D-Link DIR-890L AC3200 ULTRA Tri-Band Gigabit WiFi Router

The "monster" DIR-890L AC3200 Wireless router. On the surface, you see 6 high-gain antennas. Underneath the cover houses powerful amplifiers, dual-core processor, 3 dedicated radios, Smart Beam and Smart Connect technology.
The “monster” DIR-890L AC3200 Wireless router. On the surface, you see 6 high-gain antennas. Underneath the cover houses powerful amplifiers, dual-core processor, 3 dedicated radios, Smart Beam and Smart Connect technology.

Review At A Glance
Product D-Link DIR-890L AC3200 ULTRA WiFi Router [product link]
Summary The AC3200 DIR-890L is part of D-Link ULTRA Performance Series of WiFi routers. It sports wireless speeds up to 3200Mbps and features Smart Connect and AC Smart Beam that would improve both the wireless reach and speed for your devices.
Pros+ Fast dual-core 1 GHz processor
+ Smart Connect intelligently connects each wireless device to the best available band
+ AC Smart Beam (beam forming) to direct wireless signal to your wireless devices
+ DD-WRT support in the near future
Cons – Non-replaceable antennas
SRP To be announced. Availability in 1H 2015

 

D-Link debuted their ULTRA Performance Series WiFi routers and adapters at CES 2015 –  AC5300 DIR-895L, AC3200 DIR-890L and AC3100 DIR-885L. These routers are built with speed, coverage and processing power needed to satisfy most bandwidth demanding scenarios. In this review, we will be looking at the D-Link DIR-890L AC3200 ULTRA Tri-Band Gigabit WiFi Router.

 

DIR-890L – A Super-Charged WiFi Router

Inside the DIR-890L

Removing the top cover, you will find that D-Link is doing a good job at heat-sinking the DIR-890L.

You will find a huge heat sink underneath the shell to dissipate the heat from the core components
You will find a huge heat sink underneath the shell to dissipate the heat from the core components

Underneath the heat sink reveals the RF shielded CPU, WiFi radios and PCI Express switch. The antennas are hooked up to the board using U.FL connectors. The 4 solder pads on the left seems to be for TTL communication purpose.

Beneath the heat sink are the CPU, WiFi radios, PCI Express switch
Beneath the heat sink are the CPU, WiFi radios, PCI Express switch

Key Components of the D-Link DIR-890L
CPU Broadcom BCM4709A0
RAM 512MB
Flash 128MB
Switch BCM4709A0
Radio 2.4GHz
+ Broadcom BCM43602
5.0GHz
 + 2 x Broadcom BCM43602

 

Tri-Band delivering 3200Mbps

The D-Link DIR-890L features 3 dedicated wireless radios – a single 2.4GHz radio and two individual 5GHz radios. With this, the DIR-890L is capable of delivering a combined speed up to 3200Mbps [600Mbps (2.4GHz) + 1300Mbps(5GHz) + 1300Mbps (5GHz)].

Tri-band Technology with SmartConnect distributes traffic over 3 dedicated WiFi radios optimised for network performance and reliability.
Tri-band Technology with SmartConnect distributes traffic over 3 dedicated WiFi radios optimised for network performance and reliability. (Image from http://ca.dlink.com/products/connect/wireless-ac3200-tri-band-gigabit-router/)

The Tri-Band Technology with Smart Connect exposes just a single wireless SSID. The DIR-890L intelligently chooses from the 3 WiFi bands and connects each device on your network to the best available band.

A wireless scan reveals 3 channels under the same SSID. The DIR-890L automatically connects your wireless device to the best available band
A wireless scan reveals 3 channels under the same SSID. The DIR-890L automatically connects your wireless device to the best available band

Other interesting features are:

  • AC Smart Beam. It utilises its antennas to identify your wireless devices’ location and send them a focused signal to increase range and reduce interference. Bye to those dead spots/ zones.
  • Dual-core 1GHz Processor. The 1 GHz dual-core processor gives you increased performance to support more devices and faster throughput.

 

Package Contents

The packaging of the D-Link DIR-890L AC3200 wireless router is huge!
The packaging of the D-Link DIR-890L AC3200 wireless router is huge!

Instead of the usual "eggshell" packaging, D-Link decided to use polyurethane foam instead. Slots had been cut out for the DIR-890L, manuals, power cords, etc.
Instead of the usual “eggshell” packaging, D-Link decided to use polyurethane foam instead. Slots had been cut out for the DIR-890L, manuals, power cords, etc.

The size of the packaging did not really surprise me as other AC3200 routers (i.e. Netgear NightHawk X6, ASUS RT-AC3200) have similarly large packaging. And yes, this DIR-890L is from California and that is why it is black in colour. D-Link should be offering both the red and black version for the Singapore market.

The AC3200 DIR-890L ULTRA router, power adapter, power cord, patch cord, manuals and WiFi configuration card.
The AC3200 DIR-890L ULTRA router, power adapter, power cord, patch cord, manuals and WiFi configuration card.

Within the package, you will find the following:

 

Wide-based Pyramid Shaped Router

Another view of the D-Link AC3200 DIR-890L. Instead of the flat black glossy surface, it is actually glossy galaxy!
Another view of the D-Link AC3200 DIR-890L. Instead of the flat black glossy surface, it is actually glossy galaxy!

The first question that came to my mind when I first saw the router was:

How come it looks like a pyramid with antennas?

After giving a few minutes of serious thinking, I guess it was to allow sufficient space for the DIR-890L to be passively cooled. And probably discourage people from putting stuffs on it which prevent heat dissipation.

All the six antennas of the DIR-890L are not replaceable. If you are into modification, you can replace them with U.FL-RSMA pigtails and attach your own antennas.

The LED panel runs up the middle of the DIR-890L. It shows you the status of your Internet, 2.4G & 5G wireless and USB 2.0 & 3.0.
The LED panel runs up the middle of the DIR-890L. It shows you the status of your Internet, 2.4G & 5G wireless and USB 2.0 & 3.0.

Instead of a flat single tone Red or Black glossy surface, it is like those Galaxy-black granite table top. Seems classy enough to be a tabletop display in the living room.

Along the middle of the DIR-890L, you will find the LED status panel where you get informed on the status of your DIR-890L’s Power, Internet (WAN), 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz radio and USB 2.0 & USB 3.0 device connection.

The usual ports at the back - USB 3.0, USB 2.0,  Reset, WPS, 4 x Gigabit LAN, Gigabit WAN, Power, Power jack.
The usual ports at the back – USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Reset, WPS, 4 x Gigabit LAN, Gigabit WAN, Power, Power jack.

Turning the DIR-890L around, you will find the following ports (from left to right) – USB 3.0 port, USB 2.0 port, Reset button, WPS button, 4 Gigabit LAN ports, Gigabit WAN Port, Power button and Power jack.

 

Refreshed Web Administration

Like the DIR-880L, the DIR-890L comes with the redesigned web administration that is pretty much mouse/touch-driven. The user interface is easier to understand and simpler to configure. However, advanced user might find the lack of real advance settings uncomfortable. Below is a quick run through of the DIR-890L web administration page.

 

Speed Monster

To be updated…

 

Picture Gallery

 

5 thoughts on “D-Link DIR-890L AC3200 ULTRA Tri-Band Gigabit WiFi Router

  • February 8, 2015 at 12:11 am
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    Look good!

  • February 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm
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    when i purchase any item, i got for user experience. I’m the first to admit i’m, not very techie so fancy words don’t get to me…but one thing i love about D-Link product is that they always deliver (at least to me) what is expected of them & i am certain that this AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router is no exception. I’m looking forward to a faster connection given this is what is promised and i know my brother will really love this since he is the geeky one in the family. lol can’t wait to buy one already…cheers! btw…i really love the video they have as well 😉 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-LkrO918S8

  • March 4, 2015 at 6:09 am
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    Amazing router, hope can´t get some opensource firmware like tomato or ddwrt will be wonderfull

  • October 10, 2016 at 7:34 pm
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    it really has only 256 mb of ram, not 512mb

Comments are closed.