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Storage

The 868L supports D-Link's Shareport Plus drive and printer sharing feature. The router admin GUI now has separate links for Storage and Media Server and the Media Server screen below now has separate DLNA and iTunes server enables. Unchecking the default Folder root selection lets you browse to choose your own file storage directory for each server.

mydlink Router Status

mydlink Router Status

The USB 3.0 enable didn't seem to do its job because I was able to run file copy benchmarks to an attached USB drive without changing it from its default disabled state. Enabling this control just popped up a Please note that enabling USB 3.0 may adversely affect your 2.4 G wireless range warning. I have been seeing physical shielding on routers recently that looks like it is aimed at solving the USB 3.0 / 2.4 GHz interference problem described in this Intel whitepaper. This is the first time I have seen a software approach...if that is what this control is.

I ran Windows filecopy tests using the standard NAS testbed to the 868L with our USB standard drive (Startech USB 3.0 eSATA to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station (SATDOCKU3SEF) containing a WD Velociraptor WD3000HLFS 300 GB drive) formatted in FAT32 and NTFS. I ran tests with and without the USB 3.0 control discussed above enabled. There wasn't much difference with the drive NTFS or FAT32 formatted except for FAT32 format read. I measured a 4 MB/s increase with USB 3.0 enabled.

  DIR-868L DIR-857 Linksys EA6300 Linksys EA6500
FAT32 Write (MBytes/s) 16 13.9 11.2 4.8
FAT32 Read (MBytes/s) 27 30.9 17.4 10.7
NTFS Write (MBytes/s) 11.5 7.7 9.8 7.7
NTFS Read (MBytes/s) 13.8 16.1 17.2 9.5
Table 3: File copy throughput

The values in Table 3 are with USB 3.0 enabled and include a few other draft 802.11ac routers. Given that the both use the same Broadcom BCM4708 processor, I would expect the 868L's performance to be similar to the Linksys EA6300, which also uses a Broadcom BCM4708 processor. The D-Link's FAT32 performance is definitely higher than the Linksys, especially for FAT32 read. The 868L's NTFS write is a bit faster than the 6300's and its read a bit slower.

Routing Performance

Routing throughput was measured running 1.01 firmware, using our router test process. Table 4 summarizes the results, which earn it a position at the top of the Router Charts for downlink (WAN to LAN) throughput and a #1 rank among AC1750 routers for Routing performance.

Test Description DIR-868L
WAN - LAN 924 Mbps
LAN - WAN 888 Mbps
Total Simultaneous 1005 Mbps
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 33,894
Firmware Version 1.01
Table 4: Routing throughput

The IxChariot composite plot below shows steady throughput in the unidirectional benchmarks. But the simultaneous up/downlink benchmark shows each direction shares equally at the beginning of the test, but then switching to a battle for bandwidth that causes high variation for most of the rest of the test.

Maximum simultaneous connections maxed out our test process with 33,894 sessions.

D-Link DIR-827 routing throughput summary

D-Link DIR-868L routing throughput summary

Wireless Performance

The DIR-868L is Wi-Fi Certified and defaulted to Auto 20/40 Channel Width on the 2.4 GHz radio and Auto 20/40/80 MHz bandwidth mode for the 5 GHz radio upon power-up. The router comes with different 2.4 and 5 GHz SSIDs set, so you'll be able to connect to your desired band without having to change router settings.

I ran 40 MHz Coexistence and Fat channel intolerant tests passed to make sure the 868L behaved when encountering interfering 2.4 GHz networks. Both tests passed with the 868L responding immediately and falling back to 20 MHz mode link rates. I did note that when the Fat Channel Intolerant bit was set back to disable, that the router stayed in 20 MHz mode for the few minutes that I monitored it.

I successfully ran a pushbutton Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) session with a Win 7 client. The WPS session completed quickly and resulted in a WPA2/AES secured connection with the same WPA2 pre-shared key set for both radios.

All tests were run using our new wireless test process and 1.01 version firmware loaded. The router was first reset to factory defaults and Channel 6 was set for 2.4 GHz and Channel 153 for 5 GHz. 20 MHz bandwidth mode was set for 2.4 GHz and 80 MHz mode (to enable draft 802.11ac link rates) was set for 5 GHz. The test client was connected using WPA2/AES encryption.

The router were positioned 8" from the chamber antennas in all test positions. The 0° position had the router front facing the chamber antennas.

The retest Benchmark Summary below from the new Consolidated benchmark process shows the average of throughput measurements made in all test locations. The 2.4 GHz values in the summary correspond to 2.4 GHz 3-stream values (20 MHz B/W) and the 5 GHz values correspond to the 80 MHz B/W - 3 stream values measured with the previous test methodology.

D-Link DIR-868L Benchmark Summary

D-Link DIR-868L Benchmark Summary

Comparing average 2.4 GHz benchmark values with other AC1750 class routers, the 868L's 78.1 Mbps downlink and 73.9 Mbps uplink results ranks it next to last among the six routers currently in our database. This low result is primarily due to the router producing only 1 Mbps downlink throughput and failing to connect for uplink with the 60 dB of attenuation we use for the equivalent "Location F" test.

The simultaneous up/downlink result of 169.1 Mbps brings the 868L into that benchmark chart in the #2 spot. This test is run at the highest signal level with 0 dB attenuation.

For 5 GHz, the 868L's 168.9 and 149.4 Mbps results for downlink and uplink rank it in the #3 position in those charts. But its 608.7 Mbps simultaneous up and downlink throughput handily beat the next best WD My Net AC1300 by over 50 Mbps.

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