D-Link DIR-868L Router Review

D-Link DIR-868L Router Review
The D-Link DIR-868L’S glossy, cylindrical shape is an unusual look for a router, but this gives it a small footprint so it can easily fit on even a narrow shelf.

It’s simple to set up and provides a handy wizard to guide you through the process. The secure passwords for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks come pre-configured. However, the rest of the interface has a lot of tabs and sub-menus, which can be confusing, though some configuration can be done through an optional app (available for Android and iOS).

The router doesn't have an ADSL modem built-in, so you'll need a cable connection or an existing Ethernet modem or router to connect to its WAN port. All its Ethernet ports are Gigabit speed, which means they have a theoretical maximum speed of 1,000Mbps. The device has a USB3 port on the back, which can be used to share music, video or any other type of file via USB storage. Sharing can be done through the mobile app, either locally or via the internet, though the latter requires you to sign up for a free Mydlink account.

Both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks can operate simultaneously and the router supports all Wi-Fi standards up to 802.11ac. Using our test laptops integrated 802.11n adapter, the 2.4GHz network reached 33.6Mbps at a range of 10m, dropping to 6.3Mbps at 25m. This is underwhelming, and only the tenth fastest among this group. However, performance improved dramatically on the 5GHz network where the D-Link router came top in all our tests. At 10m it reached 209.7Mbps. while at 25m it reached 97.9Mbps. Performance improved further when using D-Link’s own DWA-182 USB3 adapter (£38 from www.ballicom.co.uk), with 802.11n speeds of 256.3Mbps (10m) and 195.7Mbps (25m); and 802.11ac speeds of 362.2Mbps (10m) and 256.3Mbps (25m). It's worth shopping around for this router because the price varies wildly, selling for over £100 in some places, but available for as little as £65.97 from www.dabs.com at the time of writing, which is an absolute bargain.

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