D-Link EXO AC2600 Wi-Fi Router Review

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Looking for a fast AC router? Well, D-Link EXO AC2600 has you covered. The DIR-882 router is the latest EXO edition targeting home users looking for faster speeds. It aims at delivering high-end performance and Wi-Fi features on a budget.

The D-Link EXO AC2600 is a dual-band 802.11ac router with one band for 2.4GHz and the other for 5GHz. Its 2.4 GHz band has speculative speeds of up to 800Mbps with the 5GHz reaching 1733Mbps; the combined rates sums up its AC2600 tag.

In comparison to other AC2600 routers such as Linksys Max-Stream EA8500, D-Link EXO AC2600 is slightly cheaper. Even though other AC2600 routers come equipped with slightly better features than the EXO AC2600, it still performs well in terms of speed and coverage.

Design and Build

D-Link EXO AC2600

Apart from its long antennas, the DIR-882 router does have a simple design with a muted-black finish. Due to its long antennas, it will be almost impossible to place on a shelf. However, it does have wall mount holes on its bottom panel for you to fix it on a wall.

On its top are LEDs just like the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 for; Internet, 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands, Power, and 2 USB ports. In addition, it has the standard five Gigabit Ethernet ports; one for WAN with the rest being for LAN. Its two USB ports, a 2.0 and a 3.0 are the real standout features for a router of this caliber.

wi-fi router

In general D-Link’s DIR-882 router physical appearance is not overly imposing compared to that of DIR-879 of the same series.

Power and Speeds

Looks aside, we know of most interest is the internal hardware. To handle its prospective high speeds, the EXO AC2600 comes equipped with a dual-core Broadcom BCM4709C0 1.4 GHz chipset, with 256 MB of RAM and 128 MB flash memory.

The Broadcom BCM4709C0 has been a popular choice for some of the latest routers. D-Link used it previously in its ‘Ultra’ series, NetGear equipped the Nighthawk X8 with it, TP-Link put it in the Archer C3150 V2 and C5400, and Linksys and Asus have also used it in their routers too.
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Wi-Fi Features of D-Link EXO AC2600

So, let us get to the nitty-gritty of how the D-Link EXO AC2600 justifies its AC2600 tag.

MU-MIMO

D-Link EXO AC2600The DIR-882 supports the Multi-User, Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output wireless technology. Each of its four antennas can communicate with a different device altogether and manage four data streams within each of them.

What this means is that the router can communicate with various devices concurrently without compromising on speeds. Point to note is that for you to take advantage of this feature, your devices must support MU-MIMO as well.

Advanced AC Smart Beam

D-Link smart beamforming feature enhances wireless signal strength and range. AC Smart Beam boosts coverage by directing bandwidth to your target devices as you move around your home. You can stream music and HD video, surf the web and play online games from any point within your house without a drop in speeds, ensuring you get the best experience.

QoS (Quality of Service)

The QoS engine prioritizes tasks based on their bandwidth requirements. Applications requiring high bandwidth such as online gaming, streaming 4K videos, for instance, are placed at the top of the priority list and allocated more speeds, guaranteeing the best performance. Apart from applications, you can also prioritize which gadgets are allowed to use the most bandwidth via D-Link’s QoS Engine.

Band Steering – Smart Connect

This feature enables the router switch bands seamlessly, selecting the ideal network band for your devices, which reduces chances of several devices overcrowding one band.

DLNA Media Server Support

The DIR-882 is a DLNA certified router; this means that you can easily share and play media on other DLNA compatible devices within your network.

Security

The wireless router DIR-882 includes a built-in firewall and WPA/WPA2 protocols to provide the highest level of wireless security. In addition, the router has L2TP Over IPSec VPN Server Support, which allows you create secure VPN tunnels to transmit your data from any location.

Guest Wi-Fi Network

Guest Wi-Fi Network option is also available to help create a separate network for your guests; this ensures that your primary network remains safe and secure.

Parental Controls

DIR-882 router parental controls help control individual’s device time and content accessed on the Internet. Also, a built-in Yandex.DNS service is available to help block access to adult content on children’s devices.

First Time Setup

D-Link EXO AC2600Setting up the DIR-882 is pretty straightforward and friendly for non-techies who just want their network working within the shortest time. Additionally, D-Link has a smartphone app known as QRS (Quick Router Setup) through which you can configure or set up your router remotely.

The DIR-882 router is shipped with a configuration manual to help set up the router. The manual will help you run the user-friendly web-based setup wizard through which you can configure your router’s password and the network’s name and password.

Once the router is set up, other D-Link Zero Configuration devices can easily and instantly connect. On the other hand, the DIR-882 has a minimalistic menu. However, there are a lot of other customization options available; such as Configuring Port Forwarding, setting up a VPN, and Parental Controls to name but a few.

D-Link band steering feature, Smart Connect, is spontaneously enabled, allowing the router to switch between its 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands automatically, providing you the ideal connection possible.

Cons

One major downside of the DIR-882 router is that you cannot use it as a separate AP (access point), wireless bridge or wireless repeater. D-Link had promised to release its AP/repeater modes in 2018. Another issue is the router takes seemingly long time to save configured settings.

Verdict

If you are searching for a router to improve your home’s internet speed and coverage, then the DIR-882 is the one to go for. However, its design and build have nothing much to write home about.

At its price, D-Link EXO AC2600 offers a fresh collection of original wireless features and useful extra features such as DNLA, SAMBA, and FTP.
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