Initially revealed at CES 2015 over a year ago, the D-Link DIR-890L caught our eyes for its bright color and bold design. Even though the ASUS RT-AC5300 is now the most extreme looking router around, the DIR-890L isn’t that far behind. It has a highly angular pyramid design and features six sizable external antennas. But the most visually arresting thing about it is its bright red paint. It’s also very large, measuring nearly 40cm in width and weighing nearly a full kilogram.
Running down the middle of the router is a column of LED status indicators, but again, no indicators for the individual Gigabit LAN ports. It’s worth noting at this point that the Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports themselves also do not have their own status indicators.
Underneath the hood, the DIR-890L router is powered by the Broadcom 5G XStream chipset, which consists of a single dual-core Broadcom BCM4709A running at 1GHz and three additional offload Broadcom BCM43602 processors, each dedicated to one of the D-Link DIR-890L’s three radios. This is the same chipset you’ll find in just about every other AC3200-class router today.
Setting up the D-Link DIR-890L router was a breeze, thanks to D-Link’s easy-to-navigate and intuitive setup user interface. Most options are easy to understand and access and there’s usually an ‘Advanced Settings’ button for more tech-savvy options to tweak to their hearts’ content. We especially like how the DIR-890L’s QoS management system is device-based rather than application-based, meaning to say that connections are prioritized by ranking devices connected to the router. Apps-based QoS management systems are trickier to setup as they usually require the application’s port settings, which can be hard to obtain.
Users can also download the mydlink Cloud app from the App Store or Google Play to remotely control and manage their routers. However, like its competitors, the implementation of such apps still leaves much to be desired since some features are missing from the app. D-Link also offers another app called SharePort that lets users access files on external storage devices connected to the router using their iOS or Android device.
LED status indicators on the router let users know instantly if something has gone wrong.