A dual-band wireless router
When you can buy a router for around £30, what will you get by spending five times as much on a product such as D-Link’s DIR-855?
The answer is just about every feature you’ve ever heard of, and then some.
The DIR-855 isn’t an ADSL modem/router; it’s designed mainly for cable internet users and if your connection is via ADSL, you’ll still need a modem with a network output.
A large screen on the top of the DIR-855 replaces the usual blinking lights. With a few button clicks you can check whether the internet connection is working, whether wireless security is enabled, and more.
The DIR-855 is two routers in one: it has two radio units, one for each of the 802.11n frequencies.
The one at 2.4GHz is used by most current equipment, while the 5GHz radio is designed for streaming media files to suitable devices.
You can surf the web using one band without affecting the speed of the other. You can even create a separate guest wireless network that gives access to the internet but not your other computers. All five wired network ports are of the gigabit Ethernet variety.
Setup is straightforward for technically minded users, but intimidating for those new to wireless. The options are logically arranged, but there are a lot of them and, although there are some helpful wizards, they aren’t immediately presented to the user.
We’d recommend avoiding updating the firmware unless the standard version doesn’t work with your kit. Updating to the latest version crashed our wireless network until we reverted to the older software.
All in all, the DIR-855 is an impressive router but one we’d only recommend to users who need a dual-band router with all the frills. For internet sharing alone, spend far less on a simpler product.
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Pros: Dual band; includes every conceivable feature; handy built-in display Cons: High price Overall: Does almost everything you could possibly want, but at a cost
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