We recently launched a completely updated version of our router management user interface that is getting a lot of attention and positive feedback from the tech community. It’s super simple to use, easy on the eyes and – most importantly – offers all the advanced features and functionality you’ve come to expect from D-Link products. PCWorld states “D-Link’s new user interface is easy on the eyes” and TweakTown says it has a “cleaner user-friendlier feel”. So in case you haven’t seen it for yourself, let me walk you though some of the best features of our newly released router management user interface.
But first, why did we decide to update our router management GUI? Well, not only did we want to make it “easy on the eyes”, we also wanted to make certain actions that a lot of people might have thought were too advanced for them as easy to access and use as possible, while still offering the same sophisticated features for our most techie router users. We payed special attention to the setup process and are now able to get you set up and connected to the internet in just 3 steps!
For this walk-through, I am using our AC1900 Wi-Fi Router (DIR-880L), which I personally love (I’m not biased, I swear).
Let’s Explore the Router User Interface
It’s not every day you can enter a router login page to find it’s as easy as navigating a modern website. That’s the feel I got the moment I entered this simple environment for the first time.
Home Tab: Internet
The home screen uses a diagram so you have visual cues and identification with quick summaries and their respective setting options. You can click on “Internet”, “Router Name”, “Connected Clients” and “USB Device”, all of which will display their own summaries in the section below the diagram. This is so you don’t have to navigate between tabs and reload pages when accessing important information on the run. Right now we are in the highlighted section “Internet”.
Here you can see an overview for your Internet settings including MAC address, Cable Status, Subnet Mask and more. It also lets you know if you’re connected or not (which is what you’re probably most concerned about). When you’ve completed the three setup steps, which you’ll be walked through, this page will immediately load and let you know you’re successfully connected to the internet. It’s a quick gratification if you have everything working fine.
Home Tab: Connected Clients
Here you will see all your connected clients, both wired and wireless, giving you a snapshot view of everything connected to your home network. The best part about this screen is, you can rename each device so it’s easily identifiable whenever you decide to log in to your router. You can even set parental controls on each individual device just by clicking on the pencil icon allowing you to easily manage settings separately.
Home Tab: Router
When you click on the router icon, you will get your network settings for IPv4/6 and both Wi-Fi bands (if your router supports dual-band). This is a great dashboard to give you a quick reference to your SSID information and other more advanced router settings. If you click on “Go to settings”, it will take you to the settings tab shown at the top. That’s one thing we felt was extremely important because it should take you no more than two clicks to get there.
We kept navigation simple by adding visual cues like the router icon for the router settings and the globe icon for internet settings because it’s our job to make something as easy as obtaining your Wi-Fi password not seem like it’s rocket science. (By the way, if you need some inspiration on funny SSID names, check out our Top 10 Feverishly Funny Wi-Fi Network Names blog.)
Settings Tab: Basic
In the Settings tab, you can change both your “Device Mode” and “Internet Type”, toggle your router to work in router mode or bridge mode and even switch between DHCP, Static IP, PPPoE, L2TP, or DS-Lite. Best part is you didn’t have to jump through hoops to get here. It’s easy to find and it literally takes one click to get to this tab. Sometimes there is a lot of text and unnecessary noise around settings, but we kept it simple and to the point.
Settings Tab: Advanced
If you click on the “Advanced Settings” tab at the bottom of the basic settings page, it brings you to this. I think a lot of people get a bit nervous when they see “Advanced Settings”, but you won’t get that icky feeling when you click through to our advanced settings page. It has all the essentials, but it’s all there in a nice orderly fashion.
It’s broken down into:
1. Network Settings
2. Internet Type
3. Advanced Settings
I thought it was neat that you can change your router management login URL to anything you want as long as it contains “.local/” at the end. You can even change your DHCP Address Range simply by entering in two range numbers.
Settings Tab: SharePort™
SharePort™ is awesome, and you can find it under “Settings” as well. It allows you to use a built-in UPnP media server to stream your music, video, and photos stored in an attached USB drive on your router to other devices on your wireless network like PCs, smartphones, tablets, smart TV’s and more. You can even access on your web browser if you are not using the SharePort app.
Here you can create and edit your primary and guest wireless networks. You also have the option to get into the more advanced settings found in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz sections, just remember to change your device Wi-Fi settings to match whatever changes you make to your router’s wireless settings. You can even set schedules on each band segment as to when the wireless is on or off, which is great if you want to keep the kids offline after bedtime or to save energy when you normally aren’t using the Wi-Fi.
Many router manufacturers tout their advanced QoS (Quality of Service) features when marketing their Wi-Fi routers; yet they never talk about how easy or difficult it is to use. If you aren’t familiar, QoS is the overall quality of your network in measurements of bandwidth, throughput, transmission delays, and others. When you access our QoS Engine under the features tab, you will quickly find out on your own what to do just by knowing what basic QoS engines are for. Here they give priority to your connected devices just by dragging and dropping each from a scrollable row above the colored chart area.
The priority chart area is listed in three sections: Medium, High, and Highest. You simply drag which of your devices will be given priority in bandwidth so your router can decide how to distribute the available bandwidth coming in from your ISP. I love to keep my media streaming devices for Netflix and HBO Go in the highest section because it’s the most demanding, mainly because having buffer interruptions while watching Game of Thrones can make an already stressful episode even worse.
Quick VPN is a neat feature that allows you to connect to your router by using just a username and password. This allows you to access your Local Area Network (LAN) remotely and on a secure funnel. This is also under the “Features” tab.
The Virtual Server feature is significant if you decide you want to have a specific IP address on your network to assign to a particular device. Here you can assign an IP address to a different device, mainly PCs and storage devices, to act as a server but still function as it should in other applications. It makes sure that relevant tasks on your network go to the right sources, like printing goes to the printer, file sharing goes to your FTP, and many more diverse applications depending on your needs. This management system for your virtual servers is extremely easy to work with and provides a more organized flow of data within a healthy network. In return you will experience less hiccups in connectivity.
That’s All Folks
I hope you got a good read out of what our new GUI looks like and how it functions. Although I wasn’t able to cover it all, I’ve hopefully given you a good idea of how easy and functional it is. For sticking with me until the bitter end, here’s a kitten.