D-Link DIR-685 Xtreme N Storage Router

Aron Schatz
December 8, 2009
D-Link DIR-685 Xtreme N Storage Router
The D-Link DIR-685 is three devices in one. While it might be a jack of all trades, it only gets a mastery of one aspect.

Page 1: Intro, Box, Packaging, Parts, DIR-685


Convergence is the name of the game in this world and it seems that technologies that seemed to be always slated for separate devices are being merged into one feature packed super device. D-Link follows this convergence trend with the DIR-685 Xtreme N Storage Router. This single device combines a router, a NAS, and a digital photo frame into one unique and tiny package.



The DIR-685 box gives you the needed information about the purchase you are about to make.



No blister packaging inside the box. Just plain and simple compartmentalized sections for break open and setup ease of use. ASE Labs hates blister packaging.



Aside from the documentation and software, the package yields the DIR-685 itself, an AC adapter, an Ethernet cable, and the stand for the router. Remember that this is a digital picture frame so the stand is needed to prop the unit in place.



STOP! If you run Windows, follows these directions! Otherwise you can install the router and point your browser to and log in with a blank password to setup this router. We'll go into the initial setup screen later in the review.


The unit is very sleek. It has a 3.2" LCD for viewing status information and pictures as well as FrameChannel content. The front of the unit has blue indicator lights while the unit is on and the right side contains buttons for controlling the device itself. The buttons are touch sensitive and are a bit slow to the response but they work. The center button and the one below it are the same thing.


The package includes a stand that locks into the bottom to keep the unit upright. Since this has a picture frame in it, you'll need to be able to see it standing up or else the LCD would be useless. Most routers lay flat down on a desk, so be mindful that this will be propped up.


The back side of the device contains the numerous ports to get connectivity. From the left, the power plug, two USB ports (more of those later), the 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, and the WAN port for connecting a modem. The left side of this shot shows the SATA drive release lever and the right side contains the door to access the chamber to insert the drive.


No drive is included with the DIR-685 which is unfortunate since most home users won't have a spare SATA laptop size drive available to place into the unit to get the additional NAS features the device offers. The button to the bottom of the SATA drive port is the "unmount" button which allows all data on the drive to be written before removing it. Inserting and removing a SATA drive requires a good deal of force to get it in place. Initially, we placed the drive in and the door wouldn't shut. Pushing harder made the drive "click" in place but the amount of force to get it to lock seemed a bit tedious. Removing the drive required the same amount of force.


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