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Buffalo WZR-1166DHP review

Kat Orphanides
31 Jan 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
92
inc VAT

Powerful, capable and easy to use, this is one of the best 802.11ac routers around

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Specifications

802.11n dual band, 4x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports

The Buffalo WZR-1166DHP is a simultaneous dual-band router with both a 2.4GHz 802.11n and a 5GHz 802.11ac wireless network, with the latter having a theoretical maximum throughput of 866Mbit/s.

The router is, like most AC models, fairly chunky, but its matt black finish means that it can be stuck in a dark corner without being too noticeable. It's a standard Ethernet router, without an ADSL or VDSL modem built into it, which makes it ideal for use with cable or fibre services where you're given a modem and left to get on with it.

Buffalo WZR-1166DHP

At the back of the router are a four-port Gigabit Ethernet switch and a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port. Above those is a USB3 port which you can use to connect a printer or external hard disk. We were pleased to find that there's an eject button just above it, so you can safely remove connected USB disks without having to log into the router's web interface to unmount them.

In a well-considered design touch, as well as the copy of the default Wi-Fi password on the bottom of the router, it’s also on a removable plastic slip that you can take to the computer you’re trying to connect. It would have been even more convenient and less confusing to some if Buffalo had labelled its 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks as such, rather than as A and G.

Using our laptop's built-in Centrino 2 wireless chipset, we saw 2.4GHz transfer speeds of 46Mbit/s at 1m, 36.1Mbits at 10m and 11.5Mbit/s at 20m; all fairly respectable. We were pleased to find that our laptop could connect to the router in 5GHz mode without our having change the router's settings, but its performance was mediocre: 41.7Mbit/s at 1m, 36.8Mbit/s at 10 and a failure to maintain a connection at 20m.

Using Buffalo's own dongle made a massive difference to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz performance. In our 2.4Ghz test, we got speeds of 69.1Mbit/s at 1m, 87Mbit/s at 10am and 43.6Mbit/s at 20m, while its 5GHz transfer speeds were very quick: 158.5Mbits at 1m, 109.7Mbit/s at 10m and 47.6Mbit/s at 20m.

Buffalo WZR-1166DHP

The WZR-1166DHP is really easy to use. The web interface's main page makes it easy to adjust critical features, such as your wireless settings and passwords, free Norton ConnectSafe content filtering and QoS to determine what kind of content gets priority access to your internet connection, whether it's video, voice or games. Meanwhile, the advanced settings include options to customise a wireless guest network, run a media server as download content via an integrated BitTorrent client, as well as the usual port forwarding and IP filtering options you'd expect to find in any decent router.

At around a little under £100, the WZR-1166DHP is reasonably priced for an 802.11ac router, while its sound performance, excellent interface and wide-ranging features make it one of the best we've reviewed to date. However, the Tenda W1800R also performs well and costs a fair bit less.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
Modem typenone
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
Draft 802.11n supportyes
Draft 802.11n 5GHz supportyes
MIMOyes
Turbo modechannel-bonding
Stated speed866Mbit/s

Security

WPAPSK (TKIP, AES)
WPA2yes
Firewallyes
MAC address filteringyes
DMZyes

Physical

Size212x34x183mm
Internal/external antennasinternal
Upgradeable antennano
Number of WAN ports1
Ethernet ports4
Ethernet connection speed10/100/1000Mbit/s
Other ports1x USB3
Wall mountableno
Power consumption on7W

Other Features

Dynamic DNSyes
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
DHCP serveryes
MAC spoofingyes
Port forwardingyes
WDS Supportyes
USB device supportyes
QoSyes

Buying Information

Price£92
Warrantythree years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.uk.insight.com
Detailswww.buffalo-technology.com