Review Price £84.99
D-Link DIR-826L - Value & Verdict
Compare this with the DIR-645 which achieved 10.3MB per second (82.4Mbit) at two metres, the same at 10 metres with a clear line of sight, 5.61MB per second (44.88) at 10 metres with a wall in the way and 2.57MB per second (20.56Mbit) at 13 metres with two standing walls between. The DIR-645 only has a single 2.4GHz band yet interestingly its 13 metre figure is faster than the DIR-826L 2.4GHz at just two metres. Similarly the Linksys EA4500 makes mincemeat of the DIR-826L, as does the Netgear WNDR4500 and this doesn't even mention the next generation 802.11ac Buffalo AirStation 1750 D1800H (though that is comparing apples and oranges).
All of which means the D-Link DIR-826L better be cheap and it is, but not to an eye-opening degree. With an £85 RRP it costs £5 more than the DIR-645 (though the latter has just a single band), but it is significantly cheaper than the £160 Linksys EA4500, £130 Netgear WNDR4500 and £139 Buffalo AirStation 1750 D1800H. That said we can't help but feel the inclusion of mydlink still makes the DIR-826L more expensive that it should be at this performance level and at this stage the Cloud software isn't an essential inclusion.
The DIR-826L is meant to herald the arrival of mydlink, but sadly both it and D-Link's Cloud platform have got off to a whimper.
The DIR-826L is a baffling product. The flagship router for D-Link's entry into Cloud-based network control is constructed from decidedly last generation technology. This means just two internal antennas, no SmartBeam and no 802.11ac which results in hugely disappointing wireless performance. The mydlink Cloud platform is slightly more encouraging, but it is basic at present and not nearly as advanced or intuitive as Linksys' rival 'Cisco Connect Cloud'. We expect better as it evolves and D-Link 802.11ac routers will arrive in the coming months, but this is a damp squib.
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