DIR-855: True dual-band Wi-Fi router from D-Link

D-Link release its first true dual-band wireless router, the DIR-855

The D-Link DIR-855 comes with a base and can stand either vertically or horizontally. It can also be wall-mounted. Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

I reviewed the Linksys WRT610n recently and today I got my hands on the second true dual-band wireless router: the DIR-855 Xtreme N Duo Media Router from D-Link.

Like the WRT610n, the DIR-855 is equipped with two separate Draft N 2.0 access points: one works in the ever popular 2.4GHz frequency and the other uses the newfound 5GHz frequency. These two access points can operate at simultaneously, making the Draft-N Wi-Fi network available to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless clients at the same time.

The DIR-855 has the same design as the D-Link DGL-4500 router, but it is white instead of dark blue. It has three removable antennas attached to the back of the router, which is never a good thing as they crowd the network ports. The router ports (four LANs and one WAN) support Gigabit Ethernet. It also comes with an OLED Network Activity Display on top that can come in handy when you want to check on the status of the router or quickly change some basic settings.

The DIR-855 also has a USB port on the back for Windows Connect Now, a feature that allows for connecting wireless clients to the wireless network using a USB thumbdrive. This is rather disappointing as it would be much more useful if the USB port also supported print serving or external storage (as found in the WRT610n). The router also features Wi-Fi Protected Setup, another method for quickly adding wireless clients to the network without having to type in or even reveal the encryption key.

The DIR-855, like most D-Link wireless routers, comes with a very intuitive and responsive interface, where you can customize a lot of network features and settings such as: port forwarding, virtual server, network filter, application rules, and so on. The router supports all popular existing wireless encryption methods including WEP, WPA-Personal, and WPA-Enterprise.

You can get the DIR-855 now for about $280, which is rather expensive, but I suspect the price will go down soon as dual-band routers become more popular.

Featured Video