Articles: Networking

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Exterior and Interior Design

D-Link has recently changed the exterior design style of many of its home-targeted products, perhaps deciding that the previous design concept had become out-fashioned. Anyway, the traditional silver-gray case is now a thing of the past. It is replaced with a Mac-like design every respectable manufacturer currently employs. The only problem is that the overall design style doesn’t vary much from model to model. The size and, sometimes, the color scheme are the only things that change. The router I am talking about is not an exception, yet it looks cute despite having nothing original in its appearance. Talking about its physical parameters, the DIR-655 is a very compact device, but feels heavy and solid for its size.

The case is made from white glossy plastic. There is a small manufacturer logo on the top panel. The glossy surface is pretty yet not practical because it gets soiled too easily. Dust and accidental scratches are just too visible on it, too. The side panels are made from a black and rough rubber-like material. The router can be installed in either of three positions: lying on a desk, standing upright, or hanging on a wall. A special stand is included for vertical placement. Fasteners for wall-mounting the router are included as well. As I found out later, the router shouldn’t be placed upright because its antennas would either be oriented horizontally or get in the way of the connected cables. The DIR-655 is ventilated through the slits in its top and bottom cut closer to the rear panel. This seems to be insufficient as the router becomes very hot, especially its bottom panel, even after a short period of operation.

The router’s indicators are located on its front panel, as usual. They are blue LEDs soldered at the edge of the PCB in special holders. Their light can be seen outside through holes in the opaque front panel. The holes are shaped like small icons describing the meaning of each indicator. The descriptions are intuitive and visible on the front panel even without highlighting. The LEDs are bright, even too bright to my taste. They just merge into a solid light spot in semidarkness. There is a total of 9 indicators on the front panel. Here they are (from left to right):

  • Power
  • Status (the blinking of this indicator means that the router is operating normally)
  • WAN (this indicator reports an established connection and/or transactions for the WAN port)
  • Wireless (the blinking of this indicator denotes data transfers via the WLAN interface)
  • WCN (this indicator is active when data is being transferred via the integrated USB port)
  • LAN 1-4 (these indicators of the router’s four LAN ports behave like the WAN indicator)

The router’s connectors are all placed on its rear panel. Each connector is labeled and marked with a certain color. Here is what you have here (from left to right):

  • Antenna connector. The other two antenna sockets are placed between the router’s other connectors.
  • Four LAN ports.
  • WAN port for the external network.
  • USB port (I’ll describe its purpose later on).
  • Reset button. If you hold it down while turning the router on, the router settings will be reset to their factory defaults.
  • Power connector

That’s all about the device’s exterior design. To learn more about the DIR-655, we need to dismantle it.

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