FASTERTHANITLOOKS

D-Link DIR-880L

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST - Az­izul Rah­man Ismail

AC1900 class routers uti­lize a Broad­com chip, and are ca­pa­ble of 802.11ac in both 5GHz and 2.4GHz fre­quen­cies. In con­trast, AC1750 class routers uti­lize an 802.11ac de­vice for the 5GHz ra­dio and a 802.11n de­vice for 2.4GHz to save a lit­tle cost.

The D-Link DIR-880L is the com­pany's AC1900 en­try. Like other routers in its class, the DIR-880L is said to be ca­pa­ble of only 600Mbps in the 2.4GHz bands and 1,300Mbps in 5GHz bands, but it dif­fer­en­ti­ates it­self in terms of de­sign and in­ter­face.

The router comes with four Gi­ga­bit LAN ports to con­nect to PCs and other de­vices, and one Gi­ga­bit WAN port to con­nect to an In­ter­net source like a mo­dem or a router. There's also the power port, a re­cessed re­set but­ton, an on/ off but­ton, and a USB 2.0 port at the back. The router has an­other USB 3.0 port placed on its left side. We won­dered why D-Link doesn't just in­clude two USB 3.0 ports, and we spec­u­lated that it is done to keep the cost down.

It's not a deal breaker, but by putting the USB 2.0 at the back and the USB 3.0 port at the side of the router, D-Link is say­ing that the former should be used to con­nect to per­ma­nent or semi-per­ma­nent net­work resources and pe­riph­er­als (such as a prin­ter), while the lat­ter should be used for tem­po­rary resources like a USB drive.

D-Link is also one of the few router mak­ers to of­fer a cloud plat­form to ac­cess and con­trol the router re­motely. This can be done both via a web browser, or the An­droid and iOS apps. On top of that, D-Link's user in­ter­face is sleek with Smart Wizard, and a whole new look and feel that is both fresh and in­tu­itive.

When it comes to per­for­mance, the DIR-880L is above av­er­age. On the 5GHz band, it sus­tained speed of ap­prox­i­mately 520Mbps at five me­ters. We in­creased that to 10 me­ters, and the speed was al­most less than half at 213Mbps. Note that the drop in speed is nor­mal for a 5GHz band.

Not sur­pris­ingly, at 2.4GHz, the DIR-880L achieved a speedy 186Mbps trans­mis­sion from as far as five to 10 me­ters, and only dropped to 143Mbps at 15m and be­hind a wall. It looks like D-Link sac­ri­ficed a lit­tle bit of form for a lot of per­for­mance with this router.

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