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Hands On

If you’re familiar with D-Link products, the user interface will look almost identical to what you’ve seen in other gear. You can hit D-Link's online emulator to explore at your leisure. I'll just hit a few points here.

If you already own a D-Link NAS like the DNS-323, you'll feel right at home. Figure 7 shows the Disk Management page.

Disk Management

Figure 7: Disk Management

Like other D-Link NASes, the 685 includes UPnP AV and iTunes servers, a basic FTP server as well as a BitTorrent download manager. It also supports user and group creation for folder access control. You can set access to shares by user or group or just leave the volume “open” to be shared by all users with read/write access.

The FTP server supports anonymous access or you can set directory access and R/W privileges separately.  The built-in iTunes server worked as expected, and the 685 showed up in iTunes as a shared resource. One item noticeable omission is the ability to set a Windows workgroup, which is set as workgroup.

As a router, there’s not too much to mention – for the most part, it parallels the features found in the DIR-825. You have a full complement of port forwarding, Application Rules, Network Filtering, Website Filtering and Firewall rules as shown in Figure 8.

Advanced routing features

Figure 8: Advanced routing features

D-Link kept the DHCP reservation feature – something that I personally use on my network at home. It allows you to reserve a specific IP address for an individual host based on MAC address. This is useful if you have a number of NASes or other devices like managed switches that you want to stay at known IP addresses. This saves you the hassle of assigning a static IP address for them.

As a security feature, the DIR-685 also supports CAPTCHA-style graphical authentication as shown in Figure 9. This feature was recently rolled out across many of D-Link's routers and is intended to protect your router from “bot” attacks should you have remote management enabled. This feature is enabled by default, but you can choose to disable it.

Login page with graphical authentication

Figure 9: Login page with graphical authentication

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