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.
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.
|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.