The 880L is D-long-awaited Link’s entry into the high-end AC1900 market, which is currently dominated by Linksys, Asus, Netgear, and TRENDnet. The 880L is priced at $199. Yes, D-Link is one of the latecomers to the party, but marrying the 880L with an incredibly accessible price tag hints that good things come to those who wait a little longer.
The D-Link DIR-880L is a really attractive gadget. It is available in two color options: all-black or all-white (the latter has a certain flair, but black wires may detract from the overall appearance), and it has a glossy finish with a textured band that looks like carbon fiber.
When designing the AC1750 router, D-Link chose a flat rectangular shape over the cylindrical style that was previously popular. Although it is entirely composed of plastic (just like any other router), this is a positive development because the DIR-880L is aesthetically pleasing, has a high level of build quality, and is well-constructed. In addition, the router is adequately ventilated.
When a router is essential to its maker, you can always tell because the company takes the time to come up with a whole new design for it. Linksys, Asus, and TRENDnet have all done it, and now D-Link has followed suit, dumping its well-loved cylindrical form factor in favor of something much meaner and whiter.
Yes, when it comes to the 880L, the term “white” is the first thing that springs to mind since D-Link has managed to color code every single component of it. In addition to white insets and antennae to match the body, a white power cable and plug and a bundled white Ethernet cable are required to achieve this. In fact, the only parts of the device that are not painted white are the ports and power button, which are located at the back, and the top-mounted activity LEDs, which are painted blue.
As a result, the 880L is a true fashion statement that is expected to appeal particularly to Apple enthusiasts. A major source of frustration for smart living room designers everywhere, black cabling in particular is a source of frustration for us, thus we applaud D-options. Link’s
In addition, the construction quality is excellent. Yes, it is made of plastic, just like all other routers (they must be able to function with or without external antennae), but it is well-constructed, well-ventilated, and comes with mounting brackets for wall installation. This router, measuring 246.9 x 190.4 x 47.2 mm and weighing 745g, is one of the largest models we’ve examined, but its low profile ensures that it doesn’t attract too much notice.
When it comes to jumping on the AC1900 bandwagon, the 880L plays some well-known cards: a full-fat 1300Mbit 802.11ac implementation with a three-antenna array and a beefed-up 600Mbit 802.11n implementation, which results in the inflated ‘AC1900’ statistic.
It is possible to attain the latter figure with the use of ‘Turbo QAM,’ a patented technology from Broadcom that is utilized to increase 802.11n on the outdated 2.4GHz spectrum. It is necessary to have a Turbo QAM compliant wireless receiver to make use of this, such as the Asus PCE-AC68, which serves as our standard wireless receiver for testing. Fortunately, with the influx of AC1900 routers on the market, many more Turbo QAM receivers are in the pipeline, which is encouraging.
However, Turbo QAM isn’t the only trick in the 880L’s sleeve. Because of SmartBeam compliance, the router’s three 5dBi dual-band dipole antennas are substantially bigger than anything we’ve seen on a competitor router (which typically sticks to 3dBi), and they provide significantly more coverage.
The normal combination of 4 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit LAN, and WPS, WPA/WPA2-encrypted wireless security is also included in this package. Dual USB ports provide the conventional combination of 1x USB 3.0 and 1x USB 2.0, however, we haven’t found that USB 3.0 makes a significant difference in speed testing conducted across a network. There are also two HDMI connectors.
D-Link, like Linksys, is one of the few router manufacturers that provide a Cloud platform that allows users to access and operate their router from anywhere in the world. This may be accomplished using a web browser as well as Android and iOS applications.
D-Link is certainly aiming to make a big impact with the DIR-880L, but how does it do in terms of performance and reliability? Simply put, it took our breath away.
The 880L generated barnstorming 802.11ac speeds of 79.6MBps (636.8Mbps), 75.4MBps (603.2Mbps), and 44.9MBps (44.9Mbps) at distances of two meters and ten meters line of sight and 15 meters behind two solid walls in our tests, respectively (359.2Mbps). As a result, it is within a margin of error of the Linksys WRT AC1900, which is the fastest router we have ever tested and is available as a limited edition £250 model.
Because of this, the 880L outperforms several of its popular rivals, such as the Asus RT-AC68U, Netgear R7000 Nighthawk, TRENDnet TEW-818DRU, and even the Linksys EA6900, which has been our preferred model for many years.
The 880L then finishes things off with impressive USB speed, achieving 23.6MBps (188.8Mbps) over USB 3.0 and 24.1MBps (192.8Mbps) over USB 2.0, among other things. Although the Linksys WRT AC1900 is capable of achieving rates in excess of 30MBps on both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, the D-Link is otherwise only marginally outperformed by the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk, which is itself a breakaway leader with speeds over 50% quicker than the rest of the competition.
|Product Description||Wireless AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Cloud Router|
|Wireless Speed||1900Mbps (2.4G + 5G)|
|Antenna Type||External Fixed Antenna (3×3+3×3+3X3)|
|USB Sharing (SAMBA)||Yes|
|mydlink Lite (iOS/Android)||N/A|
|PPPoE (IPv6 over PPPoE)||Yes|
Despite the fact that D-Link is over seven months behind other competitors in bringing their AC1900 router to market, the DIR-880L is a success. It features market-leading performance across all bands, looks nice, is simple to set up, allows for remote Cloud operation, and is far less expensive than competitors in terms of pricing. The D-Link DIR-880L represents a considerable advancement in terms of speed, range, and price. It has become the new standard by which all others must be measured.