D-Link AC1200 DIR-842 might be a complicated name but the wireless router itself is actually really easy to use. As a result this is a very affordable WiFi router option for anyone that just wants their wireless connection to work without any hassle and without costing a lot.
This budget router might scrimp on price but that doesn't mean it necessarily does so on performance. This has a relatively decent throughout, especially on the faster 5GHz bandwidth. When it comes to ease of use this is one of the better Wifi router options out there. But, this does mean that you get fewer features overall. This does come with 802.11ac wireless specification though and features both four antennas as well as four LAN ports, but more on that below. It makes our list of the best wireless routers (opens in new tab) as a great budget option.
D-Link AC1200 DIR-842 router review: Design, build and features
The D-Link AC1200 DIR-842 router looks pretty decent at first glance with that shiny black finish and those four commanding antennas. As such it's not the smallest router out there, nor the most inconspicuous, but for those that like a Wifi router to look like a Wifi router, this is on point.
On the rear of this well proportioned router are four Gigabit LAN ports, something that a lot of the modern competition may not offer with such generosity. What is lacking is a USB port but there is a handy reset button and power button, should you find a quick turn-it-off-and-on-again fix is required.
The four antennas are not removable but are adjustable to find the best angle. You also get a WPS button which makes for super easy connections with devices that support that feature. On the front are LED lights which indicate, at a glance, power, internet connectivity, WiFi activity, WPS activity and wires port activity with a light for each port.
The dual-band 802.11ac WiFi uses MU-MIMO technology for the best possible speeds to the most devices. There is also a QoS setup that allows you to prioritize devices so speeds can be controlled by you easily using the app.
D-Link AC1200 DIR-842 review: Performance
Setup of the D-Link AC1200 DIR-842 is super, super simple. This is one of the best traits of this router, in fact. We're not going to say it's just plug and play, as no router with its various complexities offers that, truly.
The setup can be done through a browser window, meaning you can do it from any device, not just your home computer (opens in new tab). Or you can download the iOS or Android app and setup through there.
Setup of network SSID and password as well as admin password right away with easy on one screen. We liked the Quality of Service (QoS) functions which allows you to control which devices have the highest priority very easily. Parental controls were less impressive as they were either lacking or a bit awkward to setup.
Throughout performance of this dual-band 802.11ac WiFi router was decent for the price. The 5GHz band tested best with throughout of up to 232Mbps on close range and 111Mpbs on longer range testing. The 2.4GHz band did less will with 75Mbps on close-range and 42Mbps on longer range tests.
It's that 5GHz speed which impressed as it remained high and worked well at range, making this a very solid performer even when you don't take that low price into consideration.
D-Link AC1200 DIR-842 review: Price and warranty
The D-Link AC1200 DIR-842 price is what really stands out. You can pick one up for just $60. That's less than half the price of a lot of the competition which in many cases offer similar speeds and performance.
This price gets you the unit covered with a one-year limited warranty. That means should there be any fault that's down to the manufacturer then you'll get a new product.
Should you buy the D-Link AC1200 DIR-842?
If you want a super affordable Wifi router that offers dual-band 802.11ac connectivity with a great 5GHz throughput, and lots of LAN ports, then this is a very affordable option. It's also very easy to use and has that QoS personalization going for it too.
The 2.4GHz speeds were lacking and some features, like better parental controls, may leave some wanting. But for the price this offers a really impressive performing device that doesn't look bad either.