The 880L's is the first router with the new, sparser admin interface I first encountered on the DAP-1520 AC750 range extender. As other reviewers have noted, the new look has both Yin and Yang. The good is that it's more finger-friendly, making it easier to drive on touch-screen Win 8 notebooks or your favorite tablet. The bad is some features you might expect from a router of its class and price, such as DHCP reservation, parental controls, in-browser logs and access to transmit power control and other Wi-Fi knobs to twiddle, are not to be found.
The Home page adopts the current de rigueur network status look, complete with clickable icons that change the information displayed and provide links to associated function admin pages.
D-Link DIR-880L Home page
Here's a feature rundown, mostly extracted from browsing through the admin GUI.
- DHCP, Static, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, DS-Lite WAN connection types
- MTU adjust for all connection types
- Router / bridged router modes
- DHCP server with lease time setting, DHCP reservation and broadcast controls
- WAN port speed setting (Auto, 1000, 100, 10 Mbps)
- Built-in dynamic DNS client for dlinkddns.com and dyndns.com free and custom services
- 15 each IPv4 and IPv6 static routes
- DMZ host
- IPv4 SPI firewall enable, anti-spoof checking, IPv6 Simple Security, IPv6 Ingress filtering
- WAN ping allow / deny
- Multicast stream enables for IPv4 and IPv6
- IPv6 support (auto-detect, static, link-local, autoconfiguration (SLAAC/DHCPv6), PPPoE, IPv6 over IPv4 tunnel, 6to4, 6rd)
- PPTP, IPsec, RTSP, SIP ALG disables
- 15 each schedulable single port and port range forwarding. (Can set source and destination ports on single ports [virtual servers])
- 15 each IPv4 / IPv6 schedulable allow/deny inbound/outbound port filtering by IP address
- 15 domain-based allow / deny (global) Web access filters
- Remote admin access enable, IP access filtering, port setting and graphic authentication enable
- WAN port speed set
- Automatic uplink QoS with manual / automatic uplink speed detection and manual rule option
- Syslog support
- Email alerts and log send
- Login CAPTCHA (default disabled)
- Save / restore settings
- Reset to defaults
- Firmware update check (not automatic) and update via browser or downloaded file
- UPnP / DLNA Media server enable
- iTunes server enable
- SharePort Plus drive and printer sharing
- Storage web access
- Quick VPN (L2TP over IPsec)
- Triggered port forwarding
- IPv6 port forwarding
- Useful online help
- Logs in browser
- Parental controls (web filtering)
- Traffic monitoring, limit alerts
- iTunes server
- UPnP media server index controls
- UPnP disable
- Remote access controls
- HTTPS administration support
Most users will find the controls they want and even more among the features listed above. But if you're looking to be able to monitor every CPU cycle or tweak buffer depths, you'll want to take a pass on the 880L.
Some key features are hidden pretty well. For example, I was just about to wrap up the review and was taking screenshots when I stumbled across DHCP reservation and "Parental Control" features shown below, which I had missed up until then.
The "Parental Controls" feature is just scheduled general internet access, not content filtering, set by IP address, not MAC address. IP address is also used for DHCP reservation, although I'm sure MAC address is in there somewhere. But you won't find it in the Client information displayed.
Hidden DHCP reservation and Parental Control settings
One key annoyance is there is no online help built into the router. The Help links shown in the GUI just dump you at the main D-Link support page. Online help would go a long way in helping users adjust to the new GUI.
D-Link said they are adding "adding additional VPN Setup details in the User Manual based on feedback received from the user community".