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CES 2015

CES logoUpdated - D-Link unveiled new AC routers, including a ludicrous speed model, powerline and connected home products and yes, more baby cams at CES 2015.

Wi-Fi

We all know by now the "big number" game that wireless router makers play. But with its new ULTRA Performance Series of 11AC Wi-Fi Routers and Adapters, D-Link may have finally jumped the shark.

The slightly menacing-looking lineup includes the top-of-line AC5300 ULTRA Wi-Fi Router (DIR-895L/R), AC3200 ULTRA Wi-Fi Router (DIR-890L/R) and AC3100 ULTRA Wi-Fi Router (DIR-885L/R). All have Gigabit Ethernet ports, an " advanced" QoS engine with a drag-and-drop UI and can be set up using smartphone or tablet using a free app. But D-Link's release didn't talk about USB ports, router features or the chipsets that lie beneath the Ultras' red hoods.

D-Link Ultra Routers

D-Link Ultra Routers

Here how D-Link parses the link rates:

  DIR-895L DIR-890L DIR-885L
Class AC5300 AC3200 AC3100
# of Antennas 8 6 4
Max Link Rates Up to 2165 Mbps on both 5 GHz bands and 1000 Mbps on 2.4 GHz Up to 1300 Mbps on both 5 GHz bands and 600 Mbps on 2.4 GHz Up to 2165 Mbps on 5 GHz and 1000 Mbps on 2.4 GHz
MU-MIMO Yes No Yes


The DIR-890L appears to be a standard AC3200 Broadcom XStream design, so no mystery there. But I have no idea where the 2165 Mbps 5 GHz and 1000 Mbps 2.4 GHz rates come from, since the 802.11n/ac MCS tables top out at 1733 Mbps for 80 MHz bandwidth and jump to 3466.7 for the highly unlikely use of 160 MHz channels.

1/5/2015 update: Looks like my Broadcom hunch was right.

At any rate, the DIR-895L looks very much like a Broadcom XStream kinda design, given its dual 5 GHz radios and eight antennas. Broadcom has a penchant for pushing the Wi-Fi envelope (remember they came up with TurboQAM that pushed 2.4 GHz link rates to 600 Mbps). So I wouldn't be surprised if the DIR-895L and DIR-885L were the first sign of a design based on a new Broadcom 4x4 MU-MIMO AC chipset with something, uh, creative, baked in.

Wi-Fi tweakers constantly bemoan the dearth of wireless adapters that can run with the faster routers. So D-Link is throwing this crowd a bit of a bone with its DWA-192 AC1900 Wi-Fi USB Adapter. While it's not that portable, it will be the only USB (3.0) connected 3x3 AC1900 adapter out there when it ships in Q2 2015 at a T.B.D. price. (The world still awaits ASUS' 4x4 EA-AC87, even though it's an Ethernet-connected bridge.)

D-Link DWA-192 AC1900 Wi-Fi USB Adapter

D-Link DWA-192 AC1900 Wi-Fi USB Adapter

Powerline

There must be something in D-Link's water supply, because they have come up with another big number to woo gullible consumers. The DHP-701AV PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Starter Kit sets a new high in the HomePlug AV2 inflated spec game touting "speeds of up to 2000 Mbps". It's an AV2 MIMO adapter that likely uses the 1.5 Gbps HomePlug AV2 profile, since that's the highest available.

The DHP-601AV PowerLine AV2 1000 Gigabit Starter Kit is an AV2 SISO adapter, most likely using the AV2 750 Mbps SISO profile, like ZyXEL's PLA5206KIT [reviewed] that also says it's a "1000 Mbps" adapter.

Both have single Gigabit Ethernet ports, support power save mode and standard HomePlug 128-bit AES Link Encryption. The DHP-701AV and DHP-601AV will hit stores this quarter for MSRPs of $129.99 and $79.99 respectively.

D-Link DHP-601AV & DHP-701AV Gigabit powerline adapters

D-Link DHP-601AV & DHP-701AV Gigabit powerline adapters
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