Articles: Networking

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The DI-824VUP+ is a complex network solution for the SOHO market sector. Most exciting about this device is that it incorporates the functionality of an access point, router, print-server and VPN-server at once. Network equipment makers only add some of these features to their SOHO routers, but not all them together. Otherwise, the DI-824VUP+ is quite a standard device of its class. I’ll describe its functionality in detail below. Right now I’d want to add a few words about the firmware.

There is in fact nothing much to tell about it. The DI-824VUP+ model was released about a year ago and the manufacturer has by now solved all the firmware-related problems by issuing a few updates. At the time of my writing this review, 1.05 is the latest version of the router’s firmware but there’s one problem which I also mentioned in my review of the ASUS WL500g Premium. The problem is that many routers do not support a VPN (PPTP) connection to the provider if the IP address is issued by an external DHCP server. The reviewed router solves this problem with its official firmware, which is good, but firmware 1.05, and the earlier versions too, do not support routing of packets bypassing the VPN tunnel. This means that the provider’s local network won’t be visible upon establishing a VPN connection. This problem is only solved in firmware 1.05b6 which is not fully official as it is only available on D-Link’s Russian ftp-server. Otherwise, both versions are stable, giving no cause for complaints.

I will describe the options of the router’s web-interface with respect to the version 1.05 firmware as the most widespread one. Like every other “all-in-one” network device, the router offers an abundance of settings available via your Web-browser. I won’t explain each setting since the manufacturer has already done this in the router’s own Help system. This Help is accessible from each page with settings (it will be opened at the appropriate section then) or as an independent item in the router’s web-interface.

There’s plenty of information about each setting, making it possible to learn an unknown feature on your own. When the Help is evoked from one of the settings pages, it opens up in a new window so that you could still continue working with the web-interface. The Help system is not blameless, though. There are typos in the Help file, and some settings are just omitted. But anyway, this Help is indeed helpful.

Besides it, the router’s web-interface offers four more groups that include all the available settings and information fields. The first group (you see it when you access the router’s interface) is called Home. It contains main option that you should start setting the router up with.

The Wizard page allows to run a Wizard for a simplified setting-up of the router’s main parameters.

The Wireless page of the Home group contains basic parameters of the Wi-Fi interface such as SSID, channel number, and security method with necessary parameters.

The connection security methods have been listed above in the router specification, but here they are again: WEP (64, 128, 256-bit), WPA (PSK, RADIUS), and 802.1x. You can also disable the encryption altogether.

The WAN page allows to choose the type of connection to the world and to specify the parameters necessary for the connection to function properly.

Here is the list of possibilities: static IP address, dynamic IP address, PPPoE, dial-up, PPTP, L2TP, and BigPond Cable. The latter three connections appear if you select Other in the main list. The Dial-Up option will only be available if a modem is attached to the router.

On the LAN page the router’s IP address on the internal network, the subnet mask and the domain name for the internal network are specified.

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