As the bandwidth requirements for multi-player games continue to increase and streaming 4K film begins to dominate the media market, router manufacturers began to release a new line of high-end, high power routers can handle the needs of the modern family network.
Summary: The D-Link AC3200 is another in a long line of solid routers released by the company, with enough extra features and performance that has taken place in our top wireless routers 2016 list.
Price: $ 268 (in January 2016)
Model #: DIR-890L / R
Availability: Buy at Amazon
What we liked
- Blazing download speeds and fast uploads
- Easy installation and well explained
- SmartConnect function keeps smooth game WiFi
What we have not
- Prefer more alternative color options
- Takes a large footprint in the house
The design of the D-Link AC3200 is … interesting, to say the least. Without mincing words, the AC3200 looks like something right near future, where all spacecraft also serve as network devices in a personal home.
Dripping race car shiny red paint which is enough to send shivers down the backs of interior designers everywhere, AC3200 stands no matter what part it is acting as a central piece of conversation that tells anyone come on you take your Internet connection seriously.
Configuration / Dashboard / software
At present, router manufacturers have all but simplified the process of getting a new router and running in minutes, and the D-Link is no different.
Right out of the box, the D-Link Setup Wizard carefully holds your hand through the process of getting all the nuts and bolts of your new wireless network in a row, giving you the ability to choose the parameters basic such as the router’s SSID directly to the type of encryption you want to use to keep the secure link.
Read: How Does WiFi Work
From there, you’ll find access to many configuration options and customization settings that you can use to make the D-Link router that suits the way your house becomes online.
Once done, you are automatically in the main panel of the router. Again, most of what you get here is standard for a router at this point: protected WPA2-PSK Wi-Fi, a hardware firewall, and even a great set of parental controls that allow you to individually select when certain devices (say child iPad) is allowed to go online, and when it’s time to close things for the night.
- Note that the internal VPN service from D-Link is a nice surprise, allowing you or any other user with the password to create a secure tunnel or any device connected to the network. This is perfect for anyone out there who wants to access their media library to the house from the road, but fears that their standard encryption may not be sufficient to protect the canal.
- The D-Link also offers something the company calls its “Smart Connect” service, which prevents so-called old connecting devices to the router to affect the performance of other laptops or computers connected to the same wireless network. We tried to push the system to its limits, and we were pleasantly surprised that even the iPhone five years ago could make a dent in the overall experience.
- Finally, we appreciated the ease of setting up a media server via the external USB port of the router. Simply connect a hard drive or media files with Thumbstick recognizable on board, and the router will automatically available on your home network or abroad.
With so many antennas sticking out of the side of the AC3200, it is clear that this is a router that was built for one thing and one thing only (which is certainly not win beauty contests): speed.
And the wireless router does not disappoint. Test on multiple devices at dozens of different distances and IP configurations, AC3200 cries from beginning to end. No matter what kind of gaps that we tried to throw his way, both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz network the AC3200 pushed our cable package to its absolute limits.
In optimal testing conditions, we could always get a transfer rate to the theoretical limit of what our cable line was able, about 150Mbps download and 15Mbps upload. In less than ideal conditions, the router has not falter by many, dropping only 10Mbps download, and around 3Mbps for download, a reduction of nearly 10% and 30%, respectively.
Read: How to hack Wifi
Although the pure aesthetics of the AC3200 can not be for everyone, the look of the router speaks to a larger picture of the overall product. This is a machine that is not there to disturb or be discreet; he is tall, he is strong, and boy is it fast.
Breezy with a simple configuration and enough features to make media collectors shimmy in their boots with enthusiasm, the AC3200 is the complete package of routers that are sure to handle the needs of even the most streamlined of happy households. Please feel free to comment on what you think of our review of the AC3200 router, or if you have practical experience.