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D-Link DIR-842 review: Accentuating the ‘less’ in wireless

D-Link DIR-842 review – These days most of us already have broadband, so we already have a Wifi router. The main reason to replace it is to improve speeds or reception – purposes very well served by the new mesh routers we’ve reviewed over the past year. If you happen to need a new Wi-Fi router but don’t have a particularly big home nor require state-of-the-art features, D-Link’s DIR-842 might fit the bill for under 50 quid.

D-Link DIR-842 review

It’s basic, cheap, and very effective at short distances

With its shiny black case and impressive-looking aerials, you wouldn’t guess it was fairly rudimentary, even if it is compact.

You can sit it on a surface or hang it on the wall. Note that it’s purely a router. If you currently have a router and a separate modem unit, you’ll plug the DIR-842 into the modem’s Ethernet port. If you’re using a combined ADSL/VDSL modem-router, you’ll need to add the DIR-842 on, which may require reading the manual.

There’s no USB port to add a shared printer, and it’s not compatible with You View services such as BT Sport (a common limitation). But the DIR-842 is a solid enough 802.11ac router, creating two networks, one for the old 2.4GHz band and one for 5GHz. You can also set up a guest network on each band, to avoid giving out your own password.

Setup is pretty simple, and options are then chosen via a web browser. Basic features like DHCP allocation, port forwarding and dynamic DNS. Web filtering can be set up, but it’s fiddly. If you do want to try to block unsuitable


Dual-band 802.11ac/a/b/g/n/ac • 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports • 1x WAN port • 38x190x133mm (HxWxD) • 288g • Two-year warranty sites, your ISP’s options may be a better bet.

In our tests, the DIR-842 was just as effective at short distances as a typical mesh router. At the furthest corners of the house, though, we got much lower speeds or couldn’t keep a reliable connection at all. Within its limitations the DIR-842 worked fine.

D-Link DIR-842 review: VERDICT

A single-box router can’t compete with the latest mesh routers, but if you can live with its limitations, it’s good value

D-Link DIR-842 review: ALTERNATIVE

TP-Link Archer C9

This adds USB sharing and extra performance tweaks.

Choose the D9 if you need an ADSL modem built in

D-Link DIR-842 review: Accentuating the ‘less’ in wireless
D-Link DIR-842 review: Accentuating the ‘less’ in wireless


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