D-Link DIR-845L review

9 Jul 2013

Unusually shaped, with plenty of handy features, but performance is mediocre

Price when reviewed: 
92(£92 inc VAT)
5

Of all the routers we've recently reviewed, the D-Link DIR-845L has the most startling appearance. Its cylindrical design, with all the ports running up the spine at the rear, makes this one of the neatest, most living-room-friendly routers around.

Alas, the innovation ends there. It's a cable-only router with no ADSL support, and its top theoretical speed is a bog-standard 300Mbits/sec; to eke out the most speed from a 5GHz 802.11n connection you need to be looking for a top speed of 450Mbits/sec.

Despite what the marketing material says about the DIR-845L's SmartBeam technology, which allegedly focuses the signal in the direction of devices, our tests recorded middling performance.

D-Link DIR-845L

At close range, average file-transfer speed topped out at 14.6MB/sec over 5GHz, falling to 8.1MB/sec over 2.4GHz. In our long-range test, it scored a relatively better 4.9MB/sec over 2.4GHz, but failed to maintain a reliable enough connection over 5GHz to run our tests.

The DIR-845L doesn't lack any major features. It has four Gigabit Ethernet ports, a USB socket for sharing storage and, although we aren't huge fans of the text-heavy design, the router's web-based UI offers plenty of power tools.

You can set up and manage an OpenDNS-based website category filtering system, directly from the parental controls section. It also offers the option to track and view a history of the websites visited by each connected device.

D-Link DIR-845L

There's wireless repeater support, guest network facilities, and the ability to manage the router remotely via the mydlink service. The latter, via an app or the website, allows you to control basic settings, such as switching the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks on and off, viewing the IP address, and live traffic throughput.

It can also send email alerts when new devices connect to the network, fail to connect, or new firmware is available, and you can take action to block specific devices.

The D-Link DIR-845L offers a handsome set of features at a tempting price for cable users, but middle-of-the-road performance sees it stumble in the category that matters the most.

Details

Price ex VAT £76
Price inc VAT £92
Overall rating 5
Performance 4
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5
WiFi standard 802.11abgn
Modem type Cable

Wireless standards

802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes

LAN ports

Gigabit LAN ports 4
10/100 LAN ports 0

Features

MAC address cloning yes
Exterior antennae 0
802.11e QoS yes
User-configurable QoS yes
UPnP support yes
Dynamic DNS yes

Security

WEP support yes
WPA support yes
WPA Enterprise support yes
WPS (wireless protected setup) yes
MAC address filtering yes
DMZ support yes
VPN support yes
Port forwarding/virtual server yes
Intrusion detection yes
Web content filtering yes
Email alerts yes
Activity/event logging yes

Dimensions

Dimensions 95 x 119 x 190mm (WDH)