"Dlinks's DIR655 performs significantly better, cheaper"1.5 starson by neosynthesis
Pros: Compared to other dual radio routers on the market currently, the most feature rich out of the box router
Most security minded features in home grade routers (Dlink offer the same features on cheaper models)
Cons: Same features as cheaper Dlink Models
5GHz performance not as good nor as stable as Dlink's own DIR 655
5GHz has dramatically poor range compared to its own 2.4GHz
2.4GHz performance significantly worse compared to DIR655
USB port Windoze only
Summary: DLink's own DIR 655 has set such a high standard in performance (basically the best 2.4GHz draft N router to date), the 825 simply could not top.
I have been eagerly trying to upgrade to any dual band radio (2 radios and single radio routers) I could get my hands on, Linksys, Apple's very well received Airport Extreme, and this DIR825 and have always come back to the DIR655 because the performance has always been worse off.
Some background on my usage:
Wired connections: 2 PCs for torrent and media serving, VOIP phone.
- 1 PC for work via VPN
- 2 Macs
- Apple TV for streaming divx/h264 content from the media server
- 1 Win Mobile, 1 iPhone
I live in a modest sized 2 story house of roughly 3000 ft^2. There are more than 3 other wireless networks here in my neighbourhood.
Using wireless sniffing tools, I could easily tell that the DIR825 signal on the 2.4GHz band drops by 50% on average even going to the next room. The noise level is at roughly 20% at the same distance.
On the 5GHz freq. even using wide band the signal drops to 40% in the same room, just next door, but the noise is held steadily at 8% (I was the only network using 5GHz).
The numbers in real world terms means that I was seeing the "Buffering Video" message when I'm streaming videos from the web more than actually watching the videos. In both 2.4 and 5GHz frequencies!
With the awesome DIR655, after the initial buffering of a few seconds, I almost never experienced another buffering for watching a hour long show.
Keep in mind other than the addition of the 5GHz radio, there is absolutely no difference in terms of the router settings I've testing between the DIR 655 vs 825.
In fact, the DIR 655's performance was so stellar, it even beat the video streaming performance of the Airport Extreme on 5GHz wide band. The only advantage of the Airport Extreme over the DIR 655 (speaking only for my use) was that the USB port on the Airport Extreme could be shared by PCs and Macs, whereas DLinks are made for Windows fan boys.
Save yourself some money and get more performance out of the DIR 655.
BUT get the hardware version A4 (currently the latest) as they have made quite a few improvements on the DIR655. I know because I've own every single version from A1 and have tried every single firmware on the 655. The latest version has the ability to turn off unused ports to save power, and it would detect wire length to adjust and send just enough power to keep your connections happy (I'm talking about wired connections obviously). I've own A1 and A2 versions and they all got burned out due to my heavy usage.
There is a DNS relay issue with the latest firmware that affects both DIR655 and 825, may be others in the same line as well. So far there is no fix, just turn the feature off and you won't notice a difference in performance as it was questionable that it would even add to performance in the first place.