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Wireless Reviews

Features

The 890L/R has D-Link's new, sparser admin interface described in detail in the DIR-880L review. So I'll concentrate on differences only. There's an on-line emulator, but it's revision 1.0 (current rev is 1.03) and not all features work.

D-Link DIR-890L/R Home page

D-Link DIR-890L/R Home page

Here's a feature rundown, mostly extracted from browsing through the admin GUI. A few items have moved from the "missing" category shown in the DIR-880L review and a few items moved to it. Changes are bolded in the list below.

Routing

  • DHCP, Static, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, DS-Lite WAN connection types
  • MTU adjust for all connection types
  • Router / AP modes
  • DHCP server with lease time setting, DHCP reservation and broadcast controls
  • WAN port speed setting (Auto, 1000, 100, 10 Mbps)
  • Built-in dynamic DNS client for dlinkddns.com and dyndns.com free and custom services
  • 15 each IPv4 and IPv6 static routes
  • DMZ host
  • IPv4 SPI firewall enable, anti-spoof checking, IPv6 Simple Security, IPv6 Ingress filtering
  • Multicast stream enables for IPv4 and IPv6
  • IPv6 support (auto-detect, static, link-local, autoconfiguration (SLAAC/DHCPv6), PPPoE, IPv6 over IPv4 tunnel, 6to4, 6rd)
  • PPTP, IPsec, RTSP, SIP ALG disables
  • 15 each schedulable single port and port range forwarding. (Can set source and destination ports on single ports [virtual servers])
  • 15 each IPv4 / IPv6 schedulable allow/deny inbound/outbound port filtering by IP address
  • 15 domain-based allow / deny (global) Web access filters
  • Three level priority based QoS
  • Remote admin access enable, IP access filtering, port setting and graphic authentication enable
  • WAN port speed set
  • Automatic uplink QoS with manual / automatic uplink speed detection and manual rule option
  • UPnP disable

Administration

  • Syslog support
  • Email alerts and log send
  • Login CAPTCHA (default disabled)
  • Save / restore settings
  • Reset to defaults
  • Reboot
  • Firmware update check (not automatic) and update via browser or downloaded file
  • Remote management enable w/ admin port setting
  • HTTPS administration support
  • Graphical traffic statistics for Internet, LAN and 2.4 and 5 GHz

Sharing features

  • UPnP / DLNA Media server enable
  • SharePort Plus drive and printer sharing
  • Storage web access

VPN

  • Quick VPN (L2TP over IPsec)

Missing

  • Triggered port forwarding
  • IPv6 port forwarding
  • Useful online help
  • Logs in browser
  • Parental controls (web filtering)
  • Traffic monitoring, limit alerts
  • iTunes server
  • UPnP media server index controls
  • Bridged router mode

Parental controls are still limited to 15 domain level website filters. And there is still no online help and the Quick VPN (L2TP over IPsec) feature remains undocumented.

There is still a Statistics display. But it doesn't recognize that the router has two 5 GHz radios.

Traffic Statistics

Traffic Statistics

Wireless controls remain unchanged from the DIR-880L's. You get transmit power adjustment of High (default), Medium and Low, scheduled wireless on/off, radio disables and one guest network for both radios. WPA Enterprise / RADIUS mode is still not supported (no biggie) and more importantly, there are still no WPS controls.

Even still more importantly, the 890L/R does not support either WDS or universal bridging. The Internet settings page lets you select only between Router and Access Point modes.

Take a run through the DIR-880L review gallery or the on-line emulator if you want a closer look at the controls.

Storage Performance

The summary below shows all AC3200 routers we've tested with our standard procedure with USB 3.0 connections and both drive formats. I'm concentrating on USB 3.0 because these routers should be capable of storage throughput in excess of what USB 2.0 can support.

Storage Performance Comparison - USB 3.0

Storage Performance Comparison - USB 3.0

The DIR-890L/R looks like it is limited to sub 30 MB/s USB 2.0 performance levels, even when using the USB 3.0 port. You can see D-Link is not alone here; Linksys' EA9200 suffers from the same problem.

I also found during testing that my test drive with FAT32, NTFS and EXT3 partitions showed as one partition, with space equal to the total of the two 10 GB partitions it recognized (FAT32 and NTFS). The composite screenshot below shows the router's USB Device page showing the single volume and a Windows Explorer window showing two folders. There is also no way to safely dismount a drive.

Storage Performance Comparison - USB 3.0

USB Status - Multi partitioned drive mounted

Routing Performance

Routing throughput was measured using our standard router test process with the router loaded with 1.03 firmware. Table 2 summarizes the results and includes the NETGEAR R8000 for comparison. Maximum simultaneous connections hit our test process limit, which lately seems to have moved higher. For ranking purposes, we consider anything over 30,000 connections as equal.

Test Description D-Link DIR-890L/R NETGEAR R8000
WAN - LAN 784.2 806.4 Mbps
LAN - WAN 796.5 782.1 Mbps
Total Simultaneous 1427.7 1391.8 Mbps
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 33,828 34, 083
Firmware Version 1.03 1.0.0.90
Table 2: Routing throughput

The IxChariot unidirectional composite plot for the DIR-890L/R shows typical cyclical variation between mid-to-high 700 Mbps range and peak speeds near 950 Mbps for both directions. The higher uplink throughput is consistent from product to product and likely a test method artifact.

Linksys DIR-890L/R routing throughput unidirectional summary

D-Link DIR-890L/R routing throughput unidirectional summary

The DIR-890L/R simultaneous up/downlink benchmark plot shows the some battling at the beginning, due to IxChariot's Nagle's algorithm implementation. Once that settles down, the throughput is fairly stable with higher uplink vs. downlink throughput. The uplink preference has been so consistent across reviews, that it appears to be another artifact of our test method.

D-Link DIR-890L/R routing throughput bidirectional summary

D-Link DIR-890L/R routing throughput bidirectional summary

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