The D-Link DIR-880L doesn’t stand out for particularly unusual looks or standout features. In fact, it has a fairly typical design for a wireless router. It features three detachable antennas, four gigabit LAN ports, a USB 2.0 and 3.0 port, as well as a full panel of indicator LEDs.
Despite its traditional design, the D-Link comes packed with the latest in Wi-Fi technology. It is a dual-band router, which means it simultaneously broadcasts at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. On the 5GHz band, this router supports the latest 802.11ac standard. When connected to 802.11ac-capable devices, this router has incredible speeds of up to 1300 Mbps.
Previous generation routers broadcast exclusively on the 2.4GHz band using the 802.11n standard. While this standard typically only supports speeds of up to 450 Mbps, new routers like the D-Link offer 600 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
Like most premium wireless routers, the D-Link is very secure. It utilizes an SPI and NAT firewall to block unfriendly connections, and its wireless network is protected with WPA2 encryption. A WPS button allows you to easily and securely set up network devices at the touch of a button.
Parental controls aren't the easiest to use on the D-Link. In our testing, we found there was no way to block specific keywords, although you can block URLs. You can also schedule times that particular internet users are allowed to be online.
In terms of set up, the D-Link is one of the best wireless routers we reviewed. Like many of its peers, it comes with a network already configured. All you have to do is enter an included password on your computer or mobile device and you're ready to go.
Once you're connected, you can use D-Link's browser-based configuration page to customize your network. We found this interface to be a little less transparent than others and therefore more difficult to navigate.
Help and support for this device are easy to find. On the D-Link site, you have access to a long list of FAQs, tutorial videos and downloads. Contacting a D-Link representative via phone or email is also simple, although there's no live-chat feature on the website. D-Link offers an industry-standard, one-year warranty with this device.
Overall, the D-Link DIR-880L is a reliable piece of networking equipment. Its support for 802.11n means you can connect all of your older devices, while its ability to utilize the new 802.11ac standard on the 5GHz band means you'll get fastest internet speeds out of new and future devices.