D-Link DIR-865L Dual-band Router - Average Joe

Launch SRP: S$299

Performance - 2.4GHz

Test Setup

Our routine test setup includes a desktop PC, the reviewed router, and a laptop to simulate a wireless home network. The desktop system is used to simulate a host machine, while the router acts as a gateway. And lastly, an external 802.11ac adapter plugged into the notebook is used to fulfill the role of a wireless remote client. For the DIR-865L, we'll be using Netgear's A6200 802.11ac USB adapter for our throughput tests since D-Link has yet to unveil a compatible model.

A graphical representation of our network test setup.

The router is locked down in N-only mode for the 2.4GHz band, and mixed 802.11ac for the 5GHz band, mainly to prevent the use of varying 802.11 standards. Typically, a channel bandwidth of 20/40MHz (channel bonding) is selected where applicable, while 80MHz is used for the 5GHz AC band. The QCheck application measures wireless throughput (TCP) and streaming (UDP) speeds between the host and client endpoints based on a 1MB data packet. On the other hand, NetIQ's Chariot benchmark offers a more detailed account with average throughput and response time readings recorded over 30 seconds, based on a High Performance throughput script.

Range is determined by the distance between the router and wireless client. Here's how the DIR-865L fared. 

Chariot and QCheck Performance Results - 2.4GHz Band

D-Link DIR-865L Wireless Performance Results - 2.4GHz Band
Average Downlink Throughput (Mbps) - Chariot Average Uplink Throughput (Mbps) - Chariot Downlink TCP Throughput of 1MB (Mbps) Uplink TCP Throughput of 1MB (Mbps) UDP Streaming (kbps) Time to transfer 1GB Zip file
 77.899 53.376 65.041 50.315 997.144 (0.0% loss) 1 min 31s
2m with WPA2-AES
56.924 50.183 53.691 66.116 995.456 (0.0% loss) 1 min 29s
37.361 40.814 35.714 23.669 1,058.813 (3.8% loss) N.A.
32.877 35.925 36.364 37.209 1,043.557 (0.0% loss) N.A.

D-Link's performance on the 2.4GHz band is a mixed bag. At close range, downlink results were comparable to Netgear's R6300 with an average throughput of 77.899Mbps measured at 2 meters, and 56.924Mbps with WPA2 (AES) encryption enabled. As you can tell from the graph below, the DIR-865L also fared better than ASUS across all distances, although it failed to measure up to the R6300. Again, the R6300 had the upper hand at 10 meters with a clear advantage of more than 30Mbps. However, D-Link's contender managed to edge past its rivals at the farthest range of 25 meters. Unfortunately, the margin wasn't anything worth shouting about. It was quite a different story on the uplink. Netgear's R6300 was the obvious winner in this round, credit to its superior throughput levels near and far. What we noticed about D-Link's access point, however, is its stable performance which varied between 36Mbps and 53Mbps for all the checkpoints without any drastic drops in throughput. If you were to focus your attention back to the downlink graph, data speeds for Netgear's R6300 plunged significantly at 25 meters, while D-Link's router held its own. Our impression? The DIR-865L offers dependable wireless data speeds on the 2.4Ghz band with a fairly decent range. It won't keep up with 100Mbps fiber speeds for sure, but it's definitely a notch better than ASUS's entry where 2.4GHz results are concerned. 

The DIR-865L offers a respectable average downlink throughput on the 2.4GHz band, although it isn't the fastest around.

D-Link's router was no match for Netgear on the uplink front, but it managed to outdo its ASUS rival by a small margin at 10 and 25 meters.

The Good
Backward compatible with older wireless adapters
Decent 2.4GHz wireless throughput
Comprehensive IPv6 support
The Bad
Average wireless throughput on AC band
Confusing mydlink setup procedure

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