Call me cynical, but I'll believe it when I see it in my office and not on a pristine, radio-frequency protected test-bench. But, It Just Might Work.
That's because D-Link isn't using the current 802.11ac 2013 standard for its new line of high-speed routers; instead, it's using the latest Broadcom chipset based on the still unratified 802.11ac 2015 standard, aka Wave 2. This new wave of technology pushes the theoretical limit of Wi-Fi to 7Gbps. In addition, Wave 2 supports multi-user MIMO, which enables simultaneous multiple spatial streams to multiple clients. Multi-user MIMO is seen as being as big an improvement for Wi-Fi as the jump from shared to switched Ethernet was for wired networking.
Multi-user MIMO, however, won't be supported in the AC3200. You'll need to wait for the next two models in this new Wi-Fi router family to appear later this year for that.
"We've set the bar for how a Wi-Fi Router should look and perform," said Daniel Kelley, D-Link's vice president of marketing. "Our new ULTRA Performance Series has everything a demanding user is looking for - three bands of Wi-Fi, fast speeds, beamforming, and QoS - all housed in an attractive form-factor that is sure to make a statement."
Besides sheer speed, these new routers also feature Wireless 11AC Beamforming to enhance signal strength and throughput; Smart Connect to automatically assign clients to the wireless band providing the best bandwidth; and an advanced QoS engine with a drag-and-drop UI to provide an easy way to prioritize applications and devices. In addition, the routers come with gigabit WAN/LAN Ethernet ports for high speed wired connectivity and are enabled with WPA or WPA2 security and Wi-Fi Protected setup to ensure network integrity and ease-of-setup.
Each router comes with high-power antennas. There will be four for the DIR-885L, six for the DIR-890L and eight for the DIR-895L/R. These are meant to maximize range and optimize coverage.
The D-Link AC3200 ULTRA Wi-Fi Router is available now for $309.99. The other two routers and the AC1900 USB adapter won't show up until the second quarter, and pricing has yet to be announced.