Review: D-link DIR-879 AC1900 EXO Wi-Fi Gigabit router

D-Link’s external chassis team obviously have a thing for giant robotic spiders, while its marketing team just likes high prices. The DIR-879 fills both needs, looking suitably evil, while carrying a premium street price for its AC1900Mbit/sec capability. Is it worth it though? 

The four “legs” you can see are actually antennae, but they only fold out – there’s no way to adjust the direction they’re pointing, which is a bummer. However, this router does incorporate beamforming tech in the form of SmartBeam, which electronically adjusts each antennae to optimise the direction the signals are travelling. 

Unlike most recent D-Link routers we’ve seen of late, this is aimed at your normal household kind of users. There’s just 1900Mb/sec of combined bandwidth – one 5GHz and one 2.4GHz network. Four Gigabit Ethernet ports adorn the rear of the chassis, along with a WAN port, but there’s no USB slot for a printer or storage. D-Link’s interface has been extremely user friendly for over a year now, but advanced networkers will find the lack of options frustrating. Automatic or manual Quality of Service is to be expected, but it only allows you to prioritise a single main device. 

It’s all powered by a dual core Realtek RTL8198CS processor, while the radio chipset is a 3×3 solution in the 5GHz band, which will ensure very solid performance. There’s no MU-MIMO accreditation, though many routers in the industry that claim this don’t actually have it working properly.

There’s no denying this is an eye-catching, easy to setup router with decent specs, and yet you can buy something else without that bright orange chassis for a solid $100 less. 

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