Answer me this… why do the numbers on networking completely surpass that of internet speeds in the UK? The fastest internet speed available right now I believe in the UK is just over 1GB. Now I know in other parts of the world there’s faster available, but still, we’re stuck with our 1GB internet here, and that’s only in certain parts of the country. Now when it comes to products like D-Link EAGLE PRO AI AX3200 Smart Router, testing it in a normal, everyday British town, where the fastest internet speeds are 30Mbps through broadband provider Sky, having a router like this is a little bit overkill. Here’s why.
The D-Link R32 router is a dual-band AX3200 Wi-Fi 6 router. It’s capable of 800mbps on a 2.4Ghz signal and 2,402Mbps on a 5GHz signal. It’s got some AI capabilities, can be configured into a MESH network, and has MU-MIMO & OFDMA capabilities. It’s smart so it can be voice-controlled, but why anyone would want that for their router is beyond me. and has a nice app and WPA3 Wireless security. Okay. Now that’s out of the way, let’s look at the numbers again.
The R32 is capable of up to 2,402Mbps, even though the UK’s fastest broadband is only just over 1,000Mbps. In our testing case, our broadband is 30Mbps. So you can probably understand, that even though we’ve paired the EAGLE PRO router with one of D-Link’s WiFi 6 internal desktop network cards, the AX300, the WiFi speed is you guessed it… 21.77Mbps, because you know, you don’t usually get the full speed your broadband provider quotes you. Is that only a UK thing too?
The Eagle Pro though is pretty easy to set up. Plug into your router using the included Ethernet cable with the enclosed leaflet showing which one to use on the Eagle itself, and any port on your router. Plug in the Eagle, and wait a while for all the lights to do their thing, which is about two minutes. Meanwhile, install the app on your phone having scanned the QR code with your phone and then follow instructions on your phone.
There was a little confusion over the number of times passwords came up, but after going wrong once, it is all simple stuff after that. I would write down the password for the Eagle Pro itself, at least in the beginning. Then hook up any of the devices you want to use with your Eagle Pro and away you go. On my phone, the signal was razor-sharp while in the same room. We used a 19th-century house with really thick walls, and while 30 metres and five rooms away, we still got a signal. While the signal strength was stable enough, the speed of transfer dropped dramatically, but importantly, still worked.
With that in mind, we decided to set up a proper real-world experiment that should have been nearly impossible to be impressed with. The router was in the lounge. A desktop PC was 15-metres and three rooms away. Also, bear in mind, that both PCs have been heavily used, full of clutter, and are not the fastest on the planet – remember, real world so your experience should be similar.
A laptop was left in the lounge. Then we transferred the entire 693 files of an older version of Microsoft Office between the two over a home network. For the majority of the transfer, it hovered around 350KB/s, remember the distance and chunky walls, but did spike a few times to around four times that. Even saw 2MB/s a couple of times. Windows guessed it would take just under the hour and the phone stopwatch halted at 52 minutes 35 seconds.
On a second test, we ran a similar file transfer test, but this time between two PCs in the office. The first had the AX300 internal network card, and the second was using a TP-Link AC1900, and speeds we were achieving with our data transfer this time round were sitting at the 1.7Mbps mark, so again, nowhere near the advertised speeds of the D-Link Router. But this is to be expected. The network again was bottlenecked by the TP-Link dongle attached to one of the computers.
The app was extremely basic, and it said there were parental controls, but they were missing from our app.
So, why would you ever buy something like this? Especially if you’re in the UK getting WAY under the advertised speed of the router as a broadband speed? Well, file transfer speeds over a wireless network! However, please be aware that if you are buying kit like this, then EVERYTHING within that wireless network has to hit a WiFi 6 standard to achieve the transfer speeds on offer. If like here you have something that doesn’t you will be bottlenecked by the slowest device on the network. If you were transferring between two PCs using the internal AX3000 network cards you’re going to achieve a much faster transfer speed than if you transfer between one PC with an AX3000 network card and a laptop from 100 years ago. Well, an 8th Gen i5 laptop that’s well out of date now. The D-Link EAGLE PRO AI AX3200 Smart Router was decent, and it worked well for what was capable at the address we tested it at. It looks good too which is a bonus and if it needed to be on display, then I don’t think you’d see it as an eyesore. You can find out more information over on the D-Link website.
Because the transfer speed was so slow between both PCs, D-Link were exceptionally kind and provided us with an EXO AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 USB Adapter and we used that to plug into the rear of a second PC. As a reminder, we had a D-Link Wi-Fi 6 internal card in the first PC. See above for the details there.
To let you know, this was an offline network. There was no internet connection running to the R32 Eagle Pro hub and the only two devices on the network were the two PCs transferring data, and they were also placed in the same room as each other to avoid any interference from outside sources or things like walls and doors. The speed we managed to pull out of the bag was around 10Mb/s, which when the USB adapter, being the slowest component in the network is advertising up to 70MB/s, it left us with a bit of a bitter taste. What on earth are we doing wrong? We’ll update you when we know more, but I wanted to share these findings now as this is the best we could achieve using this setup.