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Pros: Wireless AC
DD-WRT installed straight from the factory
Clever insert for username and password in base of router
Cons: 5Ghz strength
Intermittent transfer rates and latency spikes
No wall mounts
Buffalo steers users towards DD-WRT forums for firmware support
Other Thoughts: I had high hopes for this router seeing it comes from the factory with DD-WRT installed. By doing this, the warranty issues common with installing DD-WRT on other manufacturers routers has been removed. Even with this, Buffalo shockingly directs customers towards the DD-WRT forums for assistance with firmware issues. In my opinion, Buffalo should have some software support even if it is just keeping a record of known issues with the available DD-WRT versions. To their credit, they do include documentation stating the 'open' nature of DD-WRT and the opportunity to replace this DD-WRT version with the same router running Buffalo's proprietary firmware.
This router has poor 5Ghz coverage. With the router one room away (totaling 25ft) from multiple wireless devices, the 5Ghz signal is 2 bars lower than other AC routers tested in the same location. The transfer rates and latencies also suffered while on the 5Ghz band. Transfer rates at this location dropped down to 70-75Mbps compared to the ~200Mbps with other AC routers. Latencies to my ISPs provider would very from 20-150ms with standard web browsing vs the average 18-30ms from other routers. Surprisingly, this even affected speed tests as I was never able to achieve the full 100Mbps internet bandwidth provided by my ISP that I normally attain via wireless AC. Once I swapped over to a hardline connection, these speeds returned. These issues wrecked havoc on watching Netflix on a Samsung Smart TV over the 5Ghz spectrum (Wireless N). As others have stated, the lack of external 5Ghz antennas is more than likely the culprit. The signal strength is locked down by default to comply with FCC regulations so trying to boost the signal to compensate for this without some tinkering with the firmware is impossible. I experienced none of these issues with latencies, transfer speeds (although they are slower compared to 5Ghz AC) and signal strength while connecting to the 2.4Ghz via N from this router.
DD-WRT, on the other hand, has been great! The ability to run OpenVPN, route traffic through an ad-blocking proxy, aggregate ports, and connect to a RADIUS server (this list continues...) provides the flexibility for the vast majority of small business and home environments.
If the 5Ghz signal strength and fluctuation oddities are resolved, this router will become the heart of my home network. In the meantime, this will be relegated to performing 2.4 Ghz repeating (another DD-WRT feature)
Pros: This router has dedicated antennas for 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz resulting in a total six. The difference to 2.4 Ghz is phenomenal. Signal strength to devices that had issues before due to the end user antenna (I'm looking at you Asus Transformer Prime) now have great signal strength throughout the house.
The V2 version of this router has 128Mb to work with for those that decide to go with an after-market firmware.
Cons: While TP-Link made a great router hardware wise, the firmware is very slimmed down. The only semblance of QoS is overall bandwidth control but nothing above this.
One issue I did experience was DNS related. Some of the web pages I would visit wouldn't load the images and steam would randomly not work (Windows 8.1). The resolution was to place the DNS servers issued by my ISP manually in the DHCP settings. This change corrected the issue by propagating the DNS servers down to the computers on the network.
Other Thoughts: TP-Link has a great router with the Archer C7 v2. If they were to update the firmware and add more advanced features such as a better QoS, then this would be an all-star router. FYI: The only official firmware available on the TP-Link site is the original version.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: D-Link Wireless AC750 Dual Band Cloud Router, 2x 5dBi Antennas (DIR-816L)
Pros: Simultaneous use of both 2.4Ghz and 5 Ghz, Wireless 802.11AC, Compact design, built in DNLA for USB devices, and Windows Phone Support for Mydlink app
Cons: 10/100 LAN and WAN ports, Firmware Update tool could never reach DLink servers when checking for latest Firmware version, and throughput with wireless AC was only at max 16Mbps better than N.
Other Thoughts: The D-Link DIR-816L, while stable, had several shortcomings. With ISPs now offering higher than 100Mbps internet connections for a reasonable rate, the use of 10/100 WAN and LAN ports in a wireless 802.11ac router seems out of place.
The 2.4Ghz N Wireless transfer rates were consistently between 75-79Mbps when my test PC was in the room directly below the closet housing the router on the second floor. I was actually surprised when I switched to 5Ghz AC wireless and only increased in speed to 88-91Mbps.
I do have a concern as to why this router comes out of the box with two important firewall features disabled (Enable SPI and Anti-Spoof Checking). With all the security concerns today, it would appear as though these should be enabled by default.
D-Link has made several strides forward with the firmware in this router by including the ability to make changes to your router and stream videos remotely using the Mydlink app. I'm shocked that the Mydlink app actually has Windows Phone 8 support. Most manufacturers have yet to design apps for the Windows Phone platform so this is a huge plus. With this said, I was never able to get this feature to work even with the 2.01 firmware update.