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D-Link AC3200 Wi-Fi Router - Let's Fly

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Let’s cut right to the chase: you will probably start off by wanting the D-Link AC3200 ‘Ultra Wi-Fi Router’ just because of the way that it looks. It looks like a spaceship. The good thing is that it doesn’t just look like one, but it almost flies like one too thanks to the wireless AC standard in use. The bad thing is that it almost costs the price of a spaceship too; pushing it outside of the reach for most gamer’s homes.

This – still impressive – piece of kit will set you back over R4,500, but keep in mind that on top of that, while it is dubbed a router, the D-Link is actually much closer to a gateway, meaning you will still need a traditional router to be a companion to it. Of course, once coupled, you will be sitting with some pretty capable hardware if you’re looking (and need) to share your bandwidth with a few others in your household.

But, I should point out that there is no reason to get stuck with the focus of home use with this router, as it certainly has a place – and use – in offices and at events where controlling wireless bandwidth use is a requirement.

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Let’s get technical

Well, let’s get as technical as it is safe to do without chasing everyone to Wikipedia.

Under the hood of the router is a 1GHz Dual Core CPU. Due to this more powerful CPU, the router can is capable of reducing lag when doing its job. There are also two USB ports available on the router. One is a USB 3.0 port and is perfect for external storage devices which will be available to everyone connected to the router. The second USB port is of the 2.0 variety and allows for printer to be accessed via the network without the hassle of setting up printer sharing on a PC.

Also available are four Gigabit network ports to ensure fast physical connections to the router.

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But, the truth of the matter is that with the six antennas, the real focus of the router would naturally be on the W-Fi capabilities, and the router features triband Wi-Fi - one sits in the 2.4Ghz N range and two sit in the 5Ghz AC range. So imagine fast and super-fast in terms of wireless capabilities – as long as you are within the 30m connection radius of the device.

All this is monitored by AC Smartbeam, which quietly goes about its job, and tracks all connected AC capable devices to maintain high transfer speeds and range. It does this by increasing power output to the specific antennas where the devices are connected to.

The D-Link AC3200 comes with a WPS button, allowing for easy connection between devices and the router without the need for a password (although the password option is still there). While this is nothing particularly revolutionary (considering it is available on many current devices), the ease of use was very notable with the D-Link.

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Behind the scenes

The router’s control panel allows for extensive control of the device – and the access granted to other devices. Website filtering, automatic VPN setup, connected device priority and more are available in a relatively easy to grasp manner (well, I managed, so anyone can).

In a household where YouTube is being watched, Facebook being abused and you are just wanting to game without teleporting across the map, you can prioritise machines on the network using the QoS (Quality of Service) Engine.

So give your console (or other gaming device) the highest priority and only when there is excess bandwidth not being used will it get passed on to the devices with a lower priority, meaning your mom’s YouTube watching will take the hit while you play on lag free.

The D-Link comes with the mydlink Lite App (a mobile app) for remotely managing the router and will alert you to connection attempts as well as control and troubleshoot your network. The app is available for Android, Apple and Windows Phones.

Is this the router for you?

Truthfully, the router is a tech fans dream, but it’s difficult to justify the cost for the average home user. However, gaming – and general - event companies, households with plenty of connected devices and even small businesses will find that the D-Link AC3200 will make their internet use generally a lot more palatable and controlled. But come on… it looks so awesome, you will probably just buy it to show it off at your next gaming get together at your house.

You can read more about the D-Link AC3200 here, and choose from one of the retail options here.

Thanks to Ryno ‘SonZ’ Warwick for input with this article.

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"give your console (or other gaming device) the highest priority"

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