D-Link DIR-890L review

Richard Easton
20 Jul 2015
D-Link DIR-890L teaser image
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

The DIR-890L is a good choice if you have a lot of devices on your network, but its long-range performance is below par for the price



Modem: None, Wi-Fi standard: 802.11ac, Stated speed: 3,200Mbit/s, USB ports: 1x USB3, 1x USB, Wall mountable: Yes

The D-Link DIR-890L is a seriously eye-catching router, which is halfway between interstellar probe and space scarab. It’s available in glossy red or a slightly more subdued black; not everyone is going to be fond of its heavily angular, pyramidal shape, but we found its design a refreshing break from the norm.

The router’s tri-band specification requires a whopping six external high-gain antennas. This means it’s able to broadcast two 5GHz and one 2.4GHz networks. With a theoretical throughput of 600Mbit/s on 2.4GHz and 1,300Mbit/s on each of the 5GHz bands, you’re not left wanting for network bandwidth.

D-Link DIR-890L quarter shot

As the DIR-890L doesn’t have a built-in modem, there’s a Gigabit WAN port for connecting to an ADSL or fibre modem or another router. There are the usual full-speed Gigabit LAN ports for connecting your wired network devices, and you can add storage to your network through a USB3 and USB port on the rear of the router.

The faster USB3 port will be ideal for network-attached storage, and it also works with the dlink SharePort application so you can access all your files while on the move away from your network. You’ll need to install the mydlink SharePort app on your iOS or Android devices, but after you've done this you'll have an easy way to access your content. The slower USB port can be used to share a printer across your network, but you’ll need to install the dlink SharePort utility on each computer you want to use to print.

The DIR-890L has a much cleaner admin interface than we’ve seen on some of D-Link’s routers in the past, and it’s now much easier to navigate. We particularly liked the approach to scheduling. You can use the simple interface to create schedule profiles and then apply these profiles to various features, such as to access control or QoS, so they’re only in operation at those specific times. It’s also possible to easily deny access to a specific list of websites or restrict access to only certain websites at times you choose. Other useful functions, such as Port Forwarding, are easy to find.

D-Link DIR-390L admin scheduling

The DIR-890L uses Smart Connect, meaning that out of the box all three networks are broadcast under one SSID. The router is able to detect the connecting wireless device and connect it to the most appropriate network, by taking into account factors such as network traffic. You can easily disable Smart Connect if you want three distinct networks with passwords you set yourself.