D-Link's 4G Router Is For Houses That Can't Get ADSL Or The NBN

Image: D-Link

If you're living in a house out in the sticks that doesn't have fixed-line internet, or even a house in the city with a terrible ADSL connection — like me — then you have an alternative, provided your download quota requirements aren't too high. D-Link's DWR-921 is a router that you can plug a SIM into and have instant fast 4G access, as long as you're happy to pay Telstra or Optus or Vodafone for mobile data.

The D-Link DWR-921 only has built-in 802.11n rather than the current, faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard that other D-Link home routers like the Viper and the Taipan do, but it's not the kind of device that you'd hook a whole house worth of connections to. D-Link says it's the kind of stop-gap solution you'd use if you didn't have access to higher-quota fixed-line services like ADSL or cable.

It's a lot easier and faster for Australia's mobile telcos to build out fast, reliable 4G services than it is for those same telcos or their fixed-line competitors to roll cable and fibre down streets and highways. That was once one of the arguments against the NBN. But since mobile data limits are much smaller than we're used to on fixed-line services, it's not a perfect solution.

The DWR-921 is $249.95, and you can find it at D-Link's resellers around Australia. [D-Link]

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Comments

    I have a tin roof and get no internet/call reception inside.
    Just go on without me and let me die in peace.

      This modem has a facility for external LTE antennas - so you can easily put an antenna on a mast above your roof and use a cable connection to connect it to a router like this, and use WiFi to keep your devices connected to the internet.

      Sadly, that won't help with normal voice calls unless your phone supports WiFi calling...but you could potentially use Skype/Viber/Facetime to make calls instead.

        Aren't external LTE antennas illegal in Australia?

          My parents had one of the roof of their house for their old 3G connection which they bought directly from Telstra.

          No, LTE antennas are perfectly legal and are widely used in cars and buildings.

          Cell boosters of any kind are illegal, except one or two products specifically approved for Australian use.

        Or use VOLTE.

          By definition, VoLTE means you need to have access to LTE, which is the very thing he's complaining about NOT having. So that doesn't help at all.

    Any 4g service have quota free Netflix yet?

      Optus
      but they explicitly state its for the mobile device not tethering etc.. so I am guessing its only free for the CDN servers dedicated for mobile

    Campbell, will this work with vivid wireless?

    My parents live in far western Sydney. They have no access to ADSL and mobile phone reception is sketchy to say the least. Calls drop out and data speed dies when small planes fly overhead. One literally has to stick their head near a window to get any sort of coverage. :/

    Or, you could get a Huawei E5573 from Officeworks for $25 with the same specs as this modem. D-Link must think people are fools. There are many better, and cheaper 4g modem options available - many that have been available for years.

      Not the same specs at all - they are designed for rather different applications.

      This device has a WAN port and 4 LAN ports to allow fall-back cut-over, better antennas for both LTE and WiFi for much better reception and broadcast range, and also has an integrated firewall.

      The E5573 is a fine device (and very cheap) if you want something portable, but it's unsuited to permanent home installations and can't handle wired connections at all. Also, that $25 price is carrier locked, so you don't have a choice of providers.

    I just set one of these up for the new coffee shop at my workplace (hospital). They do everything wirelessly - cloud-based POS using iPads/iPhones, Apple/Android/Win app for online ordering, wireless EFTPOS terminal etc. It works well over Telstra 4G and their whole system is very portable. They did require a device that supported a wired IP receipt printer, which is why I chose the DWR-921 over more basic options.

      If you used the DWR-921, presumably you're running all of your portable devices on WiFi via the router, rather than each device having a separate 4G SIM - this would be much cheaper, provided that your router has sufficient range to broadcast WiFi over the entire workplace.

        Yes, all internet access is via the single 4G service of the DWR-921. All other devices are connected to this with WiFi. The area isn't huge and their data requirements are not immense.

    This router appears to lack support for several key frequencies, including those that optus and Vodafone use in regional areas. Probably not worth bothering with...

    Brodz64, on portable work sites ( offices in shipping containers) they put the device in waterproof tupperware containers and put it up on a pole

    Are there any cheaper options or older equivalent models (4G router with ethernet port) please?

    hi guys. ihave the dlink dwr 921 set up with two yagi high gan directional antenna with direct los with the mast. when i am aligning the antennas i only connectef one at a time to try and get best signal for each. but whrn i connect am antenna in to the back left port of the router i get no signal but can get 74% signal when either is connected to the right. so the antennas are ok. is this routers sma connection set up like this for mimo diversity or is it dodgy. . thanks. sny help would b great

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