If Capcom is reeling from a lot of the mediocre review scores from Lost Planet 3, I imagine folk at D-Link are flipping their minds with some of the continued lambasting their DGL-5500 wireless gaming router is receiving.
CNET is probably the most prominent and one of the few tech sites out there with a reputable review of the unit that sticks out for its obviously not-paid-off review score of two-and-a-half stars out of five. Ouch.
The reason for the low scores? Well, the DGL-5500 featuring Qualcomm's Streamboost technology and a nice suite of networking tools to channel all the power of your ISP's bandwidth capabilities, no matter how capped it is. The problem is that – according to the CNET review, as well as the user reviews on sites like GameStop and Newegg – the “boost” doesn't seem to boost up the speeds the way some gamers (and reviewers) were expecting.
One user wrote that...
Like Jimmy Mcmillan says the price is too darn high. It is the same price of a console. The speed is nice but most devices and consoles only support Wifi N at the most the shape is weird and hard to place a router should be hidden out of sight it looks ugly with all the wires hooked up to it
Ah, Jimmy McMillan... a man filled with so much wisdom that his hair grew out like a grandmaster from a kung-fu classic and he always wears leather gloves, even to debate the high prices of rent. I guess it was fitting to use McMillan to describe the DGL's high price point. But what about the malleable bandwidth tools? The control flow suite and the improved speed controls? What about Steamboost? How do these fit into the picture?
Well, one user on Newegg summed up the pros quite well, noting that they were definitely getting better performance from a single device, but many users all complained about the DGL not being able to properly determine one device from the next. Ironically, many claimed that they gained better performance from previous D-Link routers. One user wrote...
Streamboost is a bad joke - It does not know the difference between a Samsung streaming player, a webcam, a laptop and an android device. Device aware? NO! It thinks live HD streaming baseball is general internet traffic. Application aware ? NO! My network has had to be rebooted 3 times in the last 48 hours. reliable? NO!
Just about every other user with a negative review notes that the firmware is in desperate need of an upgrade. In fact, SmallNetBuilder, a site dedicated to benchmarking network hardware, appears to be holding off on a review, as noted in a post on their suggestion forum board. Again, there were notes about firmware and poor performance.
It's not all rose-tinted glasses falling on the side of the internet hate wagon, however. Many users do note that when it performs right, the DGL-5500 performs well. Things appear to fall apart when multiple devices try vying for bandwidth supremacy and the software has a difficult time determining whether Timmy's stream of a Tera Patrick movie is more or less important than Dad's private video chat with the next door neighbor Tabitha, or Mom's download of the latest Project Runway.
Some users positively noted that so long as they're just gaming and gaming hard, they haven't had any problems with it. One young gamer wrote in the review section of GameStop that...
“Very easy to install. There product is very fast and StreamBoost is amazing! My download and upload speeds have dramatically increased! Best router I've ever bought. Have been waiting for this router for several months and don't regret it at all.”
I would assume that a lot of reviews are on hold until D-Link offers a firmware upgrade for the new gaming router, as it could be the big difference between a mediocre product release and something that goes down in history as a must-have killer companion device.
Have you tried D-Link's latest router? If so, what do you think of it so far?
Those interested in learning more can do so by paying a visit to the official website.