Installation of D-Link DIR-895L (NZ) with Spark Fibre

 

I thought I would share a few tips installing this fantastic new router having just been through this process.

 

I have a gigabit Ethernet network with a D-Link switch but needed a better WiFi router to eliminate a few deadspots.

 

  • Do screenshots (print them out) of the settings from the old router (e.g. Internet, Login, default DNS servers).
  • Before disconnecting the old router (!) go to the support page for the D-Link DIR-895L and download a copy of the Firmware Version 1.10 (Fri 13 May 2016). This is your lifesaver. Keep it on a flash drive.
  • Because the DIR-895L likely uses a different IP range from the current network I would set all devices to DHCP (or remember to go in later and set their static IP address to something in the new range). Then I’d switch off PC’s and servers (so that when they reboot they pick up the new network).
  • Assemble antennae on the DIR-895L, unplug old router and replace with DIR-895L.
  • Plug in Ethernet cable from switch to new router and Ethernet cable between new router (Internet port) and Spark ONT.
  • Switch on router (WiFi should be on by default)
  • Fire up a wireless laptop and connect to the router WiFi using the default password provided on a wee sticker or printed on the router. There is also an android/Apple app you can use for this.
  • Go to http://dlinkrouter.local/ or 192.168.0.1 to get to the setup page via web interface.
  • As it stands the router will not connect to the Internet via fibre network (yet).
  • Go through the setup wizard if you like but manual adjustments are needed, or just do the whole thing manually.
  • Wireless tab:

     

    • Change the SSID and password if desired.
    • Smart connect can be on or off as you like. “On” lets the system decide which of the three bands it thinks is best for your device, or you can turn on the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands separately with “Off”.
  • Internet tab:

     

    • Connection type is PPPoE (even if you for some reason have a static IP address from Spark)
    • Username/password/DNS etc as for the previous router
    • Advanced settings: THIS IS CURRENTLY ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE FIRMWARE VERSION ABOVE
    • Address mode (usually dynamic unless you pay extra for a static)
    • VLAN –enabled
    • Internet VLan ID 10
    • Everything else is OK at default
  • Now when this is saved after a restart it will connect to the Internet.
  • Then you will be invited to update the firmware. The correct answer to this invitation is “no” (actually never ever ever, not on your Nellie, hell no etc) because that will break the fibre Internet connection.
  • When this happens (yep, been there), use the firmware saved to the flashdrive to manually “update” to the previous version of firmware (1.10 as of October 2016 is the only version that allows VLAN tagging). Then do a factory reset (as advised by D-Link whenever you change the firmware) and set it up all over again (this time ignoring the invitation to update the firmware).
  • Switch on all network devices and let them sort out their DHCP assignments.
  • You can reserve DHCP-assigned IP addresses from the “connections” icon on the home setup page if that is important, effectively giving devices that need them a fixed address.

PS The whole process only took about 10-15 minutes (after the firmware problem was solved), less time than it took to write this post!