D-Link AC5300 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-895L/R)
Inside are three radio bands that can deliver theoretical data rates of up to 5,332Mbps (1,000Mbps on the 2.4GHz band, and 2,166Mbps on each of the two 5GHz bands) and a 1.4GHz dual-core processor. It’s a 4X4 router, which means it uses four independent streams to deliver data, and it offers all of the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, including MU-MIMO simultaneous streaming, beamforming (signal steering), and Smart Connect (automatic band switching). The DIR-895L/R also supports DD-WRT Open Source, a Linux-based firmware that offers custom settings that allow you to tweak the router for optimal performance.
While operating on the 2.4GHz band, the D-Link AC5300 Ultra Wi-Fi Router DIR-895L/R’s score of 98.4Mbps in the close-proximity test was pretty much in line with the Linksys EA9500 and the TP-Link Talon (98.9Mbps each), but a tad slower than the Netgear R7800 (105Mbps). At 30 feet, the DIR-895L/R managed 71Mbps, compared with the Netgear R7800’s 52.3Mbps and the Linksys EA9500’s score of 79.1Mbps. The TP-Link Talon led with a slightly higher score of 79.8Mbps.
We tested file-transfer performance by moving a 1.5GB folder containing a mix of music, video, document, and picture files between a wired desktop and a USB drive connected to the router’s USB port. The D-Link AC5300 Ultra Wi-Fi Router DIR-895L/R turned in a very fast read speed of 78.3MBps and a decent write speed of 39.5MBps. The Linksys EA9500 scored 38.5MBps on the read test and 35.5MBps on the write test, and the TP-Link Talon scored 56.8MBps and 27.9MBps, respectively.
In addition to its distinctive design, the D-Link AC5300 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-895L/R) stands out for its record-breaking throughput speeds and strong file-transfer performance. Its close-proximity MU-MIMO performance is second to none, turning in the fastest 5GHz long-range (30-foot) throughput scores we’ve ever seen. Its file-transfer performance is exemplary as well, and it offers all the latest 802.11ac features, including beamforming, band switching, and 4X4 data streaming. Granted, this router doesn’t come cheap, and it doesn’t offer the 802.11ad circuitry that you get with the TP-Link Talon AD7200 Multi-Band Wi-Fi Router, which costs $30 less, but there aren’t many 802.11ad clients available right now, and the DIR-895L/R delivers better all-around performance. As such, the D-Link DIR-895L/R is our Editors’ Choice.