There is no doubting that the DI-724GU, which is much less of a mouthful than the full "Wireless 108G Gigabit QoS Router" and about equally as descriptive, is being marketed squarely at the small business crowd.
But this superbly put together bit of networking kit is actually ideal for the home office, and indeed any home user who finds themselves at the cutting edge of connectivity with streaming multimedia, family broadband internet sharing needs, multiple PCs and VoIP demands.
Everything from the intelligent, if not we have to admit particularly attractive design, through to the robust metal chassis construction just shouts quality from the rooftops.
Because it has been designed from the ground up to cope with the high volume network traffic demands of the small office, it can handle everything the home user throws at it without so much as a sniff of a stumble.
The QoS in the router title stands for Quality of Service, something the business suits know all about but is generally lacking from consumer networking products. What this does is improve the performance of such things as VoIP and video streaming, that Internet telephony stuff we are all rapidly adopting to save money and give the big Telco’s the finger.
Most internet applications don’t actually require much in the way of exclusive bandwidth, email and web browsing are particularly undemanding when it comes to your broadband connection.
This is not the case when it comes to VoIP or video streaming however, which positively sucks up as much bandwidth as possible. This router features an intelligent engine built-in, and this will automatically detect and prioritise the bandwidth-sensitive packets of such applications so as to ensure they are sent just as soon as the request is made. The end result of this intelligent routing is a much smoother video streaming and VoIP experience, with less stalling, better sound quality and overall a more enjoyable time can be had by all.
But wait, there’s more. The 802.11g wireless interface exploits dual 3dbi antennas, which boost the signal range and delivered a 108Mbps signal fairly consistently around the reviewer’s rambling country house although you will need to be using devices and cards that support this "turbo" speed to take advantage of the fast rates.
As such, and as always, it makes more sense to consider investing in a router such as this when you are installing a new wireless network or upgrading an entire legacy system, rather than thinking of it as a miracle sure to sloppy connectivity on its own.
What else? Well, how about the built-in USB2.0 port which has full print server functionality enabling any supported printer (and it’s best to check with D-Link tech support to ensure yours is on the list before you buy) can be connected to the router and shared amongst the entire family.
Unlike many such systems, the included wizard made setting this up really very easy indeed. In fact the entire wizard approach from D-Link worked well in setting everything up, the "Click n Connect" name being most apt in this case.
Security is covered by a double headed firewall that can even protect you from Denial of Service attacks should you really annoy someone online, and there’s even a built-in inappropriate internet content filter that could be used for family safe surfing.
It isn’t the prettiest, smallest or cheapest wireless router money can buy, but if you value security, build quality and performance above all else it becomes a very attractive proposition. And that’s outside of a business environment just as much as within one.