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I had an unfortunate experience with a small, cheap, inherited SMC ethernet hub. Originally I had two computers linked together with this switch and a DSL modem attached via a crossover cable. My computer had the PPoE dialer and a free proxy program to allow the other computer to get internet access. While not a great solution, it did work. The biggest problem was that my computer had to be on for the other computer to get internet access.

Well, one day the internet stopped working on the other computer. Within a few hours it stopped working entirely. Going through troubleshooting I realized that I could plug the DSL directly in to my computer and it would work, but if I had it attached to the hub it did not. I also discovered that neither of the computers could talk with each other over the network. These two problems both hinted at either a problem with cabling or the hub. Since the hub was several years old and I had been wanting to upgrade to a DSL router / switch anyway, off to Best Buy I went and found the D-Link 604 for 40 bucks. Of course, the next week I found it at Office Depot for $20 after rebates, but I had lost my receipt.

Honestly, my decision for this particular router was based on price. There were two available routers that did not have wireless built in and the D-Link seemed to be a better deal. Away from my typical characteristics I did zero research into routers before buying this one. I just grabbed it off the shelf and off I went.

Note: These are from D-Link’s website.

  • IEEE 802.3 10Base-T Ethernet
  • IEEE 802.3u 100Base-Tx Fast Ethernet
  • IEEE 802.3 NWay Auto-Negotation

VPN Pass Through

  • PPTP
  • L2TP
  • IPSec

Firewall Features

  • NAT with VPN Passthrough
  • MAC Filtering
  • IP Filtering
  • URL Filtering
  • Domain Blocking
  • Scheduling

What’s in the box

  • DI-604 Router
  • CD-ROM (with Manual)
  • Quick Install Guide
  • Ethernet Cable
  • AC Power Adapter

Piece of cake. I unplugged the non working hub and plugged the cables from my two computers into two of the LAN ports. I switched out the crossover cable from the DSL to a normal cable and plugged in to the WAN port. Powered up and my two computers could talk to each other again; and faster too, since it was through a switch rather than a hub.

To get the internet to connect a few settings had to be done. This was done by connecting to in a web browser. A few steps in a simple wizard and I was back on the internet.

After installing the router I was able to remove the proxy software and all of the Yahoo stuff that was installed for my DSL connection. Not only did this get my computer running faster, it also didn’t have its typical lockup every couple of hours like it did when Enternet 300 was running.

For the 40 dollars I spent on this router it is an incredible piece of equipment. Sure, there are better routers out there. But, if all you need is a simple way to get 4 or fewer computers on the internet through a broadband connection this is a great little box to use.

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