D-Link EXO DIR-879 AC1900 router review
Last month I put D-Link’s EXO AC1750 router through its paces. Since then I have received the DIR-879, the AC1900 version of the same. It looks identical (so no new photos) but it promises better performance.
This is the first time I have been sent two versions of the same product. When I say ‘the same’ there is no physical difference between the D-Link EXO AC1750 or the AC1900 version.
D-Link EXO AC1900 design
Both have that stealth fighter look. Both are that rather groovy orange colour. Both have four folding, non-detachable aerials.
All the important differences are under the hood.
This makes a ‘design’ section of this review a little bit pointless if you read the other EXO review.
It also still lacks a USB port or SD card slot. As I use a NAS drive that is equipped with USB 3.0 this isn’t so much of a deal-breaker for me. Others wanting to share data will have to do that via their networked PC.
D-Link EXO AC1900 performance
This is the area I was really interested in testing.
My daily driver is a Linksys EA7500 which has a similar tech spec to the EXO AC1900. This will be my basis for comparison.
EXO AC1900 range
The router’s range is pretty good with a strong signal strength throughout the house.
Naturally, the closer to the router the stronger the signal. Some routers I have tested before are unable to reach my spare room/office as it’s upstairs and at the other corner of the house from the router.
As you can imagine, this also means that the router has to project through walls and a floor. A decent test for any device I am sure you’ll agree.
I have only had two other routers that were potent enough not to require a boost or cloned connection in order to give reasonable speeds. One is the Linksys EA7500 and the other is the beast known as the Nighthawk X8. Now, there’s around £200 difference between those two. Thankfully, the D-Link is at the Linksys end of the scale.
EXO AC1900 speeds
There is hardly anything in it between the D-Link and the Linksys on the 2.4GHz band. It goes without saying that it is a marked improvement over the other EXO.
On the 5GHz band it was definitely faster than the Linksys at close quarters (in the same room as the router).
Very impressive from this rather compact, if conspicuous, router.
Smart Connect uses both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands and decides what the best option for the device you’re using.
This works reasonably well and I didn’t encounter any dropping out.
Personally I like to keep the bands separated using the 5GHz for my more hungry tech and leaving the 2.4GHz band for guests and our phones.
D-Link EXO AC1900 review conclusion
I liked the D-Link DIR-869 but found it lacking slightly in grunt. The DIR-879 might look the same but it certainly has it where it counts – apart from the lack of USB/SD ports.
True, it will be noticeable wherever you put it thanks to its angular design and bright orange finish.
If it is its looks you like, I’d definitely recommend getting the 879 over the 869 for the sake of £30. It is a strong performer in every area and at a good price.
Remember though, at this price range (and a little more) there are other great devices out there.