802.11n, 2x 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet ports
This small router uses an internal antenna and doesn't support the full 802.11n specification, instead promising 150Mbit/s "N-lite" speeds for around half the cost of most certified 802.11n devices. It only has two LAN ports so it'll appeal more to those who rely on wireless rather than wired connections.
There's a setup CD that launches a three-step wizard to get up and running. Accessing the router's web interface directly, we were prompted to start a wizard to configure the ADSL connection and wireless security. The interface is clearer than some but the layout could be better. An Advanced section goes into more detail for Wi-Fi, internet and LAN settings, and is home to DNS, firewall and DMZ settings. Some settings, such the ability to configure VLANs, are beyond the needs of most users, but others are worth knowing, such as the Bandwidth control in the advanced wireless settings that controls channel-bonding. Thankfully, it's turned off by default.
Other advanced settings are missing: there's no Wireless Distribution Service (WDS) support for extending the range of a wireless network by adding an extra Wi-Fi router. Neither are there any Quality of Service (QoS) controls for prioritising certain types of traffic, so you won't be able to ensure that your video will play smoothly if someone else in the house is downloading files over Bittorrent.
We found wireless speeds to be generally good, averaging around 40Mbit/s in both Near and Far tests, although using D-Link's own DWA-160 USB dongle (£32) didn't improve speeds at all. Speeds in our Very Far test were much lower, though – not just compared to the nearer tests but also compared to other routers in our Very Far test. At least the connection didn't drop completely.
Although the DSL-2680 has only two LAN ports, those who primarily use wireless devices at home, such as iPods, laptops and smartphones, won't mind the lack of physical ports. However the TP-Link TD-W8961ND is better value, despite its arcane interface.