D-Link's latest router boasts aggregate speeds of up to 1,900Mbps. Released last October, this AC1900 router may appear inferior to rivals that tout 2,400Mbps (AC2400) or 3,200Mbps (AC3200) speeds.
But here is the thing: Most of those routers offer just 1,300Mbps on 802.11ac, the most current Wi-Fi standard.
In fact, older AC1750 routers also have a top speed of 1,300Mbps.
The figures advertised by manufacturers are technically accurate, but fail to convey that such speeds cannot be achieved with a single client device, at least for now.
In practice, this D-Link router is probably as fast as its competitors for the 802.11ac protocol.
What it does not offer is a second 802.11ac Wi-Fi network (like the AC3200 models). Nor is it as future-proof as the AC2400 variants.
But D-Link has given its new router a fresh coat of paint.
In fact, the company has ditched the cylindrical body of its previous routers for a more conventional look.
While this D-Link router may not look as unusual, the new chassis is more practical - there are mounting holes at the bottom so you can hang the router on a wall.
The biggest change is the Web-based user interface for the router settings.
It now looks modern and far less cluttered than older D-Link routers.
Saving changes made to the settings takes less time than before. Interestingly, you can add a captcha authentication method to protect your router password.
The settings are divided into four sections: Home, Settings, Features and Management.
Within each section or tab, the Basic settings are exposed while Advanced ones are hidden until you expose them with a mouse click.
For instance, changing the password for your Wi-Fi network is under Basic settings, but changing Wi-Fi channels is under Advanced.
This layout is less intimidating for new users who may not know or even require such advanced settings.
Part of the new interface: A nice visual network diagram that shows which clients are connected to the network.
D-Link offers a very decent cloud feature where you can manage router settings over the Internet using a mobile app.
You can also remotely access files from storage devices that are plugged into the USB ports on the D-Link router.
In terms of sheer feature count, this router is not as impressive as some of its competitors.
But most users do not really need all those advanced features.
The D-Link's average download speed of 212Mbps is on a par with other 802.11ac routers I have tested.
A solid router with a clean interface that is easy to use.
Ethernet interface: 4x 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN, 1 x 10/100/1000 Gigabit WAN
Security: WPA/WPA2, WPS
Advanced firewall features: SPI, NAT
Value for money: 3/5
This article was first published on Feb 18, 2015.
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