If you're looking for a router that's unobtrusive in your home, the tri-band D-Link DIR-890L/R isn't it. It's been described as looking like a space-age spider or a modern-day flying drone, and it's the largest router by size out there right now. But it's fast. Actually, it's incredibly fast. That, coupled with a good interface and excellent customer service, puts this new D-Link router at the forefront despite a few initial problems with the firmware.
The new product from D-Link measures 15.2 by 9.7 by 4.7 inches, so it certainly isn't small. It comes with six external antennas, four Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit Internet port. It also has one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port. On the front are status lights for the Internet connection, Wi-Fi, and Internet ports. The antennas are fixed and can't be removed.
The DIR-890L/R is a tri-band router, which means that it has three access points: one in the 2.4GHz range for older equipment, and two in the 5GHz range. The 2.4GHz band tops out at 600 mbps, while the 5Ghz band tops out at 1,300 mbps. You can either set up the router with three different bands, or let its SmartConnect feature assign bands automatically as needed. It also comes with parental controls and website filtering in case children are using it as well.
Setup for the router is relatively easy: plug in the router to your computer, type in the IP address provided, and use the D-Link setup wizard to configure it. The interface has four buttons: Home, Settings, Features and Management. Scroll over the top of each button and you'll see drop-down menus. Where this unit really excels is speed — we clocked the D-Link's throughput at 558 mbps in the 5Ghz 802.11ac band, and 310 mbps out to 30 feet. In 5Ghz N mode, it hit 195 mbps at 30 feet.
The D-Link DIR-890L/R is expensive. But the company seems to be trying to reach an audience that wants power but doesn't want or need to play with router settings too much. Whether that will work for them remains to be seen. If you're a serious techie who wants to customize all your gear, this isn't the router for you. But if you're willing to spend the money and let the equipment do most of the work for you, this router is fast enough and stable enough to warrant purchase. Combined with D-Link's customer service, the new D-Link DIR-890L/R is an excellent choice, even at $300.