D-Link DSL-G604T ADSL2 Modem/Router Setup

dsl604t-01We had a need to replace a DSL modem at a friend’s home just recently. During the last year, they had upgraded their connection from ordinary ADSL to what’s called “Fast ADSL”, which gives them an improvement in speed – in their case, from 256 to 8192kbps.

Their old modem didn’t support this faster speed and its wireless connection was only 802.11B; an upgrade to a newer modem made sense as it would not only give a faster download speed but a faster internal wireless connection speed as well.

We’ve previously used D-Link products with no major issues, and the price-point for this unit fitted exactly within the allocated budget, so I purchased one of these for installation.

The package comes quite well equipped: I was surprised at how small the modem was, but included was the antennae, a power supply in the form of a wall wart, an ethernet cable, a phone cable and plug, a small phone fly-lead for interconnecting the modem to the filter, as well as a quickstart guide and a CD-ROM containing the setup and other software.

The modem/router has wireless G and four ethernet ports. As I’ve noted above, it’s quite a compact unit, and that would make it easy to place almost anywhere in the home.

The physical installation was very straightforward, with everything basically just slotting into place replacing the older hardware.

I was thinking in terms of a simple and quick setup through D-Link’s Click ‘n Connect utility. In fact, there was a big sticker on the device warning you to make sure that you used the software on the CD to install it and set it up for your connection. I was sadly mistaken.

I am always wary of these sorts of installation setups: it’s a bloody DSL modem, not a brand new computer. You get the modem’s IP address from the documentation, sign into it from your browser, tell it your ISP connection details, your wireless connection details, and save those details. How difficult can it be, and why the hell do you need a setup program to do that? This is not rocket science!

However, nice guy that I am, I decided to try the supplied setup program, so we pulled the laptop up to the modem, used the ethernet cable to connect the two devices, turned the modem on, and put the CD into the laptop’s drive.

The setup utility booted as advertised, and it appeared to be able to guide just about anyone through the process of setting up a modem.

Except for one very minor point: It couldn’t see the bloody modem! When the time came for it to detect the modem, it just failed to find the bloody thing! It basically just gave up in a fit of despair.

dsl604t-02This was despite the fact that the modem was sitting just 12 inches away, was hard wired to the laptop through an ethernet cable, and it had been allocated an IP address in the appropriate subnet by that self-same modem that the setup utility was telling me didn’t exist on the network. Talk about lame.

I tried this several times, all of them to no avail. It made me wonder whether D-Link’s marketing department had actually tried their “Click n’ Connect” setup or whether they were just hoping people would ignore their sticker regardless.

Pretty early in the piece I went to a command prompt and confirmed that not only had the modem (which the setup program said couldn’t be reached) had already allocated an IP address, but it was already loaded and specified as the computer’s gateway address.

I loaded up the browser on the PC, typed in the default IP address for the modem, entered the default username and password, and bingo: there was the modem’s web based interface.

I again tried to get the wizard to talk to the modem, but no, it did not want to play.

So, once again, my fears and trepidations – maybe even my prejudices – about the stupidity and failings of these so-called installation wizard CDs was confirmed.

A total waste of time. Who is responsible for the testing of these programs? They are earning their salaries under false pretenses! They should be ashamed of themselves.

Anyhow, with the browser now already loaded and talking to the modem – something clearly beyond the capabilities of the special software supplied by D-Link – it was a simple matter to enter the modem’s firmware wizard and load it with the ISP connection and wireless configuration details, save this data, and reboot the modem.

Rebooting seemed quicker than for other similar devices that I’ve used; I didn’t time it specifically, but it felt like maybe just thirty seconds or so and the interface was back, and again operational.

And a check of the status confirmed that we were now online with the upstream ISP and able to surf.

In summary, the device seems to be quite good: with all of the typical features one expects in this sort of modem/router, and a very simple setup, provided you ignore and avoid the included setup utility.

Setup & Installation Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Modem Rating: ★★★★☆

Product: D-Link DSL-G604T ADSL2 Modem/Router
RRP: $199