D-Link DWR-953 4G LTE Router review

    How dependent you might be in your broadband connection turns into obviously apparent must you ever have it cease working for an prolonged interval. That is very true in a enterprise context, the place the stream of knowledge out and in of the corporate is crucial, and with out that hyperlink, even distant diagnostics turn into unattainable.

    Any respectable catastrophe restoration plan ought to have a complete part allotted to the lack of web connection, and it ought to in all probability embrace point out of a tool like the brand new D-Hyperlink DWR-953.

    To confuse issues just a little, D-Hyperlink already makes one other router designated the DWR-953 that was a tabletop design with three antennas and solely AC750 Wi-Fi efficiency.

    This ‘B’ model of the router has simply two antennas and a a lot better AC1200 spec Wi-Fi.

    Is that this an LTE router that you may be taught to like?

    Design and options 

    In case you are in search of the perfect Wi-Fi connectivity, dealing with quite a few concurrently related customers with MESH performance, then the D-Hyperlink DWR-953 isn’t for you.

    With simply an AC1200 specification Wi-fi facility it is a modest Wi-Fi router that gives a dual-band single antenna reference to as much as 866 Mbps for 802.11ac purchasers and one other 300 Mbps for these nonetheless utilizing 802.11n. It additionally helps 802.11g on 2.4GHz, must you favor 54 Mbps or much less velocity.

    With no spiders-from-mars antenna assortment or USB ports, D-Hyperlink engineers have been in a position to make the DWR-953 a really compact field that measures simply 19 cm vast and 17cm excessive.

    It sits on a small plastic foot that isn’t detachable, and the unit has no wall mounting choices.

    Contained in the field is a brief Ethernet cable for connecting the router to a cable modem through the WAN socket, a small exterior energy provide with a few interchangeable energy pins and two threaded BNC connectable antennas.

    The notes indicate that these antennas are for the LTE know-how and never Wi-Fi, but it surely is perhaps that they do each frequencies ranges in actuality. Or, the Wi-Fi ones are inner.


    Together with the WAN port are 4 normal gigabit Ethernet ports for wired networking, a quantity that has turn into the de facto normal for small routers.

    On the entrance face on the backside is without doubt one of the longest collections of LED indicators we’ve ever seen. They cowl energy, web, 5GHz service, 2.4GHz service, 4G, 2G/3G, LAN and WAN operation. And, there may be additionally a stacked bar indicator to point out precisely what sign power you might be getting on cellular communications, and even one to say when you’ve got an SMS message.

    Front lights

    To see any lights on the cellular indicators, you want a full-sized cell phone SIM inserted in a slot on the right-hand facet. And, we realised that it solely turns into lively after the router is energy cycled as soon as the SIM has been inserted.

    The one different options of observe are a WPS button and alongside it one other to disable wi-fi performance and a small gap to provoke a reset.

    Aside from the SIM card slot, it is a by-the-numbers Wi-Fi cable router, with comparatively few bells or whistles to its repertoire.

    Speed test


    Should you’re shopping for this router for wi-fi velocity, you want to do extra analysis. As a result of even with AC1200 spec the connectivity is fundamental compared with many different choices. 

    Whereas it might help a handful of customers to hyperlink them to cable broadband, the true function is to offer a easy means to get to the web ought to the wired connection fail.

    And, it does that job fairly elegantly.

    It’s additionally remarkably simple to get it operational as an LTE entry level, as with a sound SIM and default settings you will be browsing through it in only a few minutes with zero configuration.

    On this LTE hyperlink with 4 bars, we managed 7.28Mbits down and seven.74Mbits up, which isn’t too shabby for a cellular service.

    In idea, if the LTE mast is simply exterior and few persons are utilizing it a 150Mbps downlink is feasible. We skilled someplace between 5 and 12Mbits from inside a constructing, inside half a mile of the native LTE base stations.

    As this router has removable antennas, mounting exterior antennas and cabling them to it will in all probability enhance efficiency for those who use it as their single means to entry the web.

    In some areas close to the bottom stations, this answer may exceed the native ADSL speeds obtainable over copper strains, sarcastically. 


    In use

    We’ve observed that D-Hyperlink prefer to maintain their firmware interfaces paired all the way down to the minimal, presumably to keep away from individuals deciding on choices they don’t perceive after which demanding help to assist them. The DWR-953 follows that development, sadly. 

    The safety choices, specifically, aren’t as intensive as enterprise customers may need. The router solely helps WEP or WPA/WPA2 and no Enterprise choice for instance.

    The pages referring to the cellular chip management are additionally underwhelming, as they largely relate to LTE within the introduction of utilizing a login managed service.

    That it helps SMS messaging is fascinating if just a little pointless, as is D-Hyperlinks determination to incorporate USSD messaging additionally. These is perhaps extra helpful in the event that they robotically relayed them to an electronic mail or chat service, but it surely doesn’t.

    In our experimenting we found that it’s attainable to mess up the LTE fail-over mode by tinkering with the LAN/WAN choices, so watch out with that.

    Ideally, the DWR-953 must be instantly related to the Cable modem, and have DHCP lively. Attending to work in a wi-fi Entry Mode and fail-over is more difficult, given the very restricted documentation that D-Hyperlink supplies.

    The fast set up information could be very sparse, offering little or no greater than admin login particulars, and nearly nothing else of worth.

    Undoubtedly the power of this machine is the LTE modem, which helps 2100/1900/1800/850/2600/900/800 MHz in FDD mode and 2600/2300 MHz in TDD.

    If these aren’t obtainable the system will robotically downgrade to Pentaband UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSPA+ and as a final resort Quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE on 850/900/1800/1900 MHz.

    That covers nearly all geographic areas with cellular knowledge providers, must you transfer to a different nation and take this machine with you.

    There are nevertheless a few caveats that anybody eager to deploy a tool like this wants to contemplate;

    Firstly, as a method to bypass a broadband challenge, you want to contemplate that not all broadband issues are on the consumer finish. It is perhaps that the system is equally blocked throughout the LTE/4G service as it’s over the broadband connection.

    Beneath these circumstances, this router won’t resolve the issue, even when it takes a special route throughout the web.

    The opposite level that wants making is one about the price of cellular knowledge connections and the way they’re not usually operated in the best way that broadband connections are sometimes abused.

    Ought to the broadband connection fail in a single day initiating a swap to the cellular connection, and that’s when offline backups are working, or Microsoft decides to flush one other Windows 10 launch all the way down to you, then there might a difficulty with cellular knowledge allowances.

    With out an all-you-can-eat cellular knowledge contract, you may arrive at work with an enormous invoice for cellular knowledge. And, even should you do, until you will have glorious native LTE service the backup won’t have accomplished, and the brand new Home windows 10 launch completed downloading.

    As an emergency means to entry the inner community remotely or ship the odd electronic mail out an answer like this may suffice, however until there aren’t any different choices, this isn’t a great substitute for a wired web connection.

    The place this product shines is when you’ve got an account with an LTE service, transfer to a brand new metropolis and need to distribute Wi-Fi round a brand new workplace, house or house earlier than cable or ADSL providers are related.

    On the time of writing, the brand new DWR-953 ‘B’ is accessible in Europe, the Center East, Russia and Singapore, but it surely hasn’t but been added to the LTE fashions obtainable within the USA.

    Remaining verdict

    The DWR-853 is just a little too simplified for our liking. The shortage of Enterprise encryption, no USB port and the restricted Wi-Fi bandwidth all undermine its enterprise potential.

    That mentioned, if you need a straightforward to deploy fail-over choice that ticks a couple of packing containers within the catastrophe restoration plan, it is a extremely inexpensive choice.

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