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Buffalo AirStation 1750 review

Gordon Kelly



  • Recommended by TR
Buffalo AirStation 1750


Our Score


User Score


  • First 802.11ac router
  • 802.11ac performance obliterates 802.11n
  • 2.4GHz & 5GHz Dual Band


  • Weak 802.11n performance
  • Expensive, especially with media bridge
  • Aged, poor browser interface

Review Price £199.00

Key Features: First 802.11ac networking equipment; 2.4GHz & 5GHz dual bands; 802.11a/b/g/n backwards compatible ; Currently needs 802.11ac media bridge

Manufacturer: Buffalo Technology

Update 21.06.2012 Buffalo has substantially changed the pricing of both the router and media bridge since this review was published. The previous £199.99 RRPs for each device have been changed to £139.99 for the router and £129.99 for the bridge. Furthermore retailers are undercutting this new price with Dabs and eBuyer currently both selling the router for £124.98 and the bridge for £114.98 and £109.99 respectively. With such a difference we have adjusted the value rating given to the product to reflect this and with it now having no premium compared to a high end 802.11n router it has earned a higher overall score and a recommended award.

Welcome to the bleeding edge, the place where next generation technology awaits, along with quite a few paper cuts. Leading us to this exciting yet sometimes infuriating region this time is Buffalo, which has become the first company to ship a router and network bridge compliant with 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Next Generation WiFi

The brief on 802.11ac is simple: it is the long-awaited successor to 802.11n and it promises data rates beyond 1Gbps (125 megabytes per second) over the still little used 5GHz band. It also claims to offer increased range to eliminate dead spots around the home. The fly in the ointment is the 802.11ac standard has yet to be finalised and (much like 'Draft N' devices) impatient companies are already starting to ship 'Draft AC' equipment with the promise of future firmware updates to bring it into line with the finalised standard whenever and whatever that may be. In addition there are currently no 802.11ac laptops, tablets, phones or even USB and PCI cards on the market.

Which brings us back to Buffalo and its catchily-named AirStation 1750 Wireless 802.11n 11ac Gigabit Dual Band Router WZR-D1800H-EU (above, left). In order to immediately enjoy its next gen connectivity it has also launched the equally snappy 'AirStation 1300 Wireless 802.11n 11ac Gigabit Dual Band Media Bridge WLI-H4-D1300-EU' (above, right). This acts as a receiver for the router's ac Wi-Fi and has four Ethernet ports on the back to connect devices. It is a workaround, but for the likes of NAS boxes, media players, desktop PCs and other devices that a) don't have integrated Wi-Fi, or b) tend not to move around, it is a smart and completely driverless one.


So let's take a closer look at the router part. Naturally the '1750' figure, suggesting 1750Mbit speed is a cheat (it combines theoretical 1300Mbit 802.11ac and theoretical 450Mbit 802.11n speeds), though interestingly it could have been higher since 802.11n is supported over both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands giving a 900Mbit figure. For the record 802.11ac only works over the 5GHz band.

The D1800H router has five Gigabit Ethernet ports (4x LAN, one to connect to the modem), a USB 2.0 port for attaching a printer or storage device to the network (along with a dedicated 'Eject' button) and support for WPA2-PSK AES security. Oddly IPv6 compatibility is missing from launch though.

As for the D1300 media bridge, it is a much simpler affair. It supports 802.11ac over 5GHz and 802.11n over 5GHz and 2.4GHz, has four wired Gigabit Ethernet ports, a button to disable 2.4GHz (though not 802.11n entirely) and power. Both the router and media bridge are backwards compatible with 802.11a/b/g.

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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.

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