We have had quite a few D-Link routers here over the years, and they all pretty much fit the standard fixed broadband profile: xDSL or fibre, mesh, WiFi, etc. The D-Link G415 4G Smart Router is different because it combines both fixed and mobile broadband technologies in a single router so that it can be used either as fixed broadband with a failover 4G mobile connection or as a standalone 4G mobile router.
The D-Link G415 comes with a SIM card slot so that you can insert your telco's SIM card to access mobile data services through the router. In addition, it has a gigabit Ethernet WAN port to connect to a fixed broadband service and three gigabit Ethernet LAN ports for local devices that need wired connections.
Its wireless access point works in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, which gives you lots of flexibility when connecting devices. The wireless radio allows you to set connection encryption to different modes including WPA, WPA2 and WPA3 and you can select a combination of these depending on the type of devices you have in your network.
I have tested the two modes available with this router. The first scenario is interesting for those working from home that want to maximise availability. Guided by a wizard, you can have the D-Link G415 connected to your fixed broadband service and by simply inserting a SIM card you can enable the failover function. Once enabled, the router monitors your fixed broadband connection and if it detects the broadband service is down it automatically switches over to the mobile service. When your fixed broadband service is back up and running, the router reverts to its default connection.
I have tested this configuration simulating the broadband failure by unplugging the WAN cable from the router. The switchover works well and without any user intervention. In fact, except for perhaps broadband speed difference you might not even notice if the broadband service goes down.
The second scenario is attractive to those who want to have some Internet access on the go. Perhaps you don’t want to use your phone's hotspot service because you need more flexible controls or need the connection available even when your phone is not around. This fits the profile of someone on a work trip or driving a campervan around the country. In any case, you just need to insert the SIM card and set the D-Link G415 to use mobile data by default.
I have tested this mode and it works out of the box with the telcos I had accounts with (2degrees and Vodafone), no extra configuration is needed.
The D-Link G415 uses the new WiFi 6 standard (802.11ax), which brings enhancements that benefit compatible devices connected in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. For comparison, the previous standard WiFi 5 (802.11ac) was beneficial to devices connecting on the 5 GHz band only.
The main advantage of WiFi 6 is the better utilisation of the radio spectrum, so that compatible devices can better share the available bandwidth, resulting in better data traffic performance overall. This is because the standard implements some technologies such as bi-directional MU-MIMO and OFDMA, that help focus connections and reduce latency.
It also has a new technology called Target Wake Time (TWT) that reduces network congestion and saves your mobile devices’ battery life by managing when they transmit on the wireless network.
The D-Link G415 has a browser-based interface but can also be managed from a new mobile app that I found more responsive and informative than previous versions.
Another of its new features is an AI WiFi Optimiser that constantly analyses each connection and determines the best channel available for each of your connections. It also gives you weekly information about performance and network configuration.
In terms of speed, its wireless performed ok and seems to sit in the mid-tier of routers. It’s not the fastest one around but a few speed test runs hit 480 Mbps (on a 900 Mbps fibre connection). For comparison, my main router hits around 850 – 900 Mbps on the same connection, again over WiFi.
You will also find some other features related to its mobile network, including an SMS client (you can send and receive SMS to standard numbers but can’t send SMS to shortcodes), a data cap management tool (to limit mobile data usage) and a USSD tool.
On the router side, you will find a firewall, port forward, static routes and QoS (Quality of Service) engine. These aren’t different from the standard D-Link tools found in other routers from the same brand.
You will also find a built-in L2TP over IPSec VPN server and parental control, mainly focused on schedule and time limits, with URL filtering.
Finally, you can link the D-Link G415 to either your Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa accounts so that you can use your voice to control some basic functionality. For example with Amazon Alexa you can say something like “Alexa, tell Eagle Pro AI to turn on guest WiFi” or “Alexa, tell Eagle Pro AI to reboot the router).
All around I am quite impressed with this router. D-Link refreshed the web-based interface and mobile app, both of which seem to be more reliable now and easier to use. The router worked really well in both fixed and mobile broadbands, with minimum configuration needed and even though is not the fastest router around, it does perform well for your average cable or fibre connection. And if you need to extend coverage even further, you can make it part of a mesh system.