REVIEW: D-Link Rolls Out A Super Fast Cylindrical WiFi Router

Written by David Richards     05/07/2013 | 11:21 | Category name i.e.REVIEWS

Network Company D-Link has released a screamer of a router that is not only fast, but delivers significantly wider Wi Fi coverage because of new AC amplify technology.

DLink, which recently appointed former Cisco executive Graeme Reardon as the regional director for Australia and New Zealand is currently launching several new consumer products in a move that could put pressure on Netgear and Belkin, following the sale of the Cisco-branded consumer networking products to Belkin earlier this year.

The new DIR-868L Wireless AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit Cloud router has four gigabit LAN ports, one gigabit WAN port, and a USB 3.0 port. We configured it via a cloud-based application and when operational delivered excellent coverage inside a house with heavy brick walls.

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Gone is the traditional flat router that sits on a desk. Instead, DLink has introduced a vertical cylindrical design that is far more practical because it exposes more of the routers antennas to the airwaves.

Setting up the DIR-868L was easy. All we had to do was plug in the device, connect it to the Internet and a PC and immediately the IP address is recognised. 

All you have to do is then follow the instructions on the screen to configure the router. 

Whatever happens, don't do what I did and misspell an email address, which later you can't retrieve. Before you press the button confirming your configuration and information, check the spelling.  The Motto 'Less haste, better Wi Fi connection'.

To access the Web-based service, all you have to do is type in the IP address, 192.168.0.1. This loads the default log-in information, then simply type in admin and leave the password blank. Once in, you can change the log in address and create a new password.

The DIR-868L is a true dual-band router that uses a second generation Wi-Fi chips from Broadcom it supports three-set-ups including 802.1n (Wireless-N) and 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards. 

On the 2.4GHz frequency it delivers 450Mbps.On the 5GHz band, it offers up to 450Mbps when used with Wireless-N clients, and up to 1.3Gbps when used with 802.11ac clients.

Another benefit of this device, which delivers high-speed amplification, is the introduction of SmartBeam technology, designed to enhance the router's Wi-Fi performance.

The software, which is superior to the Netgear software, allows users to easily manage their home network via the Internet, using the MyDlink portal.

The cloud-based feature can also be accessed via a mobile app, called My D-Link, Shared Port Mobile and QPS Mobile. All of these applications are available for both iOS and Android devices.

The 868L supports D-Link's Shareport Plus drive and printer sharing feature. The router admin GUI now has separate links for Storage and Media Server and the Media Server screen below now has separate DLNA and iTunes servers enabled. Unchecking the default Folder root selection lets you browse to choose your own file storage directory for each server.

Speed testing of this router was recently conducted by small net builders. This is what they had to say:

The DIR-868L is Wi-Fi Certified and defaulted to Auto 20/40 Channel Width on the 2.4 GHz radio and Auto 20/40/80 MHz bandwidth mode for the 5 GHz radio upon power-up. The router comes with different 2.4 and 5 GHz SSIDs set, so you'll be able to connect to your desired band without having to change router settings.

We successfully ran a pushbutton Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) session with a Win 7 client. The WPS session completed quickly and resulted in a WPA2/AES secured connection with the same WPA2 pre-shared key set for both radios.

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All tests were run using our new wireless test process and 1.01 version firmware loaded. The router was first reset to factory defaults and Channel 6 was set for 2.4 GHz and Channel 153 for 5 GHz. 20 MHz bandwidth mode was set for 2.4 GHz and 80 MHz mode (to enable draft 802.11ac link rates) was set for 5 GHz. The test client was connected using WPA2/AES encryption.

The router were positioned 8" from the chamber antennas in all test positions. The 0? position had the router front facing the chamber antennas.

The retest Benchmark Summary shows the average of throughput measurements made in all test locations. The 2.4 GHz values in the summary correspond to 2.4 GHz 3-stream values (20 MHz B/W) and the 5 GHz values correspond to the 80 MHz B/W - 3 stream values measured with the previous test methodology.

CNET said of this device:

When used with 802.11n (Wireless-N) clients, which are currently the most popular on the market, the router also did very well. On the 5GHz band, it registered 178Mbps and 161Mbps for short and long range, respectively. On the 2.4GHz band, it averaged 63Mbps and 56Mbps, for short and long range, respectively. These scores put it among the top performers.

What's good about the DIR-868L is the fact that its data rates don't degrade heavily as the range increases. This means you don't need to be really close to the router to enjoy the high speeds. You don't want to be too far, either. Though in my trial, the router was able to broadcast signal to up to 300 feet on both bands, the effective range is 150 feet or less. This is common for most routers of its type.

Specifications:

Standards
2.4GHz

IEEE 802.11n
IEEE 802.11g
5GHz
IEEE 802.11ac (draft)
IEEE 802.11n
IEEE 802.11a
LAN/WAN
IEEE 802.3u
IEEE 802.3a
Physical Interfaces
4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
1 Gigabit WANPort
USB 2.0
WPS Push Button
Reset Button
Antenna Type
Internal Antennas
Ethernet Interface
4 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
1 10/100/1000 Gigabit WAN Port
Security
Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2)
WPST
Advanced Firewall Features
Network Address Translation (NAT)
Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI)
LEDs
Power/WPS
Internet
Power
DC 12V/2.5A
Mobile Apps
SharePort Mobile
mydlink Lite
QRS Mobile 
Advanced Features
VPN pass through
Guest Zone Support
UPnPT Support
Wi-Fi WMM Quality of Service
IPv6
Operating Temperature
30? to 104? F (0? to 40? C)
Operating Humidity
10% to 95% non-condensing
Certifications
FCC
IC
Wi-Fi Certified
CE
Warranty
1-Year Limited Warranty

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Pros & Cons

Pros:

This is a very fast router that delivers excellent Wi Fi connectivity. The D Link technology and the round shape of the device is among the best we have reviewed for a long time.

Cons:

There is very little to fault with this device, other than there's a need for a check details process, prior to updating the software configuration.