D-Link DGL-4500 Xtreme N Gaming Router - Network Performance and Final Thoughts

Article Index
D-Link DGL-4500 Xtreme N Gaming Router
DGL-4500 Features and Specs
DGL-4500 Network Activity Display
DGL-4500 Setup and Configuration
Network Performance and Final Thoughts

Network Performance:

Although many people, especially enthusiasts will never admit that they had to have help setting up a router or figuring out what certain features do, the Help section of the DGL-4500 is quite amazing.  It covers pretty much everything to, well, everything and is a great feature to include in such a robust router.  Navigation of this interface is very easy and it provides some insight and advice really on how to configure your little black box.

Help
Help

 

As far as performance goes, we fired up iperf to do a little benchmarking on this router.  Iperf results show bandwidth that the network is actually capable of.  In the real world, you won't see wired transfer rates approaching 1000mpbs because hard drives are not fast enough to read and write at this speed.  Also, CPU overhead becomes an issue when transferring this much data.  We use iperf with confidence as it shows how good the network hardware actually is and if it can perform anywhere close to its rated specs.

Network Speed

 

We ran through several instances of iperf and each instance transferred data for 5 minutes.  The results were averaged are displayed above.  As you can see the DIR-655 shows slightly better "N" performance while the DGL-4500 shows faster G/N mixed performance.  Both of these results are so close that you wouldn't likely notice it in the real world.  When it comes to a wired Ethernet connection the DGL-4500 does very well and comes in at 945mbps - just 55mbps short of a true 1000b network!  Keep in mind that network cable will play a major role here.  We used Cat.6 cable for our tests although Cat.5e is supposed to work with GB networks as well.

 

Conclusion:

Once again we see the 802.11n wireless network falling short of its rated 300mbps speed, but the wired 1000mpbs network is lightning fast.  Combined with Gamefuel, a host of Virtual Server applications, Web filtering and more, the DGL-4500 offers a great package for any gamer.  If you've got more than one computer on your home network and want the increased speed of an "N" based wireless network, this router is a great choice.  Like previous DGL-4x00 series routers, the DGL-4500 has great port forwarding capabilities that allow you to run multiple web servers and FTP servers from your home - even if your ISP blocks standard ports.

The DGL-4500 is nothing groundbreaking however; it is basically a jacked up version of the DGL-4300.  That being said the new Network Activity Display is handy for checking the status of your router without having to turn on a computer and load up a web page.

Pros:

  • Nice 10/100/1000 4-port router
  • 10/100/1000 base WAN port
  • Port masking / forwarding is a great feature
  • Stealthy firewall (according to GRC)
  • QoS engine (Gamefuel) gives your gaming packets priority and lowers ping and lag.
  • Network Activity Display is slick.

 

Cons:

  • Wireless performance mediocre when compared to rated speed.
  • A bit pricey at this point.

 

If you already have a DGL-4300 there is really no need to go and grab this updated model unless you need the benefits of the farther and faster Wireless N network.  While 802.11n doesn't come close to 300mbps, it does offer an increase in performance and range over the 802.11g version.  If you are currently using a standard Linksys, Belkin or heaven forbid a Trendnet router, the DGL-4500 is sure to impress in looks, features and performance.

 BCCRating

 Top Pick

 

I'd like to thank D-Link for sending this unit our way for a review.  It was interesting and a lot of fun.  It actually handled the backbone of LANtabulous earlier this year as well.  If you have any comments, questions or general feedback regarding this review, please post it at the "Comments" link below.