D-Link Eagle Pro AI G415 – Wi-Fi and 4G on the go (Review)

Suppose you are using mobile data and you are in a good coverage area near a cell tower. In that case, you most likely have fast and reliable mobile internet. But what if you live or play outside of mobile coverage and want to improve your mobile data reception and possibly voice communication?

This review looks at the D-Link Eagle Pro AI G415 4G Smart Wi-Fi Router but with a twist. We will see how you can adapt this product as an alternative to other similar 4G compatible routers at up to 3 times the price.

Details: D-Link Eagle Pro AI G415 4G Smart Router

Price (RRP) $299.95
Website D-Link Spain
Of Leading retailers
Warranty 12 months 24/7
Manual User’s guide, video
country of manufacture Taiwan
On D-Link is a world leader in the design and development of networking and connectivity products for consumers, small, medium and large businesses and service providers. From relatively modest beginnings in Taiwan, the company has grown since 1986 to become an award-winning global brand with more than 2,000 employees in 60 countries.

The G415 is part of the D-Link family of Eagle Pro AI Wi-Fi routers and can be combined with other Eagle Pro routers and range extenders to form a Mesh Wi-Fi network.

A mesh router allows you to extend your Wi-Fi signal with the help of repeater stations (also called access points). A mesh router also maintains the same network name, which means that as you walk around your home like a cellular network, your devices will switch seamlessly between one repeater station and the next. At GadgetGuy, we’ve found that mesh networks are the best option for sharing Wi-Fi in a larger home, with fewer black spots and faster Wi-Fi speeds in all your rooms.

multipurpose router

The G415 can be used in one of 3 modes: the first is as a Wi-Fi router with 4G backup. Then it can work as a 4G hotspot router. Lastly, it’s a mesh extender mentioned above, which expands the Wi-Fi network from another Eagle Pro router.

Eagle Pro AI G415 router on the desktop

Let’s dive into the first mode. As a Wi-Fi router, this product will connect to your NBN modem and provide a cost-effective home network with the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology. The newest Wi-Fi 6 standard offers faster data throughput, greater coverage, support for more devices and better security. An added benefit is that you can insert a SIM card into the router. If your NBN connection drops, you will still have Internet access on the 4G mobile network. This is ideal for small businesses, professionals working from home, and households with teenagers. Please note that the SIM will need to be paid for or included in your NBN plan.

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Then, as a standalone 4G (and 3G) router, the G415 doesn’t rely on an NBN connection. Instead, it uses a completely separate 4G cellular connection, so you can take the router anywhere you have power and cellular coverage. You can then create an internet hotspot for your devices in a vacation home, RV, or when staying in short-term accommodation. The router is 4G LTE Cat4 capable, so it will handle speeds of up to 150Mbps (which is 3 times the standard NBN speed of 50Mbps). You can also connect to 3G in case there is no 4G signal available.

Lastly, while you only get one unit in the package, the G415 can connect to other compatible D-Link Mesh Wi-Fi hotspot and function as the primary router in a Mesh network. This is a useful feature if you want to expand your network coverage to reach a larger area at a later date.

D-Link G415 Features

Other features of the G415 include 3 Gigabit Ethernet ports that allow you to directly connect 4K TVs, game consoles, external storage, or just a printer.

Artificial intelligence built into the router will optimize Wi-Fi channels so you don’t compete with your neighbors’ traffic. The type of traffic on your network will also be prioritized based on bandwidth needs, so video calls and streaming will take place without delay (subject to the total available bandwidth of your home).

You can set up a guest network to keep visitors separate from their devices and information. You can also limit the speed of guests to keep the best performance for you. There’s a QR code for guests to scan, which makes connecting to your network super simple.

The Eagle Pro AI app for your smartphone will allow you to customize your settings, receive notifications and usage reports, and access enhanced parental controls like bedtimes and block certain sites.

Turn your G415 into a poor coverage superstar

The G415 has four key features that open up possibilities for those who want to travel around Australia while staying connected to the mobile internet.

  1. The G415 runs on 240 or 12 volts, which means you can power it from a vehicle. (This requires an additional cigar cord.)
  2. Unit ships with 2 reasonable 4G antennas
  3. The unit has a 4-step 4G LED signal indicator
  4. The antenna connections on the rear of the unit are SMA male plugs and can accept other higher gain antennas.
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As a result, right out of the box, the G415’s ability to send and receive 3G or 4G is superior to that of a mobile phone or other 4G access point/router without external antennas.

To further increase range, you can purchase high-gain antennas (discussed below) that can significantly improve reception quality and Internet speed.

When wondering if you have reception, the signal indicator LED will clearly indicate if you have any and how strong. This is especially useful if you are using a high-gain directional antenna that needs to be pointed at the nearest cell tower. (Rotate the antenna to maximize signal strength.)

Photo of a router with an antenna.

And when buying a $12.95 Adapter cable for cigarette lighteryou can power the G415 from your car, 4WD, or camper.

Long-range connectivity at a third of the price

GadgetGuy recently published a Caravanner guide to connecting to the Internet on the go. We spec several internet connectivity options, including satellite, Cel-Fi, and a specialized 4G router solution, that will set you back between $1,000 and $2,000. However, when using the D-Link G415 4G Smart Router, we put together a comparable high-earning package for just $637, which is up to a third of the price. This includes:

Telescopic pole with antenna on top
Bunning’s telescopic pool pole can be used to raise your antenna 4.5m

This solution allows the antenna to be raised up to 4.5m above the ground and with an 11dBi gain directional antenna, maximize your chances of getting a signal. (This can allow you to have a coverage of up to 35 km from a mobile tower).

For those who want to know more, you can further improve reception by using an omnidirectional antenna.

Omnidirectional means the antenna does not need to be pointed to receive coverage and is ideal for mounting in a moving vehicle. Here are some examples:

Keep an eye out for a future GadgetGuy article looking at RFI antennas, including new 5G antennas, which support 5G, 4G and 3G signals on all Australian mobile frequencies.

Real world tests with RFI antenna

For the test, we use a circles.life SIM that has access to 100% of the Optus network. (Circles.Life offers a 100GB plan for $45 a month.)

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signal strength low internet speed speed up internet
G415 antennas (included) -73dBm 19.4Mbps 3.8Mbps
without antennas -95dBm 1.7Mbps 0.2Mbps
RFI directional antenna -67dBm 33.8Mbps 4.5Mbps
RFI omnidirectional antenna -63dBm 56.9Mbbs 4.9Mbps
Smartphone only (not G415) -102dBm 104Mbps 5.79Mbps
(a higher dBm indicates a stronger signal)

Many factors will affect this test, so our only real measure is to compare relative numbers. To stream Netflix or make a video call, you’ll want a minimum download speed of 15 Mbps.

Internet speed test results
The mobile phone result was surprisingly faster than the G415, however we expect this to change at greater distances from a cell tower.

The mobile phone test was a surprise as it had the worst signal strength but the fastest internet speed. We attribute this to a more expensive processor, which was confirmed by D-Link when we asked about it. We expect the mobile to lose coverage much sooner than external antenna solutions in low coverage areas.

Testing different antenna solutions on the G415 went as expected. (Note: You need two antennas or one antenna with two antenna cable inputs. Just two antennas will get you faster internet speeds.) The higher the directional gain of the antenna -11dBm, the better the signal strength and the faster the internet speed. The best signal strength is measured as the highest number, so -61dBm is better than -73dBm. We also expect the directional antenna to work better when you are further away from a cell tower. We have not measured signal strength at different distances in this review.

If your smartphone loses coverage and supports Wi-Fi calling. You could use the G415 Wi-Fi, assuming you have a 3/4G connection, to still make and receive mobile calls from your smartphone.

GadgetGuy’s opinion

This router is a great solution for caravans and travelers right out of the box. Similarly, suppose you have poor mobile phone coverage and inferior internet. In that case, this can be a cheap solution to fix your connectivity by improving your 4G reception.

Alternatively, those with good NBN internet may want extra peace of mind, as the G415 can switch to 4G data as a backup if the NBN connection fails.

At this price, it has the latest technology, including Wi-Fi 6 and Mesh support, making it future-proof for now. The unit is easy to set up and using it as a 4G router is as simple as inserting a SIM card and turning it on.

We really like the ability to use this router in a travel environment, or alternatively improve poor coverage by adding external antennas.

More networking news and reviews on GadgetGuy

D-Link Eagle Pro AI Smart 4G Router G415

Improve your mobile data reception and possibly voice communication if you live or play outside of mobile coverage with the D-Link G415.

positives

price payable

Simple configuration and AI to improve performance

Ability to use as a remote 4G router or use NBN with a 4G backup

External antenna sockets, 12-volt mount and signal meter allowing use for remote travel

negatives

Internet speed was slow compared to using a mobile phone as a hotspot, however this could change when further away from a cell tower.

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