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Pros: - This router is extremely well put together. It’s made out of a hard composite / plastic material that has a polished finish. Like anything using this material, it displays fingerprints because it lacks an oleophobic coating. Its cylinder like design is well thought out leaving a very small footprint on my desk. Integrated wireless antennas are an extreme plus to me; they prevent cords from becoming tangled and are less likely to be damaged. Properly labeled connections on the back of the router make it easy to figure out what plugs into where. The router has an overall heft to it which lets you know it’s a well-built quality product.
- The router’s quality is compounded by its unusual, and I think, pleasing looks. Certainly, the unknowing would likely not suspect such an imposing little structure to be a router.
- The LEDs are subtle, but still very visible and informative.
- Probably the most important thing I look for in modern routers is ease of setup. These are devices commonly bought by people with little to no tech knowledge, and should be made as easy to setup as possible. This router accomplishes that very well. The setup is almost entirely automated, it detects whether your IP is static or dynamic, prompts you for an admin password and WiFi password, and then you’re good to go (as long as you follow the setup directions!).
- The web interface of this router is amazing. It’s one of the most interactive, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing designs I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. It allows you to see real time statistics in well-organized graphs as well as being able to see all active devices that are currently connected to the local network. It also allows you to view the bandwidth usage of each connected device in real time. It allows up to 24 separate rules to be applied to the firewall (more than I’ve ever seen on a home use router and certainly enough for that). Logging into the router presents you with a reminder of where D-Link stands on security as it requires not only the standard username / password, but also a captcha. The maintenance tab of the web interface allows you to check the firmware version of your router, and update it automatically, again, ease of use and simplicity are important.
- The Streamboost feature actually works. I’ve seen marked increases in download speeds as well as reduced latency in many online games. The improvements were up to of 20% more often than not. It’s able to understand which application is in need of the most bandwidth and prioritizes accordingly. (This could have been due to the router I compared it to, but my net speed doesn’t approach either router’s theoretical max speed.)
- The wireless range is extremely impressive. In my tests the range was in excess of 100ft for both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
- The rear USB port is a useful feature for networking a storage device easily. There is no mention of printer support however.
Cons: - The rear USB port is not USB 3.0, pretty much unacceptable considering the price of this router.
- The statistics panel in the web interface tends to randomly reset on occasion, making retroactive bandwidth monitoring a difficult, if not impossible task. The navigation bar “sliding effects” tend to get stuck in Firefox leaving the navigation bar sometimes unusable without restarting the browser.
- Even though I’m a fan of the router’s design, it does have its faults; mainly the base being too small. A few stiff unruly cables and your router will start to look like the leaning tower.
- Price, it is certainly not a cheap router, but it is a quality product.
Other Thoughts: - As with any item I test, I ask that it work correctly to the point where I don’t even notice its presence, this router succeeded to that end, a month of use and it never went wrong and never required my intervention, it has simply worked since the day I set it up.
- The power LED and “World” LED on the front look as if they’re physical buttons, however they’re just indicator lights. It seems silly to me that this router should look so different, but then just go with the old boring (and I’ve always thought, irritating) habit of putting the buttons on the back of the router.
- I think this is a very good router, well built, nice to look at, with some very impressive features, I would however not recommend it for typical family home usage because many of its features (which contribute to its high price) are just simply not aimed at that demographic. The target demographic for this router to me is hardcore gamers and people who for whatever reason need a home router this powerful. Basically, I just think that most people shopping for routers can probably find something better to suit their needs, but if this router is what suits your needs, don’t hesitate to buy it.
This review is from: Kingston Black/Gray 1800 mAh MobileLite Wireless MLW221
Pros: - Build quality is excellent. Good heavy plastic which doesn’t allow LEDs to bleed, supplemented with aluminum to create a sturdy casing for the device. The SD card slots and USB ports are also nice and sturdy.
- Aesthetically pleasing. The device has a simple and pleasant color scheme coupled with clean lines and a simple shape which makes it look modern and keeps it from being an eyesore.
- Portable. The device’s images do it an injustice by not providing anything to reference its true size against. Be sure to read under details so you’ll understand just how small this thing is. I’d say as a rough comparison it’s about the same size as your average smart phone, except for being about twice as thick.
- Much like the device itself, the app has a nice clean look and is easy to use, it’s even kind enough to automatically find and conveniently arrange media on connected devices, if you want it to.
- Despite what my early tests indicated, the WiFi range of the device is very good, in my tests the range was 50+ feet in my house. Outside the range was slightly less, around 35 feet.
- The WiFi speeds of the device are also acceptable; they weren’t any slower than my phone when connected to my WiFi through normal means. My tests showed just under 1MB/s download, and about 125KB/s upload.
- Retains all functionality even while charging.
- A sub point to the above, you can daisy chain charging. What I mean by this is you can charge the device, and then have the device charge your phone or tablet at the same time.
- On the subject of charging, it was able to charge my phone (LG Optimus Elite) from 60%-100% in 1 hour 45 minutes.
- Includes two useful extras; the micro USB to USB cable, and a SD card adapter, the latter of which is only briefly mentioned and not even pictured.
Cons: - Power button is rather poorly positioned and quite a pain to actually press. I’m sure this was done to prevent accidentally powering it on, but it makes hard to intentionally power on. A small issue, it just means I have to operate the power button with my finger nails rather than my fingers.
- If you didn’t already have the device connected to a WiFi network and you decide to charge it, it doesn’t seem to want to connect to a network. Another fairly small issue, just make sure the device is connected to a network before charging.
- Manual. Is. Very. Unwieldy. Imagine back to the bad old days of having to undo a paper map while driving. Booklet please, Kingston.
Other Thoughts: - When connecting the device to a WiFi network, there is no notification if you’ve entered the password incorrectly.
- There aren’t many cons with this device, I think most of them are more missed opportunities than actual cons, so I’ll list them here.
- A carrying case, something simple, maybe worth five dollars, but it would have been a huge advantage to have a place to stash the device, some cables, SD cards, and flash drives.
- WiFi repeater, the device maybe quite small but I can tell just by tapping on it there is a lot of empty space inside. I think allowing the device to act as a WiFi repeater would be a useful feature that people would even go so far as to buy the device just to use it for that. Also, this occurred to me as well: you would think the device would by its nature act as a repeater, but it doesn’t because it doesn’t boost the signal, it only relays it.
- Somewhat of a sub point to the above, the devices antenna is only about as powerful as my phone’s, which I find disappointing because of all the free space inside the device. Being able to connect to a WiFi network from farther away than the devices you’re using would certainly be nice.
- Overall, this device does what it says it does, and does it well. The device is high quality, as you would expect from Kingston, it looks nice, works without making a fuss, and only has extremely minor cons. If you’re looking for a portable battery that can do more than just charge your devices, you could do much worse than this.
Other Thoughts: - In my haste to record all of the issues I had with this router I left out a crucial detail: both me and my friend tried setting it up for a Windows home network.READ FULL REVIEW