Articles: Networking

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Firmware and Web-Interface

To my regret, less can be said about the router’s software than about its hardware. The user of a DIR-655 can use the official firmware only, I couldn’t find alternatives. This is sad because the official firmware doesn’t offer too many options. For example, the router’s USB port is only used to quick-load profiles with WLAN settings from a flash drive. It doesn’t seem right to use the full-featured support of flash drives only for this specific purpose. The DIR-655 would also be much more attractive in the customer’s eyes if it had an integrated FTP server, not to mention more advanced features.

But I quit talking about what this router might be and will instead talk about what it is. Its latest firmware is version 1.03 as of the time of my writing this.

The web-interface for specifying the router’s parameters is designed typically for a home device. Like the exterior design of the DIR-655, the web-interface has been revised and now resembles the D-Link website. Besides the banner that tells you the device model and its hardware and firmware revisions, there are four more frames on the page. The top row stretching the entire screen contains five global groups all the settings are categorized into. The Setup group is for initial setup which you can do either manually or with the help of appropriate Wizards. The Advanced group contains the rest of settings pertaining to the router’s functionality. The Tools group includes options concerning the DIR-655 proper. The pages of the Status group show information about the router and events occurring on it. The Support group contains information that can help you set up various parameters.

The left frame shows a list of pages with settings the current group contains. The selected page from the list is displayed in the middle of the screen. This navigation method is quick and visual but works right only when the whole menu has a logical structure, which is not the case here. Similar settings can sometimes be found on different pages or even in different groups. Well, you get used to this structure eventually.

The right frame contains tips on using the information from the Support section of the current settings page. The router’s help system is excellent, by the way. D-Link has always been good in this respect. You get detailed descriptions even on the settings page itself while the help system offers an in-depth explanation of each parameter with examples and step-by-step instructions.

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