At our test distances of two metres and 10 metres line of sight and 15 metres behind two solid walls the 880L produced barnstorming 802.11ac speeds of 79.6MBps (636.8Mbps), 75.4MBps (603.2Mbps) and 44.9MBps (359.2Mbps). This places it within a margin of error of the Linksys WRT AC1900, the fastest router we have ever tested and a special edition £250 model.
But this was just the start. Switching to 802.11n 5GHz the 880L hit an electrifying 56.4MBps (451.2Mbps), 46.4MBps (371.2Mbps) and 23.6MBps (188.8Mbps) at our three test distances. While the WRT AC1900 retains a lead at 15 metres (29.5MBps) the 880L's 2m and 10m results are 30 per cent and 15 per cent faster than anything we have previously seen.
This pattern continued at 802.11n 2.4GHz with the 880L achieving a head turning 23.5MBps (188Mbps), 18MBps (144Mbps) and 12.1MBps (96.8Mbps). This not only demonstrates the major benefits of Turbo QAM, but equates to a 30-50% lead over any Turbo OAM-equipped AC19000 router that we’ve tested.
The 880L then rounds things off with strong USB performance managing 23.6MBps (188.8Mbps) over USB 3.0 and 24.1MBps (192.8Mbps) over USB 2.0. This again highlights the somewhat pointless inclusion of USB 3.0 currently on routers and while the Linksys WRT AC1900 does achieve speeds in excess of 30MBps on both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, the D-Link is otherwise only fractionally edged out by the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk – itself a breakaway leader nearly 50 per cent faster than other rivals.
Note: graphs for 802.11n 2.4GHz and USB transfer speeds are available in the Photos tab at the top of the review.
This is already an easy question to answer, but why the 880L achieves such a high score from us is its price. D-Link has launched the 880L at £129.50. That’s £40 to £60 less than the AC1900 offerings from Linksys, Asus and Netgear and a whopping £120 less than the Linksys WRT AC1900 – our previous benchmark which the 880L either matches or beats in many tests.
In fact the only AC1900 router in the same price bracket is the TRENDnet TEW-818DRU which comes in at a remarkable £119.99, but its budget price tag leads to significant feature compromises and performance drop-offs at range.
D-Link may be nearly seven months behind some rivals in bringing its AC1900 router to market, but the DIR-880L is a triumph. It has market leading performance across all bands, looks great, is intuitive to setup, offers remote Cloud control and dramatically undercuts rivals on price. The D-Link DIR-880L signals a significant step forward for speed, range and pricing. It is the new benchmark everyone else must beat.
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