D-Link has been filling the gaps and appearing in the market with a set of their offered devices. First is their Mesh solution, the D-Link Covr, then now, we’re going to look at their somewhat low costing and budget-friendly solution from their EXO series, the D-Link EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO DIR-882 router.
The DIR-882 is designed using the same hardware as the DIR-878; and while this is already capable of the AC2600, D-Link decided to tweak things a bit, turning a few things off to make this a more competitive device in the class market of AC1900. When it comes to the EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO, D-Link was targeting a more efficient streaming and gaming solution with features such as Advanced Beam Forming, QoS, and DLNA support.
Before we get further into details about the EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO DIR-882, let’s check out the other items and accessories included in its package.
D-Link EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO Router Review – What’s in the Box?
When you get your hands on this device, you’ll notice that most of its details are found right at the bottom. It also includes its 4 x 4 and 160-MHz features. On the front portion of the box, you will find an image of the router itself; at the top right portion, you’ll also find its place in the D-Link portfolio.
The back portion of the box displays more detailed marketing information. You’ll see extra details about the EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO’s main features, as well as another image of the device.
D-Link EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO Router Review – Perfect for Streaming and Gaming
The EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO has a ton more features compared to similar products with the same price range. Its Advanced AC Smartbeam and MU-MIMO helps the router lock-in on any device to give you maximum signal every time. It also allows you to prioritize which devices should acquire the strongest bandwidth via the QoS Engine of D-Link.
This only means that when you decide to play games, transfer files, or stream 4K videos, you can choose and control which devices should get low, medium, or high priority.
The router features a classy sleek style with an all-black design. It has a low profile except for its long, non-removable antennas that measure around 6.5 inches. You can set the router on your shelf or mount this on the wall via the mounting holes that are present.
If you look at the router’s body, it’s pretty thin and light, measuring just 1.25 pounds.The top portion of the router also has a vent to help release any excess heat from the device. Additionally, it also features a set of LEDs for activity. Though what we love about the design is that it features six little red and green LED lights located at the top. These are specifically for the internet, power, 5GHz, 2.4GHz, and the two USBs.
You’ll get your regular 1GB WAN port and 4GB LAN ports for the internet; however, the two USB ports that can be used for printers, storage, or phone charging is really a great find for a router in this price range. Its extremely fast USB 3.0 port is located at the front portion of the device, while its USB 2.0 port is placed at the back together with the Ethernet ports and the buttons for the WPS, power, reset, and Wi-Fi.
Also, the key to the EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO’s budget-friendly cost is its MediaTek-based design. Its 4-external dual-band antennas are also hardwired to its board.
Created to give you extreme performance, the AC2600 combines an extremely fast next gen Wi-Fi + Gigabit Ethernet and a dual-core processor for improved gaming experience and 4K streaming. It features a powerful dual-core 880-MHz processor that boosts wired and wireless performance for improved usage.
Its Ethernet ports, specifically the 4GB LAN and 1GB WAN, are Gigabit port that provide you with speedy wired connections, as well as dual USB ports that allow you to acquire content from your network. The USB ports are mainly available to remotely stream your photos, movies, stored music, and more.
For its frequency, it’s a dual band to give you comprehensive data transfer. It diminishes the congestion and wireless interference then lets you connect to other devices. There are four external antennas: 4 streams that boost throughput while simultaneously expanding the coverage area in your home.
The EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO’s RAM memory is 128MB while its flash memory is 16MB. The router’s speed is 2,533Mbps and has the WPA / WPA2 security that gives you the highest level and best wireless security.
For the router’s dimensions, it measures 10.20 x 7.25 x 1.80 inches and weighs a total of 1.25 pounds.
The EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO from D-Link is compatible with DLNA-supported media players, televisions, and gaming consoles.
Here are the features of the AC2600 router that will make you decide if this device is something worth purchasing.
Increased Gaming Experience
With a powerful and effective dual-core processor, concurrent 4-data streams, as well as smart QoS technology, you will definitely enjoy ultra Wi-Fi speed and connection for continuous gaming and excellent user experience.
Advanced AC Smart Beam + Extreme Coverage
You can easily bring dead spots back to life by providing individual bandwidth beams where you need it most.
For more coverage, the four high performing external antennas, as well as the high-powered amplifiers ensures that you will get stronger and better Wi-Fi coverage throughout your smart home. More devices can connect to your network in a snap and without any dead zones.
High-Performing Antennas + Dual-Core Processor
The device has four high-performance antennas that provide increased and better range around your home. The EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO also features a dual-core processor that will provide you with increased network speed.
Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO)
The EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO from D-Link is specifically created to support the MU MIMO technology, allowing numerous devices to acquire high bandwidth Wi-Fi signals simultaneously. It also helps distribute data better, providing you with the fastest and best Wi-Fi speed right at your home. With the AC2600, you can also easily and quickly stream HD Media, play lag-free games, and transfer large files in a snap.
Smart Beam Forming
This feature greatly improves your coverage by managing the bandwidth to all your devices while moving around in your home. You can easily stream HD videos, Skype with friends, surf the internet, and even play online games from anywhere, giving you the best experience at all times.
Increased Processing Power
If you want a powerful and high-performing processor that is able to handle numerous tasks at outstanding speed, then a dual-core processor is the best option to enhance multitasking computing power. The EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO is also able to enhance the throughput speed for all applications that you need.
The AC2600 enables encrypted or public wireless guest network, securing and managing access to local network devices.
DD WRT Supported
If you’re a tech-savvy person, the EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO is supported by the DD WRT which enables a number of other features. If you completely know what you’re doing, are okay with voiding your warranty, and want to get additional features, then know that this router is capable of this.
Parental controls are also available on the AC2600. You can create and manage online entry schedules, as well as block or allow certain devices and websites.
It’s advanced QoS engine ensures to give you excellent performance for high priority programs, video streaming, and even games.
No Configuration Needed
Once the EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO is setup, you can easily and instantly connect other D-Link Zero Configuration devices, making things more convenient for you.
The D-Link AC2600 supports Smart Connect, a technology designed for newbies. Good thing that it can also be useful for tech-savvy users who want to quickly connect the router to the available network. Smart Connect combines the networks into a single SSID so you won’t have to worry about connecting the right network to your device. This is because older units will not be compatible with 5GHz.
By default, Smart Connect is enabled to allow the device to switch between its bands while also giving you the best possible connection. However, you will have to disable this feature if you plan to change the 802.11 mode, channel, channel width, and other various settings. Like the Smart Connect, the IPv6 addresses are also automatically enabled to keep your devices secure and connected.
You can also set local network sharing using the FTP server or the Windows File Sharing (SAMBA), before hooking up a USB hard drive to the router to increase your shared storage. Additionally, the D-Link EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO is compatible with devices that are DLNA-enabled so you can stream movies between devices easily.
Using the Product
If you’re worried about the process of setting up the router, it’s extremely easy and is perfect for those who want to just quickly setup their router for instant use. D-Link has their own app called the QRS Mobile that you can use to set your router or remotely configure this.
We opted for the browser-based process and linked the EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO to our modem using an Ethernet cable. We also made use of D-Link’s handy configuration card that was included in the package. It is basically just a sheet of paper that has wireless details. Overall, it took us less than five minutes to set up the router,
Once we were done power cycling the modem, we started the setup process by keying in the router’s IP address onto the browser. There was a guide that led us through the whole process and at some point, we were asked to name the network and select a password. After going through the setup, we saw that the software interface was able to cover all of the basics. But what we really liked was that its layout was neat and user friendly, allowing everyone to easily figure things out regardless of their technical skills
. Its main page displays a map that shows all the devices that are linked to the EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO. This allowed us to immediately see what’s connected and if everything’s working properly.
The admin interface is simple yet informative. It may not have a lot of graphics but it does pack on a lot of useful information. Most of the screens feature tables with numbers, making things easier to understand. It’s really good since the layout isn’t confusing and everything was neatly in place.
All the other features and settings are straightforward and as for the EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO’s menu, it provides you with numerous customization options so you’ll be able to have a lot of choices when you plan to set up a VPN, prioritize devices, configure port forwarding, or even start up parental controls.
Let’s talk about the bands, these both performed excellently and reached 165Mbps – 2.4GHz and 927Mbps – 5GHz for local throughput. This is not for internet speed; you may see this when you’re streaming or transferring files via your home network. However, anything you download or stream from the internet will level off at the specific speed you have coming from your ISP or internet service provider.
Throughput against Distance
For this specific portion of our performance test, we were quite impressed by the coverage provided by the EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO. Its speed was fairly consistent on the 2.4GHz band even when we tested this in different spots in the office.
When testing for the 5GHz band, it hit fast and stable speeds even when we were a couple of rooms away from the AC2600. The EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO was able to hold a solid performance at 2.4GHz and its performance was really stable for 5Ghz, providing incredibly fast network speeds.
File Transfer Test
We were curious if the AC2600 was able to perform well when it came to file transferring, and to our delight, we didn’t have any struggles with it. It was much faster compared to other similar devices and there were no lags as well. We tried transferring different types of files and we were able to complete the test without experiencing any issues so good job to D-Link when it comes to this.
Now for the software performance, as we mentioned earlier, it was simple and basic yet it had everything that you’d expect and need. It included the guest network creation, port-forwarding, basic QoS as well as the dynamic DNS support. If you have an HDD, plug this into the USB 3.0 port so you can start sharing files with the FTP, SMB, or DLNA. The company’s Quick VPN feature makes it easy to start an L2TP through an IPsec server, allowing for better access to your network.
Whole Home WiFi
Wave 2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi
3-Year Limited Warranty
259 x 184 x 46 mm
FTTP / Satellite / Fixed Wireless / Cable only
Advanced AC SmartBeam
USB 3.0, USB 2.0
AC2600 (800 + 1753 Mbps)
We’ve previously tested some D-Link routers but we highly appreciate what they’ve done with the EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO router. Its build quality was good; plus, it also excelled in its performance. The WAN port didn’t hold anything back and the Gigabit ports pushed through wired speed.
When it comes to the router’s wireless performance, we can definitely match this with the performance of higher-end routers. But in all honesty, there are only a couple of routers that were able to offer higher 5GHz performance.
When it comes to the range, it was also good and stable. The AC2600 was able to maintain its performance for both 5GHz and 2.4GHz through 30 feet; this was all because of the router’s tall antennas.
For the software, it is one of the simplest yet cleanest solutions available in the market: it provided us with simple and easy to navigate menus while simultaneously giving all the necessary information that we needed. Mild enthusiasts will also appreciate that it offers adequate features that they can tinker and play with.
Your internet speed will not increase with a router, but the D-Link EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO can greatly improve any home network that lacks stable coverage and needs faster speed for local transfer. With this device, you get beamforming, four spatial streams, two USB ports, and MU-MIMO for an affordable price.
Customising your settings may take you some time because of the number of options available, although with D-Link’s technology, you will be able to easily adjust the router’s settings anyway you want.
Overall, the D-Link EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO is quite a strong competitor in the market of dual-band ACs because of its performance and affordable price. Compared to the other high-end routers in the market, the AC2600 is definitely less expensive; plus, it also has an intuitive interface that offers great performance as well.
It’s one of the best deals when it comes to routers, so if you’re someone who is still using an 802.11n router, then upgrading to the EXO AC2600 MU-MIMO is definitely a smart move.