All hail internet! Thanks to internet, you can read this article today, and I can have salary because of it.
That being said, internet is one of the greatest inventions ever, after the wheel, fire, remote control and three-ply toilet paper.
I still remember the sound of dial-up and how anxious we all were when you really wanted to go online but someone just had to use the phone.
Today it’s different and we live in a crazy age. But one thing is the same.
Wi-Fi routers are the ones that remained absolutely necessary when it comes to connecting to internet, plus we have a huge variety when it comes to Wi-Fi clients.
For example, I’m writing the review of D-Link AC1200 Wi-Fi Router (DIR-842) from my laptop and I’ll be working tomorrow from a PC. Crazy times.
In today’s article we will describe and break down the facts about one of the most common routers, we will speak about the bandwidth and good and bad sides, plus we’ll instruct you how to install it, if you don’t already know how to do that.
Basically, we’ll introduce this little fella to you and after reading the article, you’ll know everything there is to know about it.
So, check your internet connection before we start, because it’s probable you’ll want to change your router after reading this article. Let’s go!
Table of Contents
Design and features
This router is midrange and it’s smaller than most of the mi and high-end models. Because it’s smaller you can place it in more places than bigger models, which makes it more convenient if you don’t have a big desk or if you just don’t want it to be visible.
It’s pretty sleek and shiny, all black and it gives off very fancy and elegant vibe. As you can see from the picture, it has 4 antennas, but the bad part is that they’re not removable, so if anything happens or if you want to replace them, it’s a no can do thing.
As for LED lights, there are 8 indicators on the front panel for internet, WPS and Wi-Fi activity, power, activities for ports that are wired. There are four LAN ports in the back, and conveniently, in the back is the Power button too.
Reset button is not visible and it’s in the bottom. Inside are two radios that offer power up in theory, where Wi-Fi can reach 1200 Mbps, but those are not speeds that are real.
First radio is expected to achieve 300 Mbps for 2,4 Ghz and second radio is expected to achieve 876 Mbps for 5 Ghz.
This router supports traffic prioritization, which can be very handy. It uses QoS technology and the router will try to prioritize traffic to those clients you think are important. You can set up 1 device of the highest importance, two of high importance and 8 of medium importance.
Time & Schedule
Dir-842 will retrieve your local time once it connects to internet and you can make schedules, for example, you can set up you router to turn off during night.
Very neat feature which parents (and everyone who feels like one) can use to block certain contents and websites. If you enable the website filter, max of 15 websites can be blocked.
In both 2,4 and 5 Ghz you can set up guest Wi-Fi. What does that mean? Well, first of all, you’ll have better security because you’ll have to use two passwords. And second, people connected on guest Wi-Fi can only communicate with outside world and cannot communicate with devices on your local network.
Installation and performance
Okay, it’s pretty obvious that if you want to use it, you’ll have to install the router. We’ll provide step by step instruction, there’s absolutely no chance you won’t be able to do it by yourself.
Locate the wizard
Once you connect your device (laptop, PC) to the router, pages you visit will show the wizard and installation. You’ll also get a CD with the router, and the setup is written on the device’s top. Next stop would be to find your preferred language and press next.
Your device will now try to access internet and if the attempt is successful, you will be able to change your password and Wi-Fi SSID. Now, once that is over, router will make you change the default admin password with a new one that has at least 6 characters.
That option is actually very useful, for number of reasons, but the most important reason is that vast majority of users just keep using the default password. Way to go, D-link, for forcing us to think about our security more.
That’s it, your router is installed and ready to use. You can connect to internet and surf all you like. But, what about performance?
Given the fact this is dual band router, it means that you can keep your lower bandwidth devices on 2,4 Ghz channel and those of higher bandwidth can be connected to 5 Ghz channel. When we placed the device in the same room as the router, 2,4 Ghz scored 75 Mbps which is great. When the distance was 30 feet, it scored 41 Mbps.
Speaking of 5 Ghz, if the device was in the same room as the router, it scored 330 Mbps, and when the distance was 30 feet, it was 111 Mbps. For mid-range product, it develops very good speed and most importantly, it’s stabile. That means if you connect 10 devices to your router, it won’t just wither and die under pressure, but will heroically endure everything you throw at it.
Warranty & Support
Warranty is expected to last for 2 years, coming straight from the manufacturer, but there were some reports that the warranty lasted only 60 days or 1 year and that you have to pay some additional sum of money for extended warranty.
That’s pretty stupid, because warranty is important. If something happens to your router, you have to be able to replace it and warranty should cover that.
As for the support, you can visit D-link website and you can search for your device there. Once you find it, you’ll see bunch of links, videos and tutorials for all your problems. If that doesn’t help, you can send them an e-mail explaining your problem.
Pros and cons
One of the first things you’ll notice is the price. For all the perks this router has, it is pretty cheap and affordable. (check our list of best cheap router). Easy set up makes it very desirable, it’s important to not spend too much time or to have to hire an IT guy to come and do it instead of you. Everyone can do it, and we would say it’s one of the best things about this product. Like for the Asus RT-AC88U Dual-Band, design is very glossy, black color is very posh and pleasant to your eyes.
It has great features. Parental control is great, because it’s practically impossible to track your children and monitor what pages they’re visiting. Plus, the setup forces you to change your password from default to something you want, and that is, hands down, one of the best options. D-link really thinks about your security because, as we already mentioned, a lot of users would just continue using the router with default password, thus making it easier and more prone to hacking.
As for Wi-Fi performance, QoS will prioritize your traffic and it will enable smoother connection. Bandwidth will be equally split between the not so important traffic and, for example, Netflix as traffic that will eat up half of your speed will be divided from the rest. Check here our list of best ac routers in the market.
It’s great for multiple devices, you can connect up to 15 devices, like basically all of the devices you have in your home. 2,4 Ghz performance is great and it does not overload the network but 5 Ghz is somehow decent, depending how you use it.
Now, what can be a deal breaker with this product? We’ve already explained a lot about good sides, but let us continue in not so positive note.
It does not support DFS, meaning you can only use 4 out of 12 5 Ghz channels, where most models have 8 channels. It won’t change the speed or performance, but depending on your needs, it can be problematic. We don’t know if this is important to you, but there is no USB port.
Yup, you read it right, no USB port. Antennas can’t be removed or replaced which is not a great thing, given the fact that something can happen to them, things break or stop functioning and you should be able to replace the no functioning parts.
There we are, at the end of our voyage. We equipped you with some neat facts about D-Link AC1200 Wi-Fi Router (DIR-842), we explained pros and cons and gave you a small tutorial how to install it.
You can now decide for yourself if this is the right router for you and your needs, and we would like to hear what you think about this product in the comments. Thanks for reading!