D-Link DIR-400 wireless router

dlink_icon I resisted buying router for a long time. I mean simple LAN plus proxy software and all is good, why bother with extra hardware lying around?

However, after purchasing notebook, ad-hoc Wi-Fi started to drive me insane fast and I gave up.


DIR-400 is one of newer D-Link routers. I am unfortunate to use some earlier models at work and they really suck. Newer lineup has much better reputation so I decided to go for one.



  • nice black/silver design;
  • pretty large (124x200x35 mm);
  • 1x WAN, 4x LAN ports;
  • could-be-larger Wi-Fi antenna;
  • supports 802.11b/g with speed of 54 Mb/s (up to 108Mb/s with other D-Link hardware).


I have somewhat varied devices to network together:

  • static Ethernet connection to Internet;
  • desktop PC (refreshed after old one had meltdown);
  • new notebook Dell Vostro 1310;
  • N810 tablet;
  • Nokia E60 phone.

Out of the box router was covered with huge sticker saying I must start with installing software for CD. I had a hunch that this might be bad idea but if they said so…

Upon launching setup from CD it did three things:

  • promised to provide me with excellent trial (eh?) of Network-something software;
  • completely nuked my existing network settings;
  • hanged up.

Fail. I threw CD over the shoulder, plugged router in and connected via web interface.


It walked me through initial setup. Pretty easy and it was working right after that. Only things I changed were:

  • switching security to WPA2;
  • set up static IPs for devices;
  • forwarded port 80 to HFS server on desktop.

Firmware seemed pretty outdated so I tried to re-flash it with newer one from D-Link FTP but router had refused to update. No ideas on reason. By the way it is compatible with DD-WRT Linux based firmware so I may try to play with that some day.

Notebook and tablet connected just fine. Phone refuses to see network but it isn’t high priority so I left it as is.

Had slight trouble installing Skype on notebook and had to download full installer from FileHippo instead of usual online one.


Router works flawlessly (for few weeks already) without reboots. Only performance difference I had noticed is uTorrent choking browsing at times. I had it configured according to torrent settings calculator so that might be too many concurrent connections for router to handle.

UPnP support is perfect meaning that all software with support of that just requests external ports from router without need for manual setup.

I had seen some complaints online about problems with ADSL modems but can’t confirm it because of different Internet connection type.


Aside from crappy native software (typical for hardware manufacturers) I am quite pleased with device. After initial setup it requires no attention and software migrated easily.

Router seems to be region-specific product so I have bit of trouble providing good official link.

Well, internals in router lineups are usually close so if not same model this should still be what you will get from recent D-Link models.

Do you have home LAN with or without router? Share your setup in comments. :)

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  • Klemen #

    Hi again. Well, utorrent's number of connections can be critical for an average router. I don't know what number is set iin your config, but n my experience it's worth to try harder and upgrade firmware to a newer version that handles p2p things better. You've also mentioned dd-wrt, which is a great alternative! (or Tomato, if you please) I don't know about the d-link routers, but I'm sticking with my asus and netgear routers :) But I guess tey are all ok, as long as they have 802.11n (and MIMO)
  • Rarst #

    @Klemen I have 670 global connections set at moment, which probably is too much for the home-class router. :) Have no real reason to mess with alternative firmware at moment, maybe in the future. I hear about Tomato more often but it is incompatible with D-Link if I understood right. Don't care about 802.11n much (yeah, that probably sounds like it will bite me in few years). :)
  • Klemen #

    IMHO the absence of 802.11n isn't critical. Why? Firstly, most wlan cards (laptops) doesn't support N protocol (yet) and you usually need a special external adapter, which means yet another used usb port. Secondly, I don't believe buying high-end equipment is the smarter way to go. Your equipment needs to be upgraded with your needs and with the evolution of technology. Just try to imagine someone who bought very expensive high-end HD DVD player a couple of years ago. Now he/she may only use it as an overpriced paperweight. Most of us started out home networks with hubs, then evolved to switches, jumped to private routers a few years later and ended up with hijacking neighbor's wlan :) And there is always a golden truth about updating: if it's not broken, don't fix it. Same goes with alternative firmware upgrades =) I am only using N router for its better signal range, and utorrent is set to 400 connections (and 100 per torrent).
  • Rarst #

    @Klemen I mostly stopped considering future. Upgrade concept is busted - when PCs need upgrade it usually far easier to put completely new system together rather than cling to limited choice of legacy or backwards-compatible parts. I just buy what I need at moment lately. :) However some self-control is needed to eliminate impulse from purchases with this approach. ended up with hijacking neighbor’s wlan Cafe acroos the street had recently set up free WiFi so I can claim to have reserve Internet connection now. :)
  • Klemen #

    Here's a thought for a new howto article: How to combine two wlan network connections with two cards one one computer to get maximum speed :) (or combining cable lan connection with neighbour's wlan).
  • Rarst #

    @Klemen Load balancing is bit too advanced for me. :)
  • Donace | The Nexus #

    combining two connections has no immediate benefits as only one will be utilized for the net at a time; if one permanently dies then yes the other will kick in but the time between the apps moving from one connection and reconnecting to the second, the first one is usually re-established. Re: utorrent etc. rule of thumb post 250 connection routers start to choke; try and keep it at that...shouldn't really effect speed of your downloads of the latest linux distro and addons ;)
  • Rarst #

    @Donace No benefit if conneciton are equal, however it is pretty interesting topic when there is difference between local and global traffic (was common around here until last year, still happens). Went down to 400 connections in utorrent at moment, seems fine. :)
  • mohammad #

    i need soft wer d-link dir-400
  • Rarst #

    @mohammad If you need firmware - post has link to FTP with that. As for software that is coming on CD with router don't know if it is available for download and it's useless anyway.
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  • szekelya #

    Hi, what is the expected (not nominal) downspeed of a 802.11g router priced for home segment with wpa encryption? I started to get disappointed with my low-end wifi router as my internet connection got more and more fast. Recently my connection speed was increased from 5 to 15, then quickly to 30 mbps. I can download with 30mbps over the wired ethernet LAN port of my router, but the wireless speed with WPA-PSK is ~7mbps, that can climb to 18mbs if all encryption is switched off, which obviously I did only for the speed test. The vendor told me to buy an N router and closed the case. But on one hand as other said, none of my laptops support 802.11N without purchasing extra interfaces, on the other hand I don't want to beleive, that a 802.11b/g router couldn't serve me with 30mbps. Any experiences? I just don't want to buy a new one until I find a model that is proven to be able to handle 30mbps.
  • Rarst #

    @szekelya Router from post with my Dell Vostro 1310 gives stable 18Mbps link (of real hard bandwidth) with WPA2. ~20Mbps is about limit of 802.11g as far as I had read. There are proprietary extensions by manufacturers (again, router from post has such by D-Link) that roughly double bandwidth, but all hardware has to match for that to work. Obviously not possible with notebooks. How many wireless devices in your LAN? Are all of them 802.11g capable? I remember if some devices are only 802.11b that can greatly slow network down. At best better router will help, at worst you will indeed have to invest in 802.11n upgrade or stick to wires (always or at times). Latter is actually decent choice, I often shut down wireless and plug ethernet cable from router into notebook when I need to transfer larger amounts of stuff.
  • szekelya #

    I bought a Linksys WRT120N router and get around 20mbps with WPA-PSK. Most of the time only one wireless device is connected, but both of my laptops are g capable, however I'm not sure about my PDA and sonyericsson cellphone. Since this is a nice N router, later I might invest in an N capable USB wifi interface, in the meanwhile I also prepared an ethernet cable for fully enjoying my 30mbps tube. :)
  • Rarst #

    @szekelya Glad it worked out for you, guess that low-end router just sucked. As for myself my desktop is wired to router so I can enjoy my tube without being restricted by 802.11g ;)
  • szekelya #

    @Rarst: one of the new slogans of my company is fat pipes make big ideas. Now the fat pipe part is checked. :)
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  • Internet Quotas #

    I've also needed to throw away the CD and connect directly with routers that I've used. I would actually recommend the DIR 300 instead if you were to install third party software such as DD-WRT, it has more memory. I have even installed the Gargoyle Firmware on the DIR 300. WPA2 sounds like the way to go in terms of security. Unfortunately 1 out of 4 users in my house could not connect to WPA so I've had to use the less secure WEP.
  • Rarst #

    @Internet Quotas Looking at supported devices http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Supported_Devices#D-Link that extra memory depends on DIR-300 revision. I am fine with native firmware so far, it just works and I don't need more from router. :) Had you tried auto WPA/WPA2 mode? Supposed to be more flexible than WPA2 only.
  • Mervin #

    I'd like to use the same DIR-400 as a repeater. Is that possible?
  • Rarst #

    @Mervin I don't think it has repeater mode in native firmware. Quite possible to install some of popular 3rd party firmware on it to get that, but I hadn't tried myself.
  • Alan #

    I have a D-Link router. I can say this router is very stable and it's easy to install without any IT knowledge. The router was shocked few times (fall down) but it still working very well (like in the first day, in fact). The router power / range is good and the signal is stable. I recommend this router.