The D-Link G415 4G Eagle Pro 4G AI AX1500 mesh router is great – no qualifications. It is a 4G/router with fall-over if NBN goes down. Perfect for renters and businesses that need 24×7 reliability.
The not-so-great part is the pathetic internet speeds you are likely to encounter unless you live on top of a Telco tower (and that can be uncomfortable). It is not the router’s fault, so let’s get that part over before the review.
How to test your Telco signal strength
It matters not whether you use Telstra, Optus, or Vodafone networks (direct or via an MVNO reseller); you need adequate signal strength. If it is not, do not buy any 4G or 5G router brand. Here is how to check (Android only).
Download the free Network Cell Info Lite & Wi-Fi from Google Play (not the paid version) and install it on an Android phone. Make sure the phone uses your regular carrier network (no point in testing Optus if you use Telstra). Sorry, we cannot find the equivalent on an iPhone.
Give it all the permissions it needs, and the home screen will show two-speed dials. The top is your Telco, and the bottom is the Wi-Fi connection to your usual home network.
The large number in the middle of the dial is -dBm which shows signal strength (the lower the number, the better). The dial goes from right to left (green to black). If your speedo is in the
- Green and below -80dBm, you can usually get at least 25/5Mbps download/upload.
- Yellow -90-100dBm (three-bar reception) you should get 10/5Mbps.
- Orange/red/black bar over -100dBm, then you don’t have enough strength to use any 4G router.
The bottom dial is for Wi-Fi strength (2.4 or 5GHz), and as you will see, this modem gets -30dBm and 1200Mbps on 5GHz in the same room as the router and -50dBm at 1200Mbps at about 10 metres – not bad.
Why use a 4G LTE router?
Primarily convenience for renters and others that don’t want to commit to or cannot get fixed-line NBN. Add a sim card and the right monthly data plan (there are no unlimited date 4G plans currently), and you are good to go.
The other use is to place it between your NBN gateway and your router, enabling fall-back mode that cuts in when NBN is down. But that is an increasingly rare occurrence.
Cost-wise using Boost Mobile on the Telstra network as a reference (excluding any promotional offers), a 20GB monthly plan is $30 ($1.50/GB) to a 65GB plan for $60 ($1.08/GB). The advantage of a monthly plan is that you can start low until you get a feel for data use and then recharge accordingly, so you don’t pay for data you don’t need. As long as you recharge before the expiry, unused data rolls over.
The Annual plans are $200 for 100GB ($2.00/GB) and $300 for 240GB ($1.25) but there is no rollover.
Compare that to NBN fixed services, where unlimited plans start at around $80.
We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed.
First Impression Pass+
D-Link gear is well made and good value. This is similar in design to the other Eagle Pro AI products, D-Link Eagle Pro AI AX1500 Mesh system M15, E15 and R15 (DLink review) and, as far as we can tell, uses the same Wi-Fi chip.
The secret sauce here is the new Eagle Pro AI software that continually optimises the network to avoid clashing with other Wi-Fi networks (clean network). AI Traffic prioritises heavy users and faster hand-off from each Satellite to the next. The clean network works well with a Wi-Fi analyser showing that it sought out low-use-or-unused bands.
You can extend the network by adding M15 Mesh satellites. Or mix and match with the new E15 AX1500 Mesh range extender for $179.95 (plug-in 240V, dual antenna and one LAN port). We did not test these, but as they all use the same processor, performance should be the same.
Setup – use the App or not Pass+
Non-nerds will just use the Eagle Pro App to set it up. This requires creating an Eagle Pro account (you can turn off promotional emails if you wish). Scan the QR code and follow the instructions.
Inset the standard size Sim (it is not a nano-sim as you will find in a phone). This means you need to buy a SIM and use the adapter that comes with it.
Manual setup (as tested)
Power the router. After it boots (it takes about 120 seconds), connect via Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable (WAN). If you wish, you can go to 192.168.0.1 and use the web interface where you can fine-tune things – set a new LAN IP address (a gateway often uses 192.168.0.1).
There is a Wizard that guides you through the mode (router or modem router), Wi-Fi (disable Smart Connect if you want a separate 2.4/5Ghz SSID), new SSID and Passwords and Admin passwords.
I like the extensive web interface customisations – this OS has almost everything its big brothers have. It is all in the manual.
Tech stuff – D-Link G415 4G Eagle Pro AI AX1500 mesh router G415
- Dual Band 2.4Ghz 300Mbps and 5Ghz N/AC/AX 433/866/1200Mbps
- 1.4GHZ ARM Wi-Fi AX with Easy Mesh support
- Five internal antennae (two for 2.4Ghz, two for 5Ghz and one for Smart Connect)
- Two external 4G Antenna SMA connector bands 1, 3, 7,8, 20,28 38, 40, 41 (all Australian bands)
- One Ethernet WAN port and three LAN ports (does not support Ethernet Backhaul to Mesh satellites)
- Maximum power output 2.4Ghz 100mW and 5Ghz (approx. 1050mW spread over VHT 20/40/80)
- WPA3/2 WPS connections
- L x W x H: 198 x 170.14 x 66.21 mm x 400g
Our only caveat is that AX1500 has a bandwidth of 2.4Ghz 300Mbps half-duplex, 5Ghz 433/866 Mbps half-duplex and 1200Mbps full-duplex for Wi-Fi 6 AX clients only. So it is not for large power user installations – perfect for small apartments.
Voice Assistants – Pass
It works with Google Assistant and Alexa. As with all routers, the voice commands are limited.
- Check Wi-Fi status
- Update Router firmware (but the App does this automatically)
- Reboot Router
- Guest network enable/SSID/password
IoT support Pass
Given that there is only 300Mbps on the 2.4Ghz network, we would not recommend this for more than 20 devices, particularly if some are security cameras.
Power use Pass
The units draw .5A – so little AC power that we could not measure, so it is economical to run.
CyberShack’s view – D-Link G415 4G Eagle Pro AI AX1500 mesh router meets all its use cases
It is 4G. If you can get a strong enough signal, it will give you speeds of at least 25/5Mbps (the theoretical maximum is Cat 4 150/50Mbps, but most MVNOs are capped at 100/25Mbps).
You can use it as a standard NBN router with 4G fall over.
It is Wi-Fi 6 AX, so it will give compatible devices up to 1200Mbps connection speeds to the router out to 10m. We like its AI capabilities, and it is mesh expandable, although AX1500 is really only for smaller homes.
We did not try using a dual dipole (you need two antennas) external SMA-connector antenna, but it is an option to increase signal strength as long as the model is certified for use with the Telco Bands (it needs to cover 4G Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 28, and 40 from 700-2600MHz and 3G Bands B5/8, 850/900Mhz). If you need this, contact D-Link for advice and don’t buy from overseas online merchants.