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D-Link DIR-879 AC1900 EXO Wi-Fi Router Reviewed

Discussion in 'Wireless Article Discussions' started by thiggins, May 31, 2016.

  1. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    [​IMG]
    D-Link's DIR-879 AC1900 EXO Wi-Fi Router is a "low-priced" router in a class that already has plenty.

    Read on SmallNetBuilder
     
  2. TheManFromUncle

    TheManFromUncle Regular Contributor

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    How come D-Link router's aren't getting any attention these days? They used to be the best 15 - 20 years ago.
     
  3. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    Gianni, being the 'best' 15-20 years ago is like saying they were the 'best' dinosaurs. Even if they're still around.

    Many reasons why they are not as good, today. Firmware, updated code (or lack thereof), gui and quality and quantity of updates (at least for security) to the firmware is high on that list.

    Releasing models that don't push the envelope doesn't help either. No matter how inexpensive they may be.
     
  4. TheManFromUncle

    TheManFromUncle Regular Contributor

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    And I thought that Linksys firmware sucked the most.
     
  5. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    10-15 years ago I had a DI-524. To this date it remains the worst router I've owned/used.

    One of our corporate customers also used to buy them from us for their retail stores. He always bought 1-2 extras, because "they are dropping like flies" (his own words).

    Popular != best. Linksys had them beaten since the day the WRT54G came to market IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
    L&LD and TheManFromUncle like this.
  6. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    I haven't really been in contact with any of their recent models, so I don't know if they've improved since them. The backdoor issues that happened a few years ago doesn't exactly inspire me any confidence on the software front. Only one of my business customers currently has a 5-6 years old model setup as an access point, we use an RT-AC68U as their main router as he needed the extra traffic monitoring capabilities.

    I suspect that TP-Link has gradually eaten away D-Link's market share here in North America in the inexpensive market bracket.
     
  7. pete y testing

    pete y testing Very Senior Member

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    imho dlink sit these days in a strange space , they are producing quality devices the like of the dir-890L and the dsl-4320L , which are high end products and at a very high end price tag that are quite competitive hardware wise

    for me the gui is the main issue as its latest re creation saw the gui dumbed down to a point its missing lots to make it simple , its almost like it needs an advanced section where all the goodies are stored but they forgot to put it in

    i can only imagine the dir-879 has the same gui

    high cost and poor gui design and lack of expected features see dlink struggle to get and keep market share in what is a very competitive field
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  8. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Guys - Let's try not to be too hard on DLink...

    The product is at a decent price, and in some markets, even at that price, it can be a big hit on the budget.

    It tested well enough - and for someone that has an n300 class router, it's an upgrade for them.
     
  9. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

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    We have to be hard on every router brand not just d-link. The main question anyone would ask when it comes to consumer routers if they dont believe the shiny words are "why should i buy this? My ISP given router already does the job well", "these expensive routers still hang every once in a while just like my crappy ISP router". Essentially if consumer routers that you have to buy still suffer from the same problems as crappy ISP routers than they become worthless even with their shiny performance, features and looks. Crappy ISPs like virgin media have been giving their own routers to their customers that have wireless AC, gigabit ethernet ports, usb, etc. I call it a crappy ISP because not only is their router crappy but also their service but most people arent the wiser, they dont know what is the difference between having something of quality to even telling if your food/restaurant is serving quality food rather than crappy tasty food to whether or not the seller is ripping you off by overpricing or selling fakes.

    The other problem is security. When security is lax you can fall prey not only to people who want to steal your money and stuff but will use your stuff as part of their botnet to attack others so it means you get involved in crime. Its like someone taking your car/gun and using it to rob a bank which than gets traced back to you.

    This is why i asked @thiggins to do comparisons with ISP provided routers in what benefit do they offer over them so people can be happy with their purchase.

    I like mikrotik but i am hard on them, i continously criticise them on their cutting of corners (CCR PSUs) and other things even in mikrotik forums. We criticise because we want them to improve.
     
    L&LD likes this.
  10. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    SEM, great points (all of them)!
     
  11. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Not just them, but pretty much any Router/AP is going to have some security issue - esp. as Vendors pile on more stuff...

    This is why Tim has introduced additional testing to look specifically at these kind of concerns.

    Security, whether D-Link, or some other vendor, is another thread perhaps - this is a product announcement/review... if there's serious security issues, it can be published in the review itself due to the direct hands on experience with the device in an instrumented facility and test cases to back it up.
     
  12. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

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    D-link actually produces routers with ISP branding for ISPs to give to their customers. The models used are usually poor in many areas from hardware to performance to reliability and even security.
     
  13. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    Vidéotron used to provide a D-Link router to their customers. They've switched to Zyxel last year, which added 802.11ac support.
     
  14. RogerSC

    RogerSC Part of the Furniture

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    The only D-Link router that I've had was a DIR-655. Used it for several years, it was solid and worked well in its day. In fact, it's still in use at my daughter's apartment, loaned (gave *smile*) it to her several years ago. Since then they haven't put out any products that have interested me, so I can't critique their current offerings. My impression is that they have come along at the trailing edge, timing wise.
     
    sm00thpapa likes this.
  15. sm00thpapa

    sm00thpapa Very Senior Member

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    I also used the DIR-655 for a few years until I got my RT-N66U in 2012 and never looked at another D-Link router again.
     
  16. e38BimmerFN

    e38BimmerFN Very Senior Member

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    Been using D-Link for years. Been solid routers accept for maybe a couple. The DGL-5500 was a disappointment for sure. :( Wasn't really D-Links fault, however it's there name. :eek: The DGL-4500, 655 and 868L are rock solid routers and still are. The 655 has been the work horse for D-Link in many applications. I'm currently enjoying the 880L and 890L routers. I even went back recently to the DGL-4500 due to gaming capacities with more than one game console and what a breeze it is with the DGL-4500.

    I do agree with some that the new UI is a bit less featured and not as granular as of UI past. Not sure why they went in that direction. I guess that maybe D-Link targeted the average home users rather then the more advanced users. The UI seems to be improving and they are adding items here and there. I presume that maybe D-Link is keeping things simplified for the average home user that this is why the UI has some features missing from UI past. After all, for the average home user, there are some features that are probably not used much. The average home user just wants to get it out of the box and connect it and have it work! o_O I do wish D-Link would have a advanced version of the UI for those power users. Seeing post here, I can empathize with you however for the most part, D-Link continues to make some good solid routers. Maybe not to the wishes of the more advanced users however, again, D-Link has been mainly in the home class router target so what they come up with is up to them. Why there are many different models and some support 3rd party FW like DD-WRT and OpenWRT. So there's always that consideration.

    If some users are missing the granular UI of routers past which they may still be using, no reason why you still can't. Maybe the wifi isn't as good on the older router, however, users can disable the wifi radio on the older router and LAN cable connect up to a newer wifi AP while keeping the older router for it's UI and performance use. User don't have to always go out and buy a new router. I connected my AC class router in AP mode to my DGL-4500, BOOM, wireless upgrade for the 4500 while still maintaining the 4500's performance and UI operation.

    I believe D-Link strives to make good routers and does actively fix security issues when notified. There seen here and there just like the other Mfrs. There not perfect nor is anyone else. They do what they can to keep things safe and secure. After all, security fluctuates everyday and new loopholes are found, even after release of a product. Hard to by psychic in this area. o_O

    For anyone looking at D-Link, give some credit and users looking for something new, do some due diligence first and go look and review what D-link has to offer. Look hard what what your realistic needs are. Ask questions with support and forum help. Do you really need a high end AC/AD class router, are you looking to really future proof or do you just need something to get you online, be safe and enjoy with out having to pay big bucks for a router with 8-16 antennae.o_O LoL. Some users shouldn't be so hard on D-Link. We all have complaints about one thing or another about each Mfr. After all we are there beta testers. :mad: And over the years of experience, not all problems are due to FW or HW issues with any mfr router. There are many other factors to consider when trying to fix problems seen with routers and Wifi. I can only imaging how many routers went into the trash or given up due to false positives or mis-understanding of the root problem or not finding the true root problem of any router. :oops:

    D-Links been doing this for a while now. a bit longer than some. I like there development and update cycle. They try to see things thru to the end even though I believe there is some improvement could be done in the development and testing department. :rolleyes: Of course this goes for all other Mfrs too. I won't name one particular Mfr which I will not be going back to and never recommend. Thank god for OpenWRT on that router!

    I may seem like a fan boy however just a long time experienced D-Link user and enjoy them for what they are and what they have for me and others. Ya I have a couple of other fancy non-D-Link routers and looking forward to testing one of them new fangled AD class router soon. :D Even though I don't have anything to support AD fully as of yet. I look forward to seeing what D-Link does in this class. Maybe @CES 2017.

    My two cents. :p
     
  17. Dave in NM

    Dave in NM Occasional Visitor

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    I just can't figure out why this budget router is rated beyond all other routers tested in Total Simultaneous Throughput - TCP of 1850 mbps, is this a mistake? This $100 router has more throughput than even the likes of Synology RT2600AC, Netgear X4S, Talon AD7200, Asus AC5300, really?

    Benchmark: Total Simultaneous Throughput - TCP
    Product
    Class:Rank
    $$
    Throughput (Mbps)
    D-Link AC1900 EXO Wi-Fi Router (DIR-879)
    AC Router:#15
    $116
    1,850.0
     
  18. e38BimmerFN

    e38BimmerFN Very Senior Member

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    May have less processing to do than the others. I presume if SNB tested all three in the same test configuration, I presume it reveals differences between Mfrs and what they do with router HW and FW. Also seems that Realtek maybe better performer than Broadcom. Many factors to consider when testing and development of a product.

     
  19. Dave in NM

    Dave in NM Occasional Visitor

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    Yeah its weird, i was think maybe SNB started some new measurement criteria, so maybe like it applies to newly tested stuff but not previously tested, like you'd need to retest to get the new measurements, not sure.

    Or maybe there is something special about Realtek (sounds like an audio chip mfgr) vs. others, cause i don't see any other realtek out there.
     
  20. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Realtek has been around for a long time in the networking space - one of the bigger players for onboard ethernet, and a big play for WiFi...

    And yes, they also do audio chips ;)