I’ve always been a fan of D-Link routers so was interested to see whether it’s new Smart DIR-X1560 wi-fi 6 would “unleash” the “lightening fast” speeds that the marketing brochure promised me.
D-Link seems to targeting the connected/smart home market with this wi-fi 6 router as it says the AX1500 is the “ultimate router for the connected home”, perfect for device-heavy homes and offering more bandwidth without affecting data-intensive applications like 4K streaming and gaming.
D-Link says wi-fi 6 (which uses the 802.11ax protocol) delivers speeds up to 2 to 3 times faster than 802.11ac routers and offers up to 1200 Mbps on the 5GHz band and 300 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
Out of the box, the DIR-X1560 is a pretty bare bones router offering four gigabit LAN ports, an WAN port, a WPS connection button and the power button at the back – and that’s it. There’s no anti-malware protection and parental controls are fairly basic.
It’s also quite a bit smaller than the DIR 3060, too, with four antennae instead of six like on the DIR 3060. There’s also no USB port so when you need to update the router’s firmware you’ll need to do it via the internet and not using a USB stick. It also supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but I didn’t test out those features.
Setting up the DIR-X1560 was super simple like most of the other D-Link routers I’ve used and you can either scan the QR code in the supplied documentation and use D-Link’s smartphone app or connect it to the internet via ethernet then visit the D-Link site to complete the setup. I chose the QR code/app route and it was hassle free: Within a few minutes I was up and running and connect and the unit had even upgraded its firmware.
My five-year-old home is internally wired with ethernet ports in various rooms (ie study, bedroom, kitchen, family room) so I can plug devices directly into the walls to ensure consistent internet speeds but the services panel where everything technical enters the property is located in the garage about 15 metres away from the main living areas – and that’s what the DIR-X1560 was plugged into.
I tested the speed of the wi-fi from three rooms in my house: The main bedroom (which is one of the closest rooms to where the router is situated), the study/spare room and the kitchen/dining area.
The bedroom speed test returned around 38.5Mbps down and 34.5Mbps up, the study, which is about 12m or so away from the router, returned speeds around 25Mbps down and 15Mbps up, while the the kitchen/dining room gave speeds of around 10Mbps down and 11Mbps up [Not spectacular speeds from the kitchen but the signal had to travel from pretty much one end of the house to the other, passing through several walls on the way.]
My main test of the DIR-X1560 was to stream countless hours of Netflix and Neon (a New Zealand-based streaming service) across a variety of devices (Samsung smart TV, Apple iPad, Macbook pro) – often two of them at the same time – and I experienced no lag or drops in the connection or quality from the moment I set it up. It provided perfect speeds for interruption-free streaming.
Look, the DIR-X1560 isn’t the most feature-packed wi-fi 6 unit – if you want more features and more LAN ports you’ll have to look elsewhere – and I get faster speeds from my DIR 3060 but for $NZ279/$AU249, it’s a solid entry level router that delivers good speeds if you’re wanting to head down the wi-fi 6 route.