Review : D-Link DIR-685

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The D-Link Xtreme N Storage Router DIR-685 is a router aimed for people who wish to share files across their network. The built in screen doubles for a photo frame but also shows network statistics and even the weather.

The router includes a 2.5″ SATA II bay in the side, two USB 2.0 ports, 4 gigabit ethernet ports and Wireless N plus 1 WAN ethernet port to plug into your modem.

The NAS features include, HTTP/FTP download manager, torrent downloader, UPnP compatible streaming, Built-In FTP server for accessing files over the internet and real time backup solution with the included software.

Check out the review after the break.

  • Score:

    6.5 / 10

  • The Good:

    Supports 2.5″ SATAII drive, up to 1TB of storage, Wireless N, Gigabit ethernet.

  • The Bad:

    Gets hot quickly, noisy when a hard drive is in, slow file transfers.

  • Bottom Line:

    Good for home users who rarely file share.

You might think why do you need a screen on a wireless router? Well that was first my question. The router component in this device is great, fast Wireless N, fast gigabit ethernet transfers and it seems to handle multiple connections and users quite well.

The device also has built in NAS features. This includes direct bittorrent downloading to the SATAII hard drive or any USB drives plugged in, also USB/FTP downloading, UPnP compatible streaming of movies on the hard drive to your PS3 or Xbox 360, iTunes streaming and a Built-In FTP server for accessing your files over the internet. The iTunes Sharing ability shows up in the shared list of your iTunes on any computer in your house.

The SharePoint usb sharing utility worked well and I was able to setup my printer and usb external harddrive in a little under 5 minutes to be shared to all computers in my network. You can share other USB devices too by installing the SharePoint software on each computer.

The ability to mount the 2.5″ SATAII drive was an added plus. Not having to have it connected through USB to slow it down is always a good thing. However, for some reason, once a harddrive is in the D-Link, it gets extremely hot and it starts to get very noisy and I mean VERY noisy. The fans inside the D-Link would speed up and wouldn’t turn off until the hard drive went on stand by. This was a turn off as it was distracting if you had the D-Link sitting on your desk.

File Transfers from the SATAII harddrive where quite slow. On wireless the transfers would top only around 2 mbps and on gigabit ethernet, only around 4 or 5 mbps. I think this is mainly due to a under powered processor in the D-Link, which is slowing down the transfers.

The inbuilt screen can be used as a photo frame, RSS reader, network statistics and much more. Widgets can be loaded onto the D-Link and the possibilities are endless…. This worked well and I was happy with the functions. You could set it to show different widgets or displays at specified times of the day. Making it so during the week you display RSS feeds and during the weekend show family photos etc. You can set a quite period where the screen would turn off while everyone sleeps.

Conclusion: I was quite happy with the features the D-Link had to offer but was disappointed at the noise it made and the slowness of the file transfers. I think with a better processor inside, this would be fantastic for everyday file transfers.

Unfortunately, there is an absence of photos as my camera was broken while I was reviewing this unit.