automatically derived from DHCP client PPPoE. No additional features familiar Budget routers, including port address translation, DDNS, blocking sites and services, IPTV.

The third mode of operation, which appeared recently, lets you use the device as a wireless client.It may be required to connect to the main router having no wireless adapter technology. In this scenario, the device supports multicast broadcast that might be interesting for IPTV.

After switching modes, the device will scan the network (depending on the setting of the switch will be used the 2.4 or 5 GHz), finds available to connect the network and prompts you to enter the password for the selected. In this configuration page web interface different from the access point mode only point «Wireless Settings».

In general, the range of options and settings available seemed a little inconsistent with the hardware capabilities. For example, you could implement a more informative status page, access lists for wireless clients, modes PPTP / L2TP, port address translation, a detailed log of events and other familiar from budget models, functions.

Dual-band router D-Link DIR-516: compact model with support for the new 802.11ac!

D-Link DIR-516: Testing

The main issue in the case of this model is the performance of the wireless controller in the device. For its study, we used the access point mode adapter Asus PCE-AC68 and co second D-Link DIR-516, as well as client mode with the router Asus RT-AC68U.

The first two graphs shows the results of measuring the speed of the reception and transmission of data in one / two flow streams and eight. Test participants were located at a distance of about four meters line of sight. In the air there were several networks in the 2.4 GHz band. Let’s look first at this range.

Connection speed when the device is in the access point mode was only 72 Mbit / s (for a single channel operation), so that shown in the first two pairs of performance 30-50 Mbit / s seems to be expected. But if the DIR-516 acts as a client, he is able to use two channels and speed in this case is limited by the wired network port and is 70-95 Mbit / s.

In the transition to the 5 GHz connection speed is already impressive 433 Mbit / s. However, the presence of a wired port only 100 Mbit / s makes it impossible to reveal its potential, and we see restrictions on the level of 92-93 Mbit / s.

In this group of test material no comments. The only thing you should pay attention – in access point mode the transmission rate can be significantly lower than the rate of admission. However, given the positioning of the model, for most purposes, this is not critical. In particular for broadcasting high-definition video performance is sufficient.

The next test – test mode the router connecting the client adapter Asus wirelessly. IPoE tested scenarios and PPPoE (others in this model is not provided), and the 2.4 and 5 GHz.

Speed ​​in this scenario is consistent with the hardware characteristics of the model – an average of about 40 Mbit / s at 2.4 GHz and about 90 Mbit / s at 5 GHz. PPPoE creates a low load on the processor of the router and the results do not differ from IPoE.

In the last test, we tried to evaluate the coverage wireless communication device. We used the access point mode, and clients are smart ZOPO ZP920 , supports wireless networks in two ranges, including 802.11ac. We tried to explore all three of our standard locations – four meters line of sight, four meters across one wall and eight meters through two walls. However, at the last point connection was very unstable and we have excluded it from consideration.

It is seen that one wall is not a serious obstacle for the device, even with the traditionally weak adapter smartphone. In any case, to maintain the wireless network within a reasonable size rooms, this model is quite suitable. A comparable with traditional routers at range from its built-in antenna and does not require one.

In general, we see that the device is well incorporated into it fulfills the hardware capabilities.

Conclusion

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the material discussed in the router – implementation of the controller 802.11ac. In an access point and the client is the solution provides a data rate at the level of a wired port 100 Mbit / s, even though the wireless adapter is clearly capable of even more.

With modern high-speed customers to use this mode is not much point, but if we talk about mobile devices, which often have only one antenna, then get a comparable wired network last generation speed is very tempting. This allows you to not only quickly synchronize, and view high-resolution video from the Internet or from a network drive. Do not forget that 802.11ac operates in the 5 GHz band, which today is still quite free, as opposed to the tens of networks at 2.4 GHz in apartment buildings.

From the point of view of the software and its capabilities, the model can hardly be called a full-fledged router, and recommend it as an entry-level device for mass we would not. However, if your connection uses IPoE or PPPoE, and from the router requires only the Internet to distribute to several mobile devices, the DIR-516 may be suitable for this task.

In addition, for the home user may be interested in the creation of additional access points, including with support for 802.11ac, working within the room, as well as connecting to a wireless network without a corresponding adapter devices. More popular scenario for this model seems to mobile work in hotels, at trade shows or events. The compact size of the device and its antenna must not allow us to speak about the great coverage and ability to work through walls, but the room or booth D-Link DIR-516 will be enough.

Dual-band router D-Link DIR-516: compact model with support for the new 802.11ac! updated: April 9, 2015 author: John Malkovich