New routers with all the latest features can be expensive, but that's not the case with the dual-band D-Link AC1750 Wi-Fi router (DIR-867). For just $90, you'll get fast speeds, good coverage and just about everything you need for your home network. If I had to nitpick, I'd say the router doesn't look or feel all that durable. But for this price, anyone who needs to upgrade their network will love it.
Consistent speed on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. It has lots of the latest 802.11ac features as well as a usable app, parental controls, VPN support and quality of service (QoS) for prioritizing your devices. Best of all, it's less than $100.
No USB ports for printers or network storage. The router doesn't feel very durable.
The Bottom Line
You can't beat what you get for the price with the DIR-867. It has lots of the top 802.11ac features and it performed well during testing. I'm not sure it will stand up to years of use, but you'll probably be looking to upgrade your network by then anyway.
Standard design, not the most durable
The DIR-867's all black design is very similar to D-Link's AC2600 model, which came out last year. It has four non-detachable antennas and looks the way you'd expect a router to look. Sure, it has a few curves and angles but I wouldn't call it out of the ordinary like the company's AC3200 robotic red spider.
You get one gigabit WAN port and four gigabit LAN ports for all your wired devices. There's no USB port for network storage or a printer, but at this price point you have to expect that the router will be missing a few things. One bonus is wall-mount brackets, so you'll have options depending on where you want to place it.
My main concern is that the router doesn't feel very solid. After I took off the shrink wrap and unboxed it, one of the small rubber non-slip feet on the bottom fell off and I could hear a piece of plastic rattling around inside of the DIR-867. It didn't seem to affect the performance in any way, but it makes me wonder about the long-term durability of this router.
D-Link's setup is easy and it's got a nice app
The setup process for the DIR-867 was pretty standard. You just connect it to a modem via Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable and you can use the D-Link Wi-Fi app or a web interface (just type http://dlinkrouter.local into a browser). Follow the prompts and you should be good to go in a few minutes.
It didn't ask me to check for a firmware update, but this is a relatively new router and it only has the original firmware available right now. However, you should always double check when first setting up a router. You can do this on the DIR-867 by going to "Management>Upgrade>Check for new Firmware."
The browser-based menu has all the options you need, from updating your Wi-Fi passwords to parental controls to quality of service (QoS) for prioritizing which devices can use the most bandwidth. There's even an extra security feature which allows you to add a graphical authentication (CAPTCHA) when you log into the router.
The menu has a few slightly annoying characteristics, like having to wait 25 seconds after you save a change and some advanced settings that require you to click a link to access them. These are minor, and overall, the menu is easy to navigate and user friendly.
The D-Link Wi-Fi app is also easy to use. You can manage basic settings such as changing your passwords, turning on guest Wi-Fi and enabling Smart Connect (D-link's name for band-steering) for letting the router choose the best network for your devices to connect to. It also has a few advanced options for parental controls and updating your firmware from your mobile device.
More high-end features than you'd expect
The dual-band DIR-867 has most of the standard features you would find on more expensive routers. There's beamforming (D-Link calls it Advanced AC SmartBeam), MU-MIMO, VPN support and band steering. Its AC1750 rating means three data streams, 450 megabits per second (Mbps) on 2.4GHz and 1,300Mbps on 5GHz. And this $90 router provided some surprisingly fast speeds during testing. Continue reading to find out how it compared to other routers I've tested.
I wasn't expecting extra security like you get with the more expensive Asus RT-AC86U, but the DIR-867 does have VPN support, WPA2 and firewall options. With all the cyber attacks these days finding a router with additional security features is always nice. However, with the money you save buying this affordable D-Link option, you can invest in some good software to protect your network devices.
This router is very similar to D-Link DIR-882, which performed very well in my testing. The main differences on the DIR-867 are a lack of USB ports, a different app used for setup and only three spatial streams instead of four, which makes this router a little bit slower. The menus give you practically the same management options, including IPv6 for added security. One negative of both is that right now they cannot be used to extend your network as a wireless access point or repeater.
Get your money's worth in speed
When testing the DIR-867, I was pleasantly surprised by its performance on both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz network -- since it supports only three streams of data. On 2.4GHz it maxed out around 163Mbps and only dropped to 139Mbps at 50 feet away. This is great coverage for even a large home.
On 5GHz, its top throughput speed hit over 800Mbps and even performed at over 200Mbps at 50 feet and two rooms away. This should provide very good Wi-Fi coverage for all your devices.
Should you buy one?
I was skeptical when I saw the $90 price tag for this router, but after testing I was sold. While it doesn't physically feel like the most solid router, it still performs well and offers lots of features you only find on more expensive 802.11ac networking devices.
In my opinion, it's worth the investment if you want to upgrade your old router and don't need USB ports for a printer or network storage. The web interface offers plenty of customization options for hardcore router people and the app is straightforward enough for those who just want to get their network up and running.