D-Link’s DIR-885L router is designed for today’s more demanding and sophisticated users. Rightfully so, as applications and bandwidth demands have doubled or tripled.
In a typical household, WiFi devices easily numbers in the 10-20s, with each household member having 3-4 WiFi connected devices, not to mention a slew of accessories such as remote controllers, WiFi cameras, network storage and more.
The DIR-885L is equipped with MU-MIMO capabilities, which I will explain in a later bit, dual band WiFi, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, with speeds up to 1000Mbps and 2167 Mbps respectively.
While it’s the smaller brother compared to the DIR-890L and 895L, the 885L is in fact a newer model and sports some design improvements. Sporting the same bright red design, it has two WiFi bands (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) compared to the three the DIR-890L (single 2.4 GHz and double 5 GHz). It is still able to deliver a total of 3150 Mbps bandwidth, compared to the 3200 Mbps on the 890L.
MU-MIMO is a new WiFi technology that allows for better efficiency in data transmitting over WiFi, which enhances the connection speed of clients, even though they may be of differing WiFi grades. This means you should be able to connect many different types of devices and have them all perform optimally.
Besides, MU-MIMO, the DIR-885L has is that the antennas are detachable and replaceable. For even better performance, you can swap them out with high gain antennas. By the way, the router can also serve as a Network Video Recorder (NVR) with D-Link cameras.
Interface on the DIR-885L is rather user friendly. It shares the same as the DIR-890L which we covered here.
The DIR-885L is a little pricey compared to other routers. But there are some unique advantages. DD-WRT is supported and great for the more demanding users. For the less tech inclined, the D-LINK default interface is user-friendly and offers useful features such as off-site access and monitoring. I appreciated that the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands share the same SSID, in fact, it’s a default setting, which makes it more transparent to users. I think most users would appreciate this. New device connected notification, ability to disable / modify wireless settings, monitor upload / download bandwidth, parental control, reboot router is an amazing tool to have on the go especially if you are setting up the router for your less tech-inclined family members.
When comparing the performance against my previous DIR-865L router, I used to had poor or no connection in the kitchen, approximately 10m away from the router, and separated by two walls. With the DIR-885L, signal strength hovered around 40+ dB which was a marked improvement.
There are other routers in the market, your traditional slab of black with antennas poking out, but the D-Link routers are distinctive due to their bright and aggressive design. That alone, would win the hearts of some home owners. Like the DIR-890L, the DIR-885L is a beautiful product, and offers above par networking performance for today’s homes. Despite its smaller brother tag, new features such as MU-MIMO should put it above the DIR-890L.