Hands-on review: D-Link DIR-2150 AC2100 Wi-Fi Gigabit Router
D-Link’s DIR-2150 is an unassuming router in a market dominated by devices that look like someone out of a science-fiction show. This AC2100 router is designed to do a job, not to be a centrepiece. It’s a dual-band router that fills the gap between enthusiast-level connectivity and those that just use their ISP-supplied modem. Despite its sedate stylings, the DIR-2150 is still feature-packed.
The first thing I noticed was how small the router was. It’s about half the size of many other routers on the market. Perfect for tucking out of the way. The box contains the router- with its four antennas, a power supply unit, and a short length of Ethernet cable for connecting to your modem/Internet connection.
There’s a quick installation guide pointing users in the direction of the D-Link Wi-Fi app, common across all the company’s consumer networking produce. There’s also a card with a QR code that’s used with the app set-up method. Traditionalists and experienced users can also use a browser-based set-up by connecting the device to a PC or Mac via the cable.
The router’s MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multi-Input, Muti-Output) technology means that busy network-hungry homes with multiple devices, all needing an Internet connection, each gets a fair crack of the whip. The router also has four Gigabit Ethernet ports, with a capacity of up to 1000Mbps, for wired devices/networking.
The back of the device also a physical WPS button for easily connecting new devices to the network with one button press. On the bottom are holes for mounting the device on a wall via two screws.
Whilst the black plastic casing seems to have the moldings for a potential USB socket, there isn’t one on the router. So there’s no network drive/media centre functionality.
The device needs to be located in a centralised spot to get the best coverage, but close enough to your modem for the cable connection. It also needs a power socket. One of the things that really annoys me about D-Link products, that I often forget to mention, is that they come with generic transformers that have localised plugs that snap on. These plugs have huge wings on them to make them easy to click in place, but also dominate your power board, often obscuring the adjacent power socket as well.
The router can be set up using the D-Link Wi-Fi mobile app by following the instructions having scanned a QR code. Alternatively, the router can be set up by connecting the device directly to a PC/Mac and accessing the browser-based interface. Whilst the app allows for a quick and easy set-up, the browser interface allows for tuning some more advanced features.
The router has full QoS (quality of service) features, allowing certain devices to be given priority. This is great to ensure that your important Zoom meeting isn’t disrupted by the family watching Netflix. SpeedTest is built into the router, so you can easily check that you are getting the Internet speeds that you should be.
Parental controls can be set per device for scheduling screen time. There’s also, on the front page of the interface, a one-click pause Internet button that some households may find as useful as I did when the kids are not playing ball.
More advanced settings for the Firewall, including DMZ and Port Forwarding, are all easily accessible and a breeze to set up. The device can also be set up for remote access via a VPN tunnel. These are some very useful settings that are often overlooked or buried in the menus with entry-level routers.
In practice, the Wi-Fi performance is easily suitable for serving Internet connectivity suitable for the average home. At fifteen metres, though one solid wall, the SpeedTest app on my phone recorded a drop from my usual 100Mbps down/35Mbps up to 42Mbps/34Mbps, more than enough for Netflix in every room in the house!
I was honestly surprised that the DIR-2150 was not only easy to set up but also fully featured and easy to configure. It was absolutely painless. Having all the advanced functions in a logical menu structure means that customisation needn’t be a chore and users can optimise their network as required and just how they should be able to.
The D-Link DIR-2150 AC2100 Wi-Fi Gigabit Router is a no-nonsense solution for everyday home internet use. Its discreet form factor means that it can be easily positioned out of the way.
The D-Link app allows novice users to get going easily, whilst the browser-based menus allow access to advanced features for power users wanting to get the best out of their wireless network.