Unannounced firmware for DIR-615 rev B

D-link's wireless router DIR-615 is a pretty popular wireless router/access point and has gone through many revisions. Even Unifi uses it as the residential gateway AP with its custom version and rev G firmware (yup a G version does exist but not for retail markets 'cos its specifically tailored for the high-speed fibre connections used in Unifi).

My router is running revision B hardware and on official websites, the latest firmware is 2.25 (or 2.24 depending on which site you visit). Problems with this router is that it can't be flashed with other firmware like DD-WRT, OpenWRT or Tomato etc because of the chipset. It has more advanced capabilities but unfortunately they are locked away because of the firmware. It seems that it may have the same brains as the more featured model DIR-655 and even has the advanced QoS engine which is severely crippled in the firmware.

Searching online, I managed to find this hidden gem for a 2.27 beta firmware for this router from the Russian D-link site here (caution link downloads firmware directly from the FTP site). Specifically, it was tailored for Russian PPPoE, PPTP and LT2P connections as these were added on to the Internet settings section. Surprisingly, it also enabled the full QoS settings for the router and it now enables users to set their own priorities and rules to control traffic. Previously, the only option available was to turn on/off QoS and no other controls. With this, now it is possible to filter out traffic sucking applications like PPS.tv and lower their bandwidth based on either port, IP or destination.

Other new features enabled in this firmware is an option to turn the router into a pure access point mode. This means that it can work as a wireless extender but with a small caveat - it has to remain wired and cannot act as a wireless bridge (i.e. its own WAN/Internet connections still come through the ethernet port and it does not forward wirelessly). What does this actually mean? It basically turns off DHCP and it acts like a wireless switch. Some people may find this useful especially in extending wireless coverage but this means you still need another AP that will provide the authentication/gateway services. If you are looking for a wireless bridge, you still have to look elsewhere or perhaps wait and hope that another firmware release will add this feature on (in theory it is possible, since AP mode exists ... the forwarding part is the only problem here)

Other changes are purely cosmetic - now the status page displays the channels used when running in 802.11N dual radio mode. There is a language option to switch between Spanish (Espanol) and English ... weird 'cos I was expecting Russian language from a Russian firmware.

Drawbacks of this firmware? Scheduling for the wireless radio to turn on/off at specific times seems to crash the router and disable all connections until a cold reset is performed by cycling the power to the router ... so I had this disabled and everything is working fine. This firmware also enables 13 wireless channels and maybe is a violation in certain areas of the world (if so, disable auto channel mapping and manually assign the router to a channel that is allowed in your region)

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NOTE : Use this firmware on your router at your own risk! Although it can work on other region hardware with the same revision, improper use and flashing may brick your router and I will not be responsible for any irreversible damage.

Free time experiment

What happens after you reach the limit of 26 drives in Windows? Seems like nothing .... Windows just stops assigning drive letters and instead assigns them to a null ?? which means they cannot be accessed. Only way to access these 'extra' drives is to do disk mapping to a particular folder.

How did I reach over 26 drives? Simple
C/D/E is primary HDD with 3 partitions
F/G are two internal DVDRW drives
H is a USB thumbdrive
I/J/K/P is internal multi-card reader
L/M/N is external HDD 1
Q/O is external HDD 2
R/S is external DVDRW
T is a virtual floppy
U/V/W/X is external card reader
Z is external HDD 3

Why no A/B? Those are reserved for floppy drives or for floppy emulators.

And yes ... I was bored.


I left alone this for so long ... should start writing something again ... oh wait, I just did ;D