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D-Link Xtreme N Dual Band Gigabit Router DIR-825 review: D-Link Xtreme N Dual Band Gigabit Router DIR-825

Like the DIR-855, the DIR-825 also comes with an interesting and useful feature called Guest Zone. Guest Zone lets you create up to two separate wireless networks (one in 2.4GHz, one in 5GHz) to be used by guests or the open public. Any wireless client connected to these guest networks get access to the Internet, but not your local LAN resources.

We tested the DIR-825 in both frequencies that it supports and found mixed performance. On our maximum throughput test, the router did well for itself in registering 102.4Mbps and 70.2Mbps for 5GHz and 2.4GHz frequencies, respectively. Both scores are above the average we've seen for Draft N routers and on par with the DIR-855.

On our range test, however, the DIR-825 trailed significantly behind the DIR-855 and finished behind the competing Linksys WRT610n. Still, the DIR-825's scores were above the average among dual-band routers we've tested.

What disappointed us the most was the router's mixed-mode score. We conducted this test only in the 2.4GHz (there is no mixed mode for the 5GHz frequency), and the router was set to support all Wi-Fi standards, including 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n. At 39.8Mbps, it was the slowest among Wireless-N routers we've reviewed this year. To put this in context, the 2.4GHz-only Linksys WRT31N more than doubled the DIR-825 throughput with a 95.3Mbps. To the DIR-825's defense, it was tested with both frequencies being supported at the same time.

Nonetheless, the DIR-855 proved to be a stable and smooth performer throughout testing. It offers the range of about 270 feet for the 2.4GHz frequency and about 230 feet for the 5GHz frequency. In our test environment (which is not optimal for range), some other routers can offer range up to 300 feet or further.

Ixia IxChariot maximum throughput tests (at 15 feet, in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Ixia IxChariot maximum throughput test (mixed 802.11b/g and draft N on 2.4GHz, at 15 feet)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Throughput test (at 200 feet)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
D-Link Xtreme N Dual Band Gigabit router DIR-825 (5Ghz)
D-Link Xtreme N Dual Band Gigabit router DIR-825 (2.4Ghz)
Linksys N Ultra RangePlus WRT310N (2.4Ghz)
DIR-855 Xtreme N Duo Media Router from D-Link (5Ghz)

Service and support
D-Link backs the DIR-825 with a one-year warranty that is a short, albeit increasingly popular, warranty for a home router. At the company's Web site, you will find a wealth of support information including downloads, FAQs, and a searchable knowledgebase. You can also seek help through the company's toll-free technical support phone line, which is available 24-7. We tried the number listed on the Web site and, within less than 10 minutes, were able to get a hold of a support representative, who was friendly and seemed to know the product well.

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