Page 3 - Configuration and User Interface
The novelty of routers like the D-Link DIR-X5460 is not its advanced firmware and features, but rather the ease of use for the general consumer in getting started up and ready to go. The DIR-X5460 has no advanced configuration features nor is it compatible with DD-WRT. To start, simply power up your router. An internet connection is not required for initialization nor is a smartphone. All you need to do is navigate to the router's local IP at 192.168.0.1 from your computer's browser. A mobile app is available for both iOS and Android, but it only contains a subset of the features available in the web configuration interface. As such, I used the web browser solely for majority of my testing.
Upon launching and starting up your router for the first time, you will be greeted with a Wizard guide, which steps you through setting up your wireless router. This includes setting up your network SSIDs and passwords for both your network and the router. It also ensures you are connected to the Internet, but you can complete the wizard without having Internet connected if you so desire.
The above screenshot shows the main page of D-Link's DIR-X5460 after logging in. If there is a firmware update, it will prompt you automatically. The predominantly white interface is simple and practical. At the top, you will find a grey header bar with D-Link's logo and four buttons or drop-down menus, labeled Home, Settings, Features, and Management. The principle area has a network map, as shown in our screenshot above. Clicking on the elements will reveal further corresponding details in the bottom half of the screen. If you select connected clients, you can give it static IP addresses and enable or disable parental controls.
Under the Settings drop-down menu are four options, which includes Wizard, Internet, Wireless, and Network, USB Sharing, and D-Link Cloud. As mentioned previously, Wizard is a step-by-step process for you to configure the DIR-X5460 wireless router. In Internet, you can configure your internet type, such as Static, Dynamic, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, or DS-Lite for both IPv4 and IPv6. You can also modify the Triple-Play VLAN settings, which configures VLAN for Internet, IPTV, and VOIP. Our screenshot above shows the Wireless screen. Here, you can enable or disable Smart Connect, configure Wi-Fi SSIDs and encryption key on both bands, and toggle Wi-Fi Protected Setup options. Both bands operate on the same SSID by default. One thing I did note is that by using Smart Connect, I was unable to utilize the 160MHz channel width, which means not allowing for the maximum speeds over the 5GHz band. Hitting the Guest Zone tab will allow you to configure a separate guest network for each band. This provides a second virtual wireless LAN that can run in access point isolation mode to limit user access to internet only.
Network is where you can configure local network settings such as the router's LAN IP, subnet mask, management link, local domain name, and enable DNS relay. You can also modify the DHCP Server settings, as well as changing the WAN Port Speed, UPnP, IPv4 Multicast Streams, and IPv6 Multicast Streams.
USB Sharing, not shown above, is where you can modify the UPnP Media Server, Windows File Sharing, and FTP Server settings for accessing files directly attached to the USB ports on the router. Finally, under D-Link Cloud, you can see your D-Link Cloud Service registration status, but more features can be modified using the D-Link Wi-Fi App.
Up next is the QoS Engine page under Features. Other sections under Management include Firewall, Port Forwarding, Website Filter, Static Route, Dynamic DNS, and Quick VPN. As it can be seen in our screenshot above, you can limit the universal uplink and downlink speed as well as dragging connected clients onto a priority tree for quality of service. Again, this is as straightforward as it gets, although I doubt the usefulness of having a universal bandwidth limiter.
In Firewall, you can toggle DMZ, SPI IPv4, Anti-Spoof Checking, IPv6 Simple Security, and IPv6 Ingress Filtering as shown in the above screenshot. Clicking the IPv4 and IPv6 tabs will bring you to a page where you can set rules so traffic can be denied or allowed through local area network devices. In Port Forwarding, not shown, you can set virtual server and port forwarding rules. The remainder of the sections should be self-explanatory in accordance to its name.
Finally, we come to the Management menu. There are six sections under Management, which includes Time & Schedule, System Log, System Admin, User, Upgrade, and Statistics. The Schedule screen shown above is where you can control device internet access rules. Unfortunately, like other features on the DIR-X5460, it is extremely primitive. This is not the worst part though. It is also not intuitive to use. Clicking "Add Rule" will bring up a weekly calendar that allows you to highlight certain time blocks. When a time interval is highlighted, various firewall and parental control features become operational. Every time you change a setting, it will reboot the router and you will have to wait 80 seconds, which is quite frustrating in my opinion.
System Log is exactly what its name suggests: It is where you can toggle logging options and view previously saved logs. Your password and CAPTCHA options can be changed in the System Admin screen. User is where you can define access rules. The Upgrade section allows you to upload a new firmware manually or perform an automatic update.
The last thing I want to show is Statistics. There are four live graphs that show your internet, LAN, Wi-Fi 2.4GHz, and Wi-Fi 5GHz traffic speed, along with a sent/received table at the bottom to provide you with detailed statistics.
All in all, I found D-Link's web configuration interface to be clean and simple looking, which is good. The layout and graphics are basic with nothing distracting. All options are organized logically, and I never had an issue finding a certain setting that I want. However, the available features are primitive even for a consumer-focused product compared to competing offerings from Linksys and TP-Link. Furthermore, features such as scheduling are not intuitive to use, which is ironic considering how simple the user interface is. I am happy there is no requirement to install an app on my phone or have internet access to make the DIR-X5460 operational, but it still seems behind the competition. Considering this is the same layout they have been using since 2018, and possibly earlier, I think D-Link could make improvements in this area.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Configuration and User Interface
4. Performance Tests