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If you are not a big internet user and do not play a lot of games online then perhaps a more traditional wireless router would be your speed, but hardcore gamer or not, when it comes to the internet, speed counts.~J.A. Laraque
D-Link Gaming Router AC1300 (DGL-5500)
When it comes to gaming, online bandwidth and speed are extremely important. In some of our other reviews the question was if a specific device was good for the casual gamer or the hardcore gamer, but when it comes to your internet, a good router is needed no matter what type of gamer you are.
The first thing you need to remember about PC Gaming is you are going to require the internet to get the most out of it. For the most part, PC games are going to be played online and require patches, content downloads and the ability to look up information or connecting with gaming community. If you are into multiply games or MMO’s, then a good internet connect and router is even more important.
The D-Link Gaming Router is designed to give you control over bandwidth, but give specific aspects of your online life a speed boost. The first way this is done is with StreamBoost from Quadcomm which uses Traffic Shaping.
So what is traffic shaping, here it is in a nutshell. You control the flow of data to your online sources. Think of it like a river and you control where the water flows and how much flows to a specific area. So if you are playing a game like Diablo 3, and you are also downloading a video game demo while your sister is watching NetFlix and your mother is listing to music on Pandora, with traffic shaping, you can make sure your game won’t lag while also making sure the video and audio streams are interrupted and slow the download of the demo as it may not be a high priority.
Now beyond control is speed and this I tested with different devices like my tablet and phone as well as my laptop and desktop. I did notice an increase in speed when watching shows on Netflix even if patching a game and downloading demos. This comes in handy if you are a serious multi-tasker like me. I often have ten or more browser windows open while streaming music, updating Steam or BattleNet and playing an online game. Keep in mind that this works with multiple devices in your home so if you have a lot of users connected to your wireless network this can help insure your game does not suffer crippling lag.
Now some people did not like the shape. I like to read the reviews of people who purchased the product on places like NewEgg or Amazon and while some of the comments and low scores are unwarranted based on issues such as shipping, there were some based on its “Coffee Grinder” shape. Personally, this doesn’t bother me at all, but I do know some of my friends who stack all their network devices on top of one another so I guess in that case it could be an issue. I also like the two green LED lights that tell me when the unit is on and when it is connected and the ports in the back are lined up fine.
As far as specifications, speaking of ports, there are 4 ports for 10/100/1000M, these are wired connections and one for WAN to connect your modem. It offers IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n with wireless data rates up to 867+450Mbps and a frequency band of 2.4GHz/5GHz. This means you will be able to connect using the different networking options you may have available by your ISP or specific types of connections you specific devices will need. Pretty much all the current connection options are there. Another complaint was the USB 2.0 port because people felt it should have been USB 3.0 and I have to agree with them there.
Another good thing is setup. The D-Link Gaming Router AC1300 comes with the main unit, an Ethernet cable, power adapter and a quick install guide. Trust me, this is a simple setup, and pretty much you plug it in, run the software and you are good to go. Now some people have talked about not using the StreamBoost and as a result you do not get access to some of the features in the UI interface. The interface is reached by entering the IP of the router and setting up your login and password.
Now if you don’t use StreamBoost then the network map that shows all the different connected devices and how much traffic each is receiving won’t be there. I read up on people who said that having the StreamBoost did not work for them in anything or that it even slowed them down. Now I did not notice my download speeds change, but updating games and streaming video I saw a real positive difference.
There were reviews that talk about the system not noticing some types of streaming so I tested it using different types from Netflix to Hbo2Go, Xbox 360 Videos, Twitch and Youtube and the software detected it correctly. I also tested steaming on other devices like my Android phone and an Apple Ipad. I did this because of reports of it thinking a stream from NBA league pass online was general internet traffic and not a video stream. What this would mean is if it was not device or application aware, it would not properly designate what should get the proper bandwidth.
Now the important thing here is the price. At prices ranging from $150 to $179, a router at this price range could turn away those who might look at this router as only for the hardcore gamer the way you would be weary of purchasing a pair of $300 wireless headphones. However, here it is not just about gaming, it is about all your devices that use your bandwidth and if you have a lot of connected devices then going beyond the low cost option is worth it. If you are not a big internet user and do not play a lot of games online then perhaps a more traditional wireless router would be your speed, but hardcore gamer or not, when it comes to the internet, speed counts.
Overall, I am pleased with the D-Link Gaming Router and I noticed a big improvement with video steaming and updating and running of games. If you are a heavy internet user and a gamer then you should seriously consider getting this router. The system is easy to setup and get running and while the price point may be a little high, it is the additional features and performance boost that makes it worth the cost, totally not Obsolete.