Wireless Router D-Link DIR-857 Dualband HD Media Router

9/29/2012 9:14:48 AM

D-Link’s DIR-857 is the most advanced wireless router in the company’s portfolio. Almost every feature you could hope for is crammed into its slim plastic chassis.

It supports simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n wireless networks, and a 3x3 Mimo antenna configuration allows for theoretical 450Mbps connection speeds. An SD slot and a USB 3.0 port are included for shared storage. Advanced DNS filtering and comprehensive IPv6 support are also offered, along with more typical features such as gigabit ethernet, port forwarding, quality of service (QoS) traffic Prioritisation and support for dynamic DNS.

Description: Wireless Router D-Link DIR-857 Dualband HD Media Router

'Click n Connect' setup software eases configuration. A step-by-step guide offers clear diagrams showing which cables to connect, followed by advice on securing access to the router with a password.

No Mac software is provided, but an HTML guide appears the first time you connect to the DIR-857. The simplicity stops there, though.

The DIR-857's admin interface is functional and full of useful settings, but its sickly orange/grey design and dated appearance are off putting.

Text-heavy menus and multiple options dominate the interface. Explanations are provided on the right for some settings, but they assume a certain level of prior networking knowledge. The D-Link DIR-857 is certainly not a router we'd recommend to novice users.

We measured some good speeds when wirelessly transferring files from a NAS connected to the D-Link. Over its 5GHz network, a 5GB file transferred at 27.1MB per second (MBps), pointing to a good wireless speed of 217Mbps that approaches real-world USB 2.0 performance. This was at a distance of 1m; the effective range of 5GHz is limited to just a few metres.

Using the router’s 2.4GHz wireless radio, we measured 125Mbps at the same distance - a speed that still outperforms much of the competition (see page 140).

The DIR-857 managed 37Mbps in a 10m long-range test and, given the solid wall through which it had to pass, this is acceptable and better than many competing routers have performed in the same test.

Under the Parental Control heading are four options to filter DNS addresses, and these aren’t just for preventing youngsters from viewing adult content. You can set the router to block an OpenDNS blacklist of phishing sites, protecting everyone on the network. You can also block access to specific sites you don't want the kids to visit.

IPv6 support extends to a separate firewall and routing page from the main IPv4-based settings, along with its own setup wizard. You can also create guest networks.

Topping the DIR - 857’s feature list are its media-sharing options, where the single USB 3.0 port is a handy addition. Using an external hard disk or an SD card, the DIR-857 can be turned into a basic NAS. Options can be set for group permissions and there's an excellent DLNA SharePort mobile app for accessing files.


Although the D-Link DIR-857 is an excellent wireless device, we question whether it's worth spending so much on an 802.11n router when the potentially faster 802.11ac standard is just around the corner. But if you're after excellent performance today, you won't be disappointed with D-Link’s DIR-857.

Description: Wireless Router D-Link DIR-857 Dualband HD Media Router


Price: $248 inc VAT (8GB)


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Dual-band wireless router; 4x gigabit LAN Ethernet ports; 1 x gigabit WAN port; 802.11a/b/g/n; 2.4GHz and 5GHz concurrent wireless; 3 x 3 Mimo antenna configuration; IPv6 support; Share Port iOS/Android mobile app; WPA/WPA2 security; WPS button; 1x USB 3.0 port; SD slot; VPN pass through; NAT/SPI firewall; UPnP support; 212 x 160 x 34 mm; 342 g

PC Advisor Gold

Build: 6/10

Features: 10/10

Performance: 8/10

Value: 6/10


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