As routers become more advanced over time, the biggest question on anyone’s mind when considering a new device is what exactly does one offer over another? Why am I required to spend exuberant amounts of money on a device that will likely sit in a corner and gather dust? The answer is usually two things: speed and quality.
Design-wise, the D-Link Viper is an extremely solid product. With its cylinder-like shape it allows you to literally put it wherever you desire, without the worry of it getting in the way. For myself, I’ve situated mine underneath the office desk, away from sight but still within reach if need be.
Alongside the back of the router is your typical port configuration; four Gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB slots with one performing at USB 3.0 speeds, a DSL connection and a Wi-Fi on/off switch. Adorning the front is a WPS button, though calling it a button is a bit too generous, more so a raised plastic bump. At cord connection is extremely easy thanks to the flat rectangular back of the cylinder design, so you won’t have to worry about placing cords at odd angles like your typical router design.
Straight on the front of the box you’ll find one of the biggest features D-Link is touting for the Viper AC1900, and that is ‘Advanced AC SmartBeam.’ According to D-Link this feature brings “you the future of high-bandwith Wi-Fi connectivity, vastly increasing the speed and coverage of your network.” To put it simply, you’ll be able to wander around your house without fear of the Internet dropping unexpectedly thanks to this advanced Wi-Fi technology.
Where I am currently living is situated in the heart of Ashgrove, Brisbane and with that choice of living comes some quite heavy wireless interference. With this SmartBeam technology I was able to gain full bars all throughout my house, while also experiencing at the very least two to three bars of reception outside of the house. The increased reception allowed me to worry less about moving too far away from the router, and enjoy my devices with more consistent speeds.
With full bars of connectivity and connected to the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi channel my iPhone 6 was able to record a download of 11.79 Mbps and an upload of 0.88 Mbps on Internode’s ADSL2+. Connected to the 5GHz Wi-Fi channel my download clocked in at 12.45 Mbps and uploads were hovering around the 0.90 Mbps mark.
Like our previous 880L review, setup for the Viper was extremely easy. Plugging in the product was as straightforward as you would expect from a cylinder device. Tweaking was possible through the easy-to-use web interface, though general users won’t need to worry outside the typical wireless password changes. Due to the use of Cloud control, users can also utilise an Android or iOS app to modify settings externally, though I wasn’t able to test how well these platforms worked due to some account issues (the Cloud settings require a D-Link account).
Dual-band is also an absolutely amazing feature, and one that I hope other routers and modems help bring this feature to mass market. With the ability to tie down specific MAC addresses to either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands, it definitely helps split up the churning traffic of devices that require far higher speeds than something like the fridge or TV.
The Viper Dual Band AC1900 Modem Router is an exceptional piece of hardware with little to no flaws, besides price of course. With a stylish look that invites an easy-to-use setup, the Viper is well-equipped for high-density houses thanks to its SmartBeam system. By allowing uninterrupted reception I was able to enjoy all of my devices without worry, a true relaxing thought when it comes to technology and hardware.
SmartBeam extends reception to areas previously spotty
Design is robust but not eye-searing to look at
Dual band Wi-Fi is extremely handy for device splitting
Price point is high