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D-Link DIR-810L Review - Performance, Value & Verdict Review


DIR-810L ACSo what about performance? The 810L is both incredibly boring, yet also pleasantly surprising.

Cutting to the chase, at our test distances of 2m and 10m line of sight and 15m behind two standing walls the 810L essentially maxes out its Fast Ethernet bottleneck at all three distances over both 802.11ac and 802.11n 5GHz.

Breaking it down that equates to 11.4MBps (91.2Mbps), 11.4MBps (91.2Mbps) and 10.4MBps (83.2Mbps) over wireless AC and 11.7MBps (93.6Mbps), 11.4MBps (91.2Mbps) and 10.4MBps (83.2Mbps) over 802.11n 5GHz (graphs in the Photos tab at the top of the page). 

While the peak speed limitations are frustrating the performance at range is a different story. At 15m the 810L is an impressive 30 per cent faster than the RT-AC52U (which carries the same Fast Ethernet limitations but a £79.99 RRP).

DIR-810L 2.4This pattern continues with 802.11n 2.4GHz where it hits 9.68MBps (77.44Mbps), 8.64MBps (69.12Mbps) and 6.58MBps (52.64Mbps). At 5m and 10m this is nothing special, but at 15m it is a 20 per cent bump on the RT-AC52U and roughly double what you’ll get from an ageing ISP-supplied router like the Sky Hub (101 or 102), PlusNet TG582n or TalkTalk DSL-3780. Again this is the target market.

D-Link will also point to the fact the 880L can use the wireless ac bandwidth to handle multiple Fast Ethernet connected devices at circa 10MBps. Again this is true. We found the 880L could combine streams to total circa 30MBps (240Mbps).

Yes casual consumers will be happy, but it makes us lament the router D-Link could have produced for just a few pounds more.

DIR-880L 3

As long as you are the intended target (sub 100Mbit Internet, no NAS or local storage) then the 810L is a real bargain. Its peak speeds may be throttled but its performance at range is far superior to any routers in its price bracket. Meanwhile the setup is simple and it looks good.

But there are caveats. Firstly, ISPs are starting to give out 802.11ac routers and, while it typically requires signing a contract, it is impossible for third parties to compete with ‘free’. Meanwhile the likes of the TalkTalk Plus Fibre and in particular Home Hub 5 leave it in the dust and both also pack USB.


D-Link has created by far the best quality router we have seen for under £40. Its performance at range is excellent, it looks good, is remarkably compact, simple to setup and has access to the mydlink Cloud platform. The problem is some ISP-supplied routers are no better, but for us the bigger issue is putting £5 on the price tag for Gigabit LAN and WAN would’ve produced twice the router.

Next, read our pick of the Best Routers

Trusted Score

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Score in detail

  • Performance 7
  • Value 8
  • Features 6
  • Build Quality 7
  • Usability 8
  • Design 8

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