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D-Link Cloud Gigabit Router N600 DIR-826L - Clouds In My Coffee

6/22/2013 9:13:20 AM

The cloud, as you’ll know unless you’ve been living in a cave, is the new black, and D-Link is making its fashion statement with the Cloud Gigabit Router N6000 DIR-826L, an 802.11n dual-band wireless router with four Gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB port. As it’s a D-Link Cloud Router, you can access, configure and view media stored on your router over the internet when away from home. And there are even apps to extend its capabilities.

D-Link Cloud Gigabit Router N600 DIR-826L

D-Link Cloud Gigabit Router N600 DIR-826L

If you download the QRS Mobile app, for example, you can run the DIR-826L’s setup wizard form the comfort of your iPad. The app has a clear, uncluttered interface and is a neat way of configuring your internet connection, wireless security and web interface password. Sadly, it doesn’t provide access to all controls as well, not just a setup wizard. Should you can want to configure it further, you must log in to its web interface, which takes a bit of time to get to grips with.

To test data transfer speeds, we first connected to it using our generic Wi-Fi adaptor on the 2.4GHz band, achieving speeds of 43.4Mbit/ sec at one meter, 41.4Mbit/ sec at ten meters and 20Mbit/ sec at 25 meters. These aren’t the fastest speeds we’ve seen, but they’re good. When we used D-Link’s own DWA-182 USB Wi-Fi adaptor on the same band, we clocked speeds of 78.8Mbit/ sec at one meter, 76.6Mbit/ sec at ten meters and 11.8Mbit/ sec at 25 meters. The first two speeds are respectable, but the last shows a big drop in transfer speed at 25 meters.

As the DIR-826L’s a dual-band router, we connected to it on the 5GHz band using our Wi-Fi adaptor and recorded speeds of 93.2Mbit/ sec at one meter, 83.6Mbit/ sec at ten meters and 8.5Mbit/ sec at 25 meters. Again, there’s a big drop in speed are pretty good.

D-Link’s own DWA-182 USB Wi-Fi adaptor

D-Link’s own DWA-182 USB Wi-Fi adaptor

When we connected to it on the 5GHz band using the DWA-182 Wi-Fi dongle, we achieved data transfer speeds of 126.5Mbit/ sec at one meter, 109.8Mbit/ sec ten meters and 25.7Mbit/ sec at 25 meters – good stuff.

The router has a single USB connection to which you can attach USB drives to share on your network. The media on the drive can be accessed via a web browser, OS X’s file browser or a mobile app. The web interface lets you create users, set permissions for them and give them home folders.

We streamed HD video to an iPad at 25 meters comfortably on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands

We had no trouble accessing the media on our USB drive. We could stream HD video to our iPad at 25 meters comfortably on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, and there was no stuttering while it buffered.

Curiously, though, the DIR-826L doesn’t have a built-in media server. You can stream from a connected hard drive to D-Link’s Boxee, but you can’t stream media to Mac, and iTunes Home Sharing isn’t supported.

The DIR-826L lets you provide cloud services for your users without too much configuration. Once you’ve registered your router with the Mydlink website using the wizard in the DIR-825L’s web interface, you can access the router’s web interface and attached storage over the internet.

The DIR-826L provides respectable Wi-Fi speeds, not the fastest, but it has some advanced options and a decent – if basic – selection of mobile apps

The DIR-826L provides respectable Wi-Fi speeds, not the fastest, but it has some advanced options and a decent – if basic selection of mobile apps

The DIR-826L provides respectable Wi-Fi speeds, not the fastest, but it has some advanced options and a decent – if basic selection of mobile apps. D-Link’s web interface could be better organized, and its mobile apps need to offer more options, but it’s a very likeable router and is a bargain if you want a cheap router with decent short-range Wi-Fi performance.

D-Link N600 DIR-826L specs

·         Dual-band wireless router

·         Info: dlink.com

·         Pro: Price, apps

·         Con: Wi-Fi performance not brilliant

·         Price: $119

·         Verdict: 4/5

 

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