- Dual Band – Up to 300 Mbps (2.4 GHz) or 650 Mbps (5 GHz)
- Compatible with older Wi-Fi routers and range extenders
- WPS push button setup
Potentially great, but currently broken 08/15/2013
This review is from: D-Link Wireless Dual Band AC1000 Mbps USB Wi-Fi Network Adapter (DWA-180)
When it's working properly, this adapter has great signal strength and is blazing fast. It can pick up 802.11ac 5 GHz signal in rooms of my house where other devices cannot even detect it, and I have been able to successfully transfer some files wirelessly over my network at a blazing fast 30 MB/s! If they can fix the connectivity issues (see below), then this will be a brilliant adapter to pair with your 802.11ac router.
MAJOR CONNECTIVITY PROBLEMS WITH LARGE FILE TRANSFERS:
Long story short, this adapter just is not reliable. It cannot maintain a connection to other computers on my network for a long enough duration to be useful for transferring the sorts of large files that need the speed of 802.11ac.
Specifically, I have been trying for about two days now to get this adapter to work with my home office computer that has a ton of network drives on it that are used as Media server/NAS/backup drives for all the devices on my network. However, during any long file transfers (10GB+), it randomly loses the connection to the other computer, and has to be reset before it will work again. It simply is not usable as an adapter on a computer that needs to do anything more than just casually browse the internet.
I have troubleshooted everything I know how, and everything Google can tell me... changing settings, disabling antivirus, etc. I've tested it four times - two different computers with two different routers - and in each scenario, it routinely cut the connection off within 2-15 minutes of beginning a large file transfer or backup. The D-Link website mentions something about changing the wireless preamble to "short", but there is no apparent way to do that with this adapter.
OTHER SOFTWARE PROBLEMS:
The software for this adapter is mediocre at best. I'd prefer to just use the standard Windows software and not need anything extra running on the system, especially when I can perceive no benefit from the software.
In addition to the dropped/broken connections, this adapter evidences some more general weirdness in its connectivity. Sometimes it just acts like it does not want to power up and work, and I've seen transfer speeds as low as 200 KB/s (!!!!). Yuck.
The build quality of this adapter is quite poor. All plastic, very flimsy. It has a lot of give even if you just pinch it lightly, and I'm quite sure it would break completely if you ever stepped on it or squished it in a laptop bag or something. The clips on the cap are also quite poor, and seem likely to break very easily over time.
Overall, I'm extremely disappointed with this adapter, and I can't wait to stop testing it. It's been a non-stop headache for me, and the only reason it's getting two eggs instead of one is because I HOPE that the connectivity issues can be addressed with driver updates.
As it is now, this adapter is useless and you should not purchase it. It is only good at casually browsing the internet, a task for which 99.999% of people cannot take advantage of 802.11ac speeds over 802.11n.
Once my frustration levels settle down, I may call D-Link's tech support and see if they have anything to say. If I find any improvement(s), or if D-Link updates the drivers and makes it work, I will post an updated review to reflect the changes. Until then, stay away and spend your money on something that works.
I tested this adapter on three different Windows 7 x64 Home Premium systems (one of which was a fresh Windows installation), with both the D-Link AC1200 (DIR-860L) and TP-Link TL-WDR3600 routers. Throughout my testing of this adapter, I always connected the other computer with a wired gigabit connection (the one on the other end of the transfer from this adapter), so I am sure that this adapter is the connectivity culprit.
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