The AC3200 ULTRA Wi-Fi Modem Router is like having a modem and three wireless routers in one. It has a 2.4GHz wireless band offering speeds up to 600Mbps and two separate 5GHz wireless bands delivering speeds up to 1,300Mbps that all operate at the same time. That means more lag free online gaming, 4k media streaming, and Facetime on more devices throughout your home.
• 11AC Wi-Fi - World's fastest Wi-Fi speeds of up to 600Mbps (2.4GHz) + 1300Mbps (5Ghz) + 1300Mbps (5Ghz).
• 1GHz Processor - Fast and reliable wireless, Ethernet and USB performance.
• Gigabit Ethernet Ports - Ensures the best wired online experience for HD streaming and gaming.
• Whole-Home Coverage - 11AC technology extends wireless range further than with Wireless N.
• High-Powered Antennas - 6 external antennas amplify wireless signal.
• Traffic Prioritization - Advanced QoS engine distributes traffic optimally across both wireless bands to guarantee the best performance.
• Tri-Band Technology - Decreases wireless interference and congestion, allowing you to connect more devices.
• Band Steering - Automatically assigns devices to the less crowded 5 GHz network to increase bandwidth efficiency and availability.
• Advanced AC SmartBeam - Unique beamforming technology dramatically enhances wireless signal strength and range.
• NBN/UFB Ready - The VDSL modem,Gigabit Ethernet interface and software smarts enable this device to be used with any UFB connection in New Zealand
• DLNA Enabled (Compatible) - Play and share your media on any DLNA devices, such as TVs, gaming consoles, smartphones and more.
• Multiple USB Ports - One standard USB 2.0 port plus one USB 3.0 port with speeds up to 10x faster than 2.0.
• mydlink SharePort App - Remotely stream and share movies, music, pictures and more from your connected USB hard drive.
• SharePort Utility - Access and share a USB printer, scanner or storage device over your home network.
• Easy To Install - Installation wizard manually walks you through setup in minutes.
• Quick Router Setup (QRS) App - Easy setup app for smartphones and tablets.
• mydlink Lite App - Free mobile app with ability to monitor, control & troubleshoot your home network.
• WPS Push Button Setup - Quickest method of connecting devices with the push of a button.
• Zero Configuration - Once router is setup, other D-Link Zero Configuration devices can easily and instantly connect.
• L2TP Over IPSec VPN Server Support - Transmit data securely when connected remotely.
• Parental Controls - Create online access schedules and block/allow specific websites and/or devices.
• Guest Wi-Fi Network - Enable a public or encrypted wireless guest network.
• Secure Wi-Fi Encryption - WPA/WPA2 provides highest level of wireless security.
• Windows 8/7 or Mac OS X 10.4 or higher
• Internet Explorer 11, Firefox 12.0, Chrome 20.0, Safari 4.0, or other Java-enabled browser
• Ethernet interface or Wi-Fi
• Subscription with an ADSL/VDSL/NBN/UFB Internet Service Provider (for Internet access).
Looking like it took it's design inspiration from the name of a famous 1970's David Bowie album, the TAIPAN is the second in the series to use this styling. The first being the VIPER. This one is bright blue, and it's BIG... in more ways than just physical dimensions. Packed under this great crab-like carapace is an ADSL/VDSL modem and effectively three WiFi access points tied together under one SSID - a "standard" 2.4GHz network and two high-bandwidth 5GHz networks. This means that your home or office will have some serious bandwidth to play with, with minimum fuss. Utilising the Smart Connect access management system, the unit will analyse the devices connecting to it and asign them to whichever of its three access points gives that device the maximum bandwidth and clearest signal. In an era where network access points are clustered as tightly as your neighbourhood, that can be a bit of a mission.
The most common default channels most devices come pre-set for are Channels 1, 6 and 11, so I used a little app for my phone called "WiFi Analyser" to "see" what channels were the least crowded in and around the test area, and then configured the unit to put all it's main focus on Channel 4, which in this area was almost a ghost-town. This maximised the potential through-put for testing. It really is worth doing this little bit of research when you buy a new WiFi access device, as the potential for speed boosts are significant when compared to the tiny amount of effort required, especially on the very crowded 2.4GHz band. When that is boosted with the very clever "Beam Forming" technology, that allows the device to track connected devices and ensure it creates radio waves that peak at the device for maximum signal strength, you have a piece of kit that is determined you will get the very best signal possible in your location.
For the average home user, apart from plugging in their account username and password from their ISP, this unit is pretty much set-&-forget. It come pre-set for the best performance available, so the need to dive in and tweak the settings will be minimal. Some users may want to activate the "Guest" WiFi mode, allowing visitors to piggyback their mobile Facebook status updates over your broadband connection, though you need to be careful of this to avoid turning the street outside your house into a parking lot for WiFi parasites... especially if you happen to NOT be on an 'unlimited' plan. For the die-hard tech boffins, there's a world of possible tweaks tucked away in the interface, giving you the ability to adjust and fine-tune almost every aspect of your connection to eek out those elusive extra bites per second - Vital if you need to reduce your ping time down as far as it can go to avoid getting snipered by your opponents before your screen can update to show them to you.
However, one big factor to note is that most devices these days, even those supporting the 5GHz band, aren't actually fitted with the best hardware to take advantage of the sheer volume of bandwidth you have available to you in this beast. While this may seem to be a bad thing, as Doc Brown told Marty McFly, "You're not thinking 4-dimensionally." The devices can't make use of ALL of the potential of this device... but they soon will... which means buying one of these units gives you 'all you can eat' now, with the promise of being ready for the extra mouths to come. We had to actually go out and rope in a few passing volunteers to help us really put a strain on this device, and with 11 mobile phones of varying ages connected to the unit, we could still see everyone getting a fairly solid stream of data over just an ADSL connection. We were then lucky enough to find someone willing to let us install it on their fibre line, and 12 devices were all still connected and running at good speed.
"But, I already have a really good modem... so do I need this still?" An excellent question, so glad you asked. The answer is... maybe not. There are other devices out there, one by D-Link too in fact, that will offer you almost the same functionality for a lower price, but if you take into account the probable age of your modem (You got it for free when you signed up with your ISP 5 years ago or something, right?) then you really are overdue for an upgrade anyway. This unit really does give you all the goodies... modem built in, *3* WiFi access points built in, superior signal-enhancing hardware and software, and a 4-port gigbit switch so that if you prefer a hardline connection for non-WiFi enabled devices such as older gaming consoles, some set-top Digital TV boxes, Skype cams, home security system hubs, etc - then you have that covered too. Personally, I prefer a hardline connection for my main workstation because I don't risk WiFi clutter from other devices causing a bandwidth clampdown, but I'm fine with media boxes and gaming consoles all sharing a WiFi beam or three. As well as that, with the two USB ports (1x USB 2.0 and 1x USB 3.0) you can easily and quickly turn your desktop printer into a print-from-anywhere printer (even over the cloud), or turn that spare USB hard-drive into a NAS box to store your photos and movies on so that you can view them from any connected device, again, even through the cloud.
Overall, I loved this unit... especially the unique and eye-catching design. I was reluctant to box it up and send it back after the review process was completed, but I will be watching for this to come on sale in the future so I can grab one... I think I'm going to need it.
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