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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance - Comparative

I pulled the NETGEAR R7000, ASUS RT-AC68U, Linksys WRT1900AC into a wireless performance comparison.

2.4 GHz downlink shows little significant difference among the group. The most I can say is the DIR-880L tends to run on the lower side of the group. It also has the lowest throughput at 63 dB, but none of the products are producing much bandwidth at that point anyway.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The 2.4 GHz uplink plot follows a similar pattern, with the 880L tracking lower with the Linksys WRT1900AC, which has the best throughput with strong signals from 0 to 24 dB.

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The 5 GHz downlink profile shows the 880L again running on the low side of the group. Along with the ASUS RT-AC68U, it disconnects 3 dB earlier than the R7000 and Linksys WRT1900AC.

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The same trend is also seen in the 5 GHz uplink profile, i.e. tracking with the ASUS and disconnecting at the same attenuation.

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

Closing Thoughts

D-Link's DIR-880L is a late entry to a market that has already decided on its favorites. With the focus moving on to this year's early-adopter bait—AC2350 and AC3200 routers—AC1900 class products are fast becoming last year's news. But don't expect AC1900 bargains just yet.

Router makers have also moved on to higher price points north of $250 for both new router classes and at least early buyers are showing no reluctance to part with bigger bucks in hopes of improved wireless performance. (Sighhhh... foolish humans....) So with no downward price pressure, makers are leaving prices pretty much as they are until TP-LINK or someone else comes in with a decent performance AC1900 router at a more aggressive price. Don't hold your breath for this, though, since TP-LINK is still birthing its second AC1750 class router, the Archer C8 that has yet to ship.

The bottom line is there is no compelling reason to not buy the DIR-880L. But there is no big thing making it a must-have, either.

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