Buffalo AirStation 1750 Dual Band 802.11ac Router - Value & Verdict

Gordon Kelly

By Gordon Kelly



  • Recommended by TR
Buffalo AirStation 1750


Our Score:


All of which leads to a sizeable caveat. Since the Buffalo AirStation 1750's D1800H and D1300 are the first 802.11ac devices we have tested we have no context for comparison and putting it against even the fastest 802.11n router is comparing apples with oranges. As such the Buffalo combo is fast, but it remains to be seen how it does in the mix when other 802.11ac kit starts hitting the market.

Emphasising the importance of this question is the Buffalo D1800H's 802.11n wireless performance. At 2.4GHz we found it to be significantly slower than the DIR-645 at both two metres and 10 metres with a wall between it, hitting peaks of just 4.2MB per second (33.6Mbit) and 2.68MB per second (21.44Mbit) respectively. Over 5GHz 802.11n speeds only improved by about 20 per cent so if you plan to replace your main router know that performance won't be stellar when you're not connected to the bridge… at least until 802.11ac devices, dongles and cards are launched.

Value (updated: 21.06.2012)

So how much does a future proofing investment cost? Less than we expected. With a £139.99 RRP the D1800H carries very little premium compared to a high end 802.11n device and while n performance is lacking the future proofing it provides should make it the more attractive buy. As for the media bridge this is a reasonable £129.99 for those desperate to unlock the potential of 802.11ac right now. Our one note of caution is that as the first of many 802.11ac routers on the horizon it may well be worth waiting to see what the competition come up with first before splashing out.

Verdict (updated: 21.06.2012)

The Buffalo AirStation 1750's D1800H router gives a tantalising glimpse into the future of Wi-Fi. Combined with the D1300 media bridge it produces speeds far beyond anything we have seen from 802.11n equipment. Having to buy a separate media bridge to enjoy is frustrating, but with the router coming at a small price premium it is a wise buy even without it for some future proofing. Against this we don't yet know how fast the D1800H is compared to other ac routers as we await their arrival and 802.11n performance is weak. Impatient speed freaks should apply, but for everyone else it will be be worth waiting to see what the competition comes up with in the first wave of 802.11ac gadgets.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Build Quality 8
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Usability 7
  • Value 8


June 20, 2012, 3:46 pm

@Gordon Would be interesting how the Netgear R6300 compares in performance, that is the one of the two Netgear ac routers being released. I think the other is the R6200.


June 20, 2012, 5:31 pm

Not too impressed with the performance.

26MBytes a second is about what I routinely get from my 802.11n stuff in the same room. I've seen 35MB/second sustained when sat in the bedroom above the lounge where the router is.

Kit: Cisco E5200 on 5GHz, HP Elitebook with Intel 3x3 WiFI card (factory fit) so using a 450MHz connection.


June 20, 2012, 6:52 pm

Agree 100% Zeus, it is available yet but we'll be chasing it up as soon as it is. Cheers.


June 20, 2012, 7:18 pm

@gagagaga We've never seen performance of that level from any 802.11n equipment so if you've achieved that (megabytes, not megabits) then it's a minor miracle and I wouldn't be leaving that setup in a hurry.


June 21, 2012, 12:33 am

Actually sold the HP a week or two ago. The Samsung 900X3B was just too tempting with the vat back and PC world offers.

Just tested that against the Cisco, 5GHz, same room. The Samsung is Intel WifI too but only 2x2 so 300GHz max.

Results ... power saving on (the default Samsung setting) I get around 12MB/s on a large file copy. At max power setting it bounced around 21-22MB/s.

Interestingly that's a peak around 60% of the max theoretical rate which tallys with the HP at 60% of 450. There are no other 5GHz networks anywhere near me.

I've been using Wifi since the days when a 802.11b base station with a single LAN in was £130 so got to know what works. I find the Apple stuff most variable - the first dual band gigabit airport extreme was awesome - 2x2 at 22MB/s in the early days of N but the later simultaneous dual band routers never got much past half that. I picked up one of the Dlink routers too after the TR review - great for filling the WiFI holes but the throughput never gets close to the Cisco unless you're sat next to it.

If you don't have one in the office, i'd recommend TR invest in a top endish HP or thinkpad with 3x3 radios for benchmark testing WiFi gear - anything since Core 2 days with the Intel 5300 would do.

The other point of course is a legal one ... have the rules for channel bonding on N changed in the UK in the past year or two? Even if they have, most base stations with outdated firmware / settings will default to one channel on N if told they are in the UK - you need channel bonding to get anything over half the theoretical max. Using Ireland or France as your country fixes that little problem...


June 21, 2012, 6:33 am

Thanks for the extra info. We do all testing on laptops with 3x3 radios, but haven't used the Cisco. We're actually very keen to see what it does with 802.11ac.

I believe channel bonding isn't allowed in the UK, but that is an interesting (and sneaky) way around it. We'll have a play with that and see how if there are updates, but it is obviously not something we can widely promote!

PS glad you like the D-Link (SmartBeam, I presume?) that has certainly been the best of the affordable 2.4GHz routers we've seen and the coverage is exceptional.


June 21, 2012, 11:18 pm

I'm not too worried about upgrading my wireless performance.
I moved from a WRT54G to a WRT160N which meets our needs, not least because I installed a CAT6 line to feed our networked TV, NAS and media streamers upstairs. Music streams adequately enough via our current router.
What I do want to know is when manufacturers are going to cotton on to the fact that many domestic consumers need 8 ports on their router...hell I'd settle for 6 ports! We have a WHS, Popcorn Hour A100, Tivo, Wii and (with the feed to to upstairs and a spare port for cabling in emergencies) have to have a switch fun off the router to have sufficient ports..


June 22, 2012, 8:23 pm

You might be interested in the new routers Western Digital (yes, the hard drive manufacturers) are releasing soon. According to the blurb:

"The My Net N900 router features wireless performance up to 900 Mbps (450 + 450 Mbps on the 2.4 and 5 Ghz bands combined) and includes 7 LAN and 1 WLAN Gigabit Ethernet ports for up to 10/100/1000 Mbps wired speeds."

It's the only consumer router I know that has more than four ports.

Russell Peto

June 28, 2012, 4:35 am

I don't think there's a real need for manufacturers to put more ports on the back of their routers. The small group of people who do need this can pick up a 5 port gigabit switch at Maplin or PC World or some such for £30.

comments powered by Disqus