All of which makes the value section particularly frustrating because D-Link has continued its tradition of making keenly priced products with the D-Link DIR-865L coming in at just £125. This is £64 less than the Linksys EA6500, £45 less than the R6300 and £10 less than the Buffalo AirStation 1750 which is now a fair way off the pace of the newer 802.11ac routers. Having a Cloud platform makes the D-Link even better value, even if it remains someway behind the slick integration of Cisco's Connect Cloud.
Of course what does have immediate appeal is the setup with the D-Link DWA-182 priced at £45 which is far less than buying a dedicated bridge and far more convenient. That said it can be used with any 802.11ac router so it doesn't necessarily make the D-Link DIR-865L specifically more tempting. In short: if you have mostly newer equipment the D-Link DIR-865 will prove a star buy, but if you are using a lot of 2.4GHz kit then this otherwise superb router is not for you.
D-Link has a lot to be proud of with the D-Link DIR-865L. 802.11ac and 5GHz 802.11n performance, particularly at range, is outstanding, the setup is simple and the mydlink Cloud platform – while basic – is a nice extra. The asking price is also a new low for 802.11ac routers. Its Achilles heel, however, is performance over 2.4GHz and if you have predominantly older equipment then the D-Link DIR-865L is unlikely to be a worthwhile upgrade. Of course while we await the first gadgets with 802.11ac built in, all 802.11ac capable routers remain the primary interest of those on the bleeding edge and for them it is a new price/performance champion.