The AC3200 ULTRA Wi-Fi Router DIR-890L is like three wireless routers in one. It has a 2.4GHz wireless band offering speeds up to 600Mbps and two separate 5GHz wireless bands delivering speeds up to 1,300Mbps that all operate at the same time. That means more lag free online gaming, 4k media streaming,and Facetime on more devices throughout your home.
Not all Wi-Fi bands are the same, but you don’t need to worry about that. With Smart Connect Technology, the ULTRA Wi-Fi Router chooses from the three Wi-Fi bands and automatically connects each device on your network to the best, clearest band available for the best connection every time.
Smart Beam Forming
Improves coverage by directing bandwidth to your devices as you move around your home. You can stream HD video, surf the web, skype your friends and play online games from wherever you are so you’ll always get the best experience.
Controlling Your Network Just Got Easier
Controlling your network by enabling parental controls, blocking unwanted devices, monitoring internet activity and creating Wi-Fi guest networks is easier than ever with our new interface.
More Antennas for More Coverage
Six high performance external antennas keep all of your mobile devices connected with stronger Wi-Fi coverage and superior performance.
You already love the internet. Love your router too. The AC750 Wi-Fi Router comes in four different colors and is powerful enough to let you surf the web, play games and stream HD movies – all at the same time.
Next Generation AC750 Technology Increased speed, range, and reliability ensure coverage throughout your home.
Next Generation AC750 technology – Latest high-speed AC Wi-Fi
Gigabit Ports – Four Gigabit LAN ports for high-speed wired connectivity
Better Wireless Experience – Dual-band operation reduces interference and works with existing wireless devices
USB Port – Create your own personal cloud
Easy setup – Get online in minutes with the quick router setup (QRS) app
Own Personal Cloud Storage – USB port so you can store and access your media files
Maximum wireless signal rate derived from draft IEEE 802.11ac and IEEE 802.11n specifications. Actual data throughput will vary. Network conditions and environmental factors, including volume of network traffic, building materials and construction, and network overhead, lower actual data throughput rate. Environmental factors will adversely affect wireless signal range. Wireless range and speed rates are D-Link relative performance measurements based on the wireless range and speed rates of a standard wireless product from D-Link. Maximum throughput based on D-Link 802.11ac devices.
This is the new entry level router in D-Link’s impressive DIR-8xx series, of which the DIR-880L flagship is our current benchmark. Sitting at the opposite end of the scale, the 810L sports an ultra-low price point to bring 802.11ac to the masses but are the inevitable compromises too much?
At just 156.5 x 113.2 x 53.6 mm and 184.7g the 810L is one of the smallest routers we’ve tested and a departure from the company’s usual midrange tubular design. Like the design departure in the 880L though D-Link has done well. The 810L’s gently curving fascia and subtle radial pattern are backed up with solid build quality such that this doesn’t feel like a cheap router.
There are a couple of weak spots. The only notification lights are power (which flashes when WPS is activated) and Internet connectivity, while the front gets noticeably warm but never dangerously so. Ultimately the 810L is neat, small and will blend into most rooms – likely all the target market will care about.
D-Link DIR-810L – Features
Given its key feature of AC wireless, the fact the 810L costs under £40 is quite frankly remarkable – but don’t get too excited. Unsurprisingly the 802.11ac configuration is the slowest available (433 theoretical megabits), slower than many premium (though more expensive) 802.11n routers. In combination with a 300Mbit 802.11n configuration the 810L called itself an AC750 device.
But this is misleading. Like the disappointing Asus RT-AC-52U, D-Link has equipped the 810L with both Fast Ethernet LAN and WAN ports. This limits both Internet and local network speeds to 100Mbps (12.5MBps) which equates to circa 11.5MBps in real world use. With many Internet connections over 100Mbps these days and even mainstream NAS boxes capable of 10x that, this will be a deal breaker for hardcore users but then again that’s not the target audience for this router.
If 100Mbit is good enough for you, then the rest of the specs should be too. The 810L supports D-Link’s ever improving ‘mydlink’ Cloud service for remote router access, WPS/WPA/WPA2 security and IPv6. The one niggle may be the absence of a USB port for networking a printer or external USB drive, but again it comes down to the target audience.
D-Link DIR-810L – Setup
What D-Link will be counting on in appealing to mainstream consumers is the pull of its brand and this extends to its user friendly setup.
D-Link may not automatically open a browser tab like Asus and Linksys when you first connect to it, but typing 192.168.0.1 (as detailed in the user manual) isn’t too much effort and from that point the setup wizard kicks in. The mydlink experience looks every bit as good as the DIR-880L, it works with D-Link’s mobile apps and for advanced users they can still access the venerable orange and black, text-based UI.
The GoodD-Link’s $50 Wi-Fi Smart Plug offers remote control of your small appliances, including scheduling and energy usage stats — a better value than the $60 Belkin WeMo Insight Switch, which has similar features.
The Bad The Smart Plug isn’t compatible with IFTTT, setup was surprisingly involved, performance was unreliable, and the app design could use some work.
This white, single-outlet plug measures 3.5 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide by 1.4 inches deep. It weighs 4.4 ounces and has a rectangular shape with rounded-off edges. It’s rated for 100 to 125 volts of alternating current (VAC). That means that the outlet should be used to power lamps or other small appliances (large appliances have higher VAC requirements).
The Mydlink Smart Plug app works with Android 4.0 or higher and iOS 6 or higher on tablets and smartphones, and on Wi-Fi and cellular connections. It operates on a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi frequency and you can control up to 10 different Wi-Fi Smart Plugs at the same time using the app.
The $50 D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug fits into any three-prong electrical outlet on a wall or a power strip. Like a standard outlet, D-Link’s plug is more functional than it is aesthetically compelling — it probably won’t be winning design awards anytime soon. It does blend into a two-outlet wall unit fairly seamlessly, and I’m guessing that was the intention.
But just when I was about to blame the blandness of traditional outlets for the blandness of this smart outlet, I started thinking about Dyson’s vacuum cleaners and Nest’s thermostats. Both companies have managed to make household objects into design statements rather than something you try to hide in a dark corner. They weren’t satisfied with the uninspired design that dominates their appliance categories, so why should D-Link’s plug look so plain?
D-Link isn’t alone, though. Its Wi-Fi Smart Plug is similar in style to the $50 Belkin WeMo Switch, the $60Belkin WeMo Insight Switch, and the $49 SAM plug. Still, Belkin definitely improved on its plug design between the WeMo Switch and its more recently introduced Insight Switch, so I’m not quite ready to let D-Link off the hook.
D-Link’s Wi-Fi Smart Plug has a power on/off button with LED indicator underneath that lights up green when your connected appliance is on. There’s also a status LED that will glow red when it’s powering on, trying to reset, or broken. It will blink orange during its initial setup or if it isn’t correctly connected to the Wi-Fi network. It will blink green when the Wi-Fi is connecting and it will display solid green when it’s successfully connected.
You can press the power button manually on the switch if you want to power your connected device directly. There’s also a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button. Pressing it and the WPS button on your router, if your router has one, will initiate a connection between the plug and the router. If your router doesn’t have a WPS button, there’s another set of steps you can follow during setup, but you might end up using the Smart Plug’s WPS button anyway; pressing and holding the WPS button until the LED status light turns red will reset your plug to factory settings.
Early setup is about as simple as possible. Find a three-prong outlet that’s in a convenient spot for the gadget you want to operate and plug in the Smart Plug. Then, download the app and follow the steps — this is where things got more complicated.
I had a really hard time actually finding the Mydlink Smart Plug app in both the iOS and Android app stores. In the Google Play store it’s called Mydlink WiFi Smart Plug and in iTunes it’s called Smart Plug.
Once I found and downloaded both apps, setup got easier, but there were still a couple of confusing parts. For example, the setup menu gives you the option of a WPS setup or a manual setup. If you have a router with WPS, then this is fairly straightforward. If you don’t, you have to go the manual setup route. That’s the option I chose and you have to use a six-digit pin code located on a small card that’s included in the box (it’s also on the back of your plug, but that’s plugged in at this point, so that’s no help). After I entered the code, I selected the office Wi-Fi network and it connected.
After setup, I plugged a nearby lamp into the Wi-Fi Smart Plug and was able to control it via the app. I created schedules, checked the lamp’s wattage, and monitored its temperature readings from both Wi-Fi and cellular connections on my iPhone 5 and a Motorola Droid Maxx.
Things were going well, but then I ran into a curious problem while using the iOS app. You’re supposed to be able to receive reminders based on the schedules you set. However, the enable button for this function was grayed out and I couldn’t slide it over to “on.” I didn’t have the same problem in the Android app.
The biggest issue I encountered, though, happened when I unplugged the Smart Plug. Even if it had only been disconnected for a few minutes, it didn’t always remember the product I had just successfully set up. This happened often enough that I kept the small card with my six-digit code handy, knowing that I would have to start the setup process all over again.
Now, a lot of you will probably pick the product you want to control and leave it plugged in. Just be aware that if you did decide to remove it temporarily (no matter how briefly), the app might not reflect all those steps you completed earlier. I have three different Belkin WeMo products set up in my WeMo app and at various times certain ones are plugged in and connected and others aren’t. Still, every time I reconnect them, they always dutifully reappear in the list of products as if they had been there all along.
While I was initially intrigued by a device that costs the same as Belkin’s standard WeMo Switch, but offers energy usage information similar to Belkin’s more expensive $60 WeMo Insight Switch, D-Link’s Wi-Fi Smart Plug disappointed at almost every turn. Simply put, it has too many inconsistencies to recommend. Consider one of the Belkin smart switches if you want something that actually remembers the products you set up and has the added bonus of IFTTT compatibility