The D-Link Wireless AC750 Dual-Band Gigabit Cloud Router (model DIR-818LW) is part of a new generation of wireless networking hardware. Routers that support the 802.11ac standard can take the speed of a home network to never-before-seen heights. Like 802.11n routers, though, not all 802.11ac routers are capable of the same high speeds. Some of the fastest and most expensive are AC1900 routers that boast a maximum throughput of 1,900 megabits per second. The D-Link DIR-818LW is an AC750 router -- more affordable than most 802.11ac routers but not particularly fast. In a D-Link DIR-818LW review, a tester from CNET found that it topped out at 136 Mbps at close range under real-world conditions. At 120 feet, that speed dropped to 41 Mbps.
The CNET reviewer also notes that 120 feet is the maximum distance at which the router can maintain a stable connection, which is not very far compared with other routers. This expert does like the compact size of the router, which suits a small space and could even work for travel. D-Link still manages to fit four LAN ports on the back for wired connections. The reviewer comments that the interface is easy to use and well-organized; even less experienced users should be able to set it up without much trouble. He also likes that you can create a free account with D-Link and access router settings in the cloud from virtually anywhere. However, the DIR-818LW stumbles where it counts the most -- speed and range. CNET concludes that buyers may be better off buying a really good N600 router for about the same price.
Most shoppers reviewing the D-Link DIR-818LW at Amazon
have good things to say. They consider the router easy to set up, though a couple did run into some problems. One user particularly appreciates that this router supports separate networks for guests. However, many reviewers say the router's speed and range are just so/so.
The D-Link DIR-818LW (starting at $78, Amazon) is dual-band router that utilizes both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. It has gigabit Ethernet ports for ultra-fast wired networking. A USB port allows a flash drive or external hard drive to be shared among multiple devices. Like most of today's routers, it supports the WEP/WPA/WPA2 encryption protocols, as well as Wi-Fi Protected Access, or WPS, for adding compatible devices to the network without having to enter a password. An internal antenna makes for a clean, cylindrical design that comes in four different colors: black, white, red, and teal.
The D-Link DIR-818LW may be OK for buyers who want a new 802.11ac router that will be compatible with all the latest, fastest devices, provided they live in a relatively small space. The short range is a big drawback, and users who already have a fast wireless-N router probably won't notice a big speed difference. On the plus side, the router is very easy to set up, and it includes a number of useful features, including gigabit Ethernet, a USB port, and apps for accessing the router remotely from a phone or other connected device.