D-Link DIR-868L & DWA-182 Wireless AC Review
For synthetic performance testing to show the potential performance of a given wireless configuration. For this test we have chosen Lan Speed Test. This free program can test both transmission and reception performance and do so in an easy to use and highly repeatable way. For clarity sake we have averaged both the transmission and reception performance into one aggregate number.
Even with its oddball design and internal antenna array the level of performance offered by the D-Link 868L is impressive. It is only at longer distances that its internal antennas become a minor shortcoming as at normal distances both its 802.11N 2.4GHz and 802.11AC 5GHz performance is very good, bordering on excellent. The very fact that this is a sub-$150 router and it is competitive against $200 routers is astonishing.
The DWA-182 on the other hand boasts performance that can -at best – be considered mediocre. Remember, it only costs $10 less than USB 3.0-based adapters which means it is a rather poor value. Granted, the USB 3.0 version should nullify many of the shortcomings.
Real World Tests
For real world testing we have taken 10GB worth of small file and large file mixture and pushed from one wireless connected computer to a second computer connected via wired Ethernet. Testing will be done via MS RichCopy. For clarity sake we have averaged both the transmission and reception performance into one aggregate number.
If the device supports wired transmission, wired Ethernet to wired Ethernet real world performance will also be included using the same 10GB of data used for the wireless test.
The more we tested the DIR-868L router the more we understood the brilliance of its design. It may not be the fastest, nor longest reaching router but its combination of good looks, very good performance, and amazing price makes for a very persuasive argument!
The polar opposite of the 868L is where you will find the DWA-182 adapter. While it is certainly compact and easy to use, the performance it offers is simply not good enough to warrant the asking price. Make sure you buy the USB 3.0 C1 version rather than its predecessor being tested here.