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Wireless Reviews

AC2600 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Router
At a glance
ProductD-Link AC2600 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Router (DIR-882)   [Website]
SummaryMediatek based bargain 4x4 AC2600 class wireless router with Gigabit Ethernet ports. Supports "Smart Connect" band steering
Pros• Good performance for the money
Cons• Slow storage sharing
• No wireless bridge mode

Typical Price: $130  Shop Amazon

Introduction

Updated 10/10/17 - Corrected typos. Clarified DIR-878 operation & added DD-WRT support note.

Four stream AC2600/AC3150 routers would be the new three-stream AC1900 by now if it weren't for their higher prices. Although there are bargains to be had, the cost of that extra stream and the additional performance it brings is generally around 50 bucks more. This is enough to stop the more frugal among us from making the leap.

As it did with its EXO AC1900, D-Link is playing the lower-cost card with the DIR-882 AC2600 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Router to win over buyers. To achieve that lower cost, D-Link turned to a lower-cost Taiwanese chipmaker, MediaTek for the heart that beats beneath the 882's black plastic shell. Unlike the DIR-879, D-Link didn't omit USB ports to save cost, instead endowing the 882 with one each USB 2.0 and 3.0 flavors.

D-Link didn't omit front panel LEDs either, as the callout diagram below shows.

DIR-882 LED callouts

DIR-882 LED callouts

The rear panel view, however, shows D-Link didn't splurge and add link/activity lights for the four LAN and one WAN gigabit Ethernet ports. But they did provide power, Wi-Fi on/off and WPS buttons, albeit teeny-tiny ones.

DIR-882 rear callouts

DIR-882 rear callouts

The black plastic case has plenty of ventilation holes on top and bottom cover. Two screw mounting slots are on the router bottom that will point connectors upward in a wall mount scenario.

Inside

As noted, the key to the DIR-882's lower cost is its MediaTek-based design. The fuzzy FCC photo shows how the four external dual-band antennas are hardwired to the board.

DIR-882 inside

DIR-882 inside

The board top photo with RF can tops removed provides the first confirmation of the 882's MediaTek core.

DIR-882 board top

DIR-882 board top

WikiDevi's DIR-882 product page says "The hardware appears to be identical to the D-Link DIR-878 rev A1 aside from the USB ports". The DIR-878's page further says:

"Despite being labeled as an AC1900 router, this device appears to be identical to the AC2600 D-Link DIR-882 rev A1 aside from the USB ports. D-Link claims only 1300/600Mbps speeds but also claims that it supports four streams. The hardware is capable of four streams. FCC test reports show four-stream speeds so that's what we'll go with for specs."

I downloaded the 878's internal photos and test reports and confirmed WikiDevi's assessment. Both board photos show the same "AP-MTKH7-0002 REV1.0" marking. I asked D-Link if the 878's link rates have been limited to AC1900 operation and will update when I find out.

Updated 10/10/17

D-Link says: "The DIR-878 and DIR-882 share the same platform, and the DIR-878 can function at AC2600 speeds." They also want you to know both support DD-WRT.

DIR-878 board top

DIR-878 board top

The board bottom is pretty clean except for the flash and a thermal pad for additional heat dissipation.

DIR-882 board bottom

DIR-882 board bottom

Table 1 compares the DIR-882 with the top-rated NETGEAR R7800 Nighthawk X4S, which is based on Qualcomm silicon.

  D-Link DIR-882 NETGEAR R7800
CPU Mediatek MT7621A dual core SoC @ 880 MHz Qualcomm dual-core IPQ8065 Internet Processor @ 1.7 GHz
Switch In MT7621A Qualcomm Atheros QCA8337
RAM 128 MB 512 MB
Flash 128 MB 128 MB
2.4 GHz Radio - Mediatek MT7615 11abgn-ac 4x4 radio SoC
- Unidentified 2.4 GHz power amp (x4)
- QCA9984 4x4 MU-MIMO 802.11ac radio
- Skyworks SE2623L 2.4 GHz power amp (x4)
5 GHz radio - Mediatek MT7615 11abgn-ac 4x4 radio SoC
- Unidentified 5 GHz power amp (x4)
- QCA9984 4x4 MU-MIMO 802.11ac radio
- RFMD RFPA5542 5 GHz PA module (x4)
Table 1: Component summary

More Wireless

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