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.
Standard design, not the most durable
The DIR-867's all black design is very similar to, 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 .
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.