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Wireless Performance - more

Moving on to the 2.4 GHz downlink throughput vs. attenuation comparison plot brings the RT-AC5300 back for the battle. The D-Link's higher chart placement is mainly due to its higher throughput with strongest signals. From 24 dB attenuation on, the two routers are evenly matched.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The story is similar for the 2.4 GHz uplink plot, although the 882 maintains higher throughput throughout the entire test run. It also disconnects 12 dB later.

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The 5 GHz downlink profile shows the 882's significantly weaker performance. It doesn't come close to the ASUS for most of the test run. I have to admit the shape of the 882's curve is odd, with some transformation in MCS ranging occuring at the 21 dB test. But all the throughput vs. attenuation tests are the average of two test runs, so the behavior was consistent.

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The 5 GHz uplink plot is like looking at a completely different product, with no hitch at 21 dB.

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

Peak Wireless Throughput

For our peak wireless performance tests, the octoScope Pals are configured as 4x4 AC devices and left to negotiate their best connection, with 10 dB of attenuation applied on 2.4 GHz. The latter is necessary so the 2.4 GHz Pal isn't overloaded.

The DIR-882 does pretty well, ending up third-ranked on downlink and #1 ranked on up, with 562 Mbps and 596 Mbps, respectively.

2.4 GHz Peak Wireless Throughput comparison

2.4 GHz Peak Wireless Throughput comparison

The 5 GHz peak benchmarks again show better results on uplink with 943 Mbps. Downlink was still a respectable 841 Mbps. A reminder that the 882 doesn't have a wireless bridge mode. So you'll need to pair it with a product that does if you want a high throughput Wi-Fi link.

5 GHz Peak Wireless Throughput comparison

5 GHz Peak Wireless Throughput comparison

I did not test MU-MIMO.

Closing Thoughts

Some of the SNBForums regulars were excited when D-Link announced the DIR-882, due to its relatively low price for a four stream MU-MIMO router. Price aside, I have to say some enthusiasm is deserved based on our performance test results. The Ranker Performance summary shows its strong 2.4 GHz performance, which is counterbalanced by not-as-strong 5 GHz results.

Router Rank - ascending price sort

Router Rank - ascending price sort

However, the Router Ranker shows the DIR-882 ranked at #3, which might not be impressive until you realize it ranks right below two ASUS tri-radio routers costing more than twice as much! (The Low-to-High Price sort doesn't show the ASUS RT-AC5300 and GT-AC5300 because I just grabbed the top of the page.)

Router Rank - ascending price sort

Router Rank - ascending price sort

If we had an SNB award for best price performance, the DIR-882 would certainly earn it. Although Amazon is pricing it at $130 as I write this, it would still be a compelling buy at its $149.99 MSRP. So if price has been holding you back from seeing if moving up to a four stream router could give your Wi-Fi performance a boost, D-Link's DIR-882 is an inexpensive enough way to give it a shot. If you can live without USB storage sharing, you might as well save a few bucks more and get the AC2600-router-hiding-as-AC1900 DIR-878 instead.

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