In some ways we’re sad to be reviewing the DSL-3785. This modem router supports both Australia’s second-rate NBN network plus New Zealand’s superior, ibre-based UFB (Ultra-Fast Broadband) equivalent – it hurt knowing we couldn’t get the best from it.
Nonetheless, as many long-suffering owners of poor internet connections know, bad modem routers (frequently the models supplied by ISPs) can dramatically amplify one’s frustrations. While the DSL-3785’s $200 price tag isn’t particularly cheap in today’s market, it’s not overly expensive and aims to offer high-end, consumer-level features to people with new connections or upgraders.
We tested the diminutive D-Link in our three-storey Sydney townhouse and were delighted to see that it streamed internet and HD video to the top loor just as happily as its larger, more-expensive rival managed. However, for Ultra High Definition streams you’ll still need a Wi-Fi range extender or an (expensive) Mesh Wi-Fi system if you want your network to perform at distance.
In past tests, we’ve noted that MU-MIMO (Multiple User-MIMO) Wi-Fi technology doesn’t make much difference to performance, even when a mobile device is compatible with it. Nonetheless, we found that the router successfully streamed multiple videos around the house while the kids were on YouTube. Still, if you need to ensure that some devices are prioritized for bandwidth, you can separate them onto the dual 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
The DSL-3785 is simple to setup via a web interface and the firmware-based features are easy to navigate. It’s very much a domestic unit with no VPN terminations or corporate features, but the likes of port forwarding are easy to configure and visitors can connect to a guest network without gaining access to your private files.
Ultimately, it’s small, unobtrusive, reliable (though time will tell), good value and fast which is all many people will want from a modem router. Whether you need to set-up a new connection or you’ve had a lustful of your current connection not performing as it should, it’s worth a look.
- KEY SPECS
• dual-band AC1200 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi
• RJ-11 port • 1x USB 2.0 port
• 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports (one is WAN confi gurable)
• Guest Network • nbn and UFB ready
$200 • www.dlink.com.au