I signed up with Starhub for a 100Mbps fibre plan in June 2013. Came along was the RG D-Link DVG-N5402SP. Realising its limited wifi coverage, I began to source for dual-band router and finally settled for D-Link Dir-865L which could be redeemed using the Starhub reward points and has become the standard issue for new sign-up/recontract clients.
As I am using the VoIP on the 5402, I chose not to opt for Direct ONT but configured the 865L as an AP, while still using the 5402 as the DHCP server. Locating the 865L at an optimum location was a trial and error process. Based on my past experience with earlier routers, I locate the 865L in my study room where it provides pretty good coverage in most of the areas except the attached bathroom in the master bedroom at one corner of the apartment.
Recently I was offered an opportunity to try out on the newer D-Link Dir-868L. Good technical reviews are aplenty, and here are 2 of these which I think would satisfy the more IT savvy readers:
Very briefly, both the 865L and the 868L are AC1750 gigabit routers. The newer 868L comes with SmartBean feature and a USB 3.0 port (as compared with the USB 2.0 port in 865L). The cylindrical design is in line with the new series of routers from D-Link compared with the rectangular slab design of 865L. The principal specifications of the 2 remain much the same. The 868L set I received came with the v1.01 generic firmware. I was later given a Starhub custom firmware v1.00SHC which comes with a total of 4 configuration modes including Wireless Bridge (already in 865L) and Wireless Repeater Extender Mode.
A summary of these four configuration modes is as follows:
Baseline Network Diagram
(As generated by Win 7 Control Panel)
- Gateway represents the DVG-N5402SP
- 865L configured as AP
Network Diagram with 868L in Wireless Repeater Extender Mode
- Ignore the Hub and Switches inserted by Win 7
<Howard>: Thank you for writing such a detailed review from a consumer's perspective! I have merged the 4 posts into one for easy reading!
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