D-Link EXO AX1800 Mesh WiFi 6 Router: The Next Generation Router for the Budget Cnsumer



Getting a new router?

D-Link launches the EXO AX 1800 Wi-Fi 6 Router codename DIR-X1870 that is targeted at the budget consumer. 

If you are like me, a newbie when it comes to routers, you might be confused by the array of offerings in the marketD-Link itself has the Exo AX , Mesh Router, Exo Mesh and AC Router with each one providing a different function. If you were to step into an electronic shop right now for a router and have no experience with routers, you would probably be lost as to which one to get. 

For this review, instead of diving into the specs for the DIR-X1870, we would attempt to distinguish the different features of a router and see if the DIR-X1870 would be suitable for you.

AC vs AX route7

AC and AX refer to the Wi-Fi standards of a router.  The older routers are AC versions with 802.11ac as a standard. The newer AX models come with a new standard 802.11ax or High-Efficiency Wireless. This promises a fourfold increase in average speed. To complicate matters, the 802.11ax is also known as WiFi 6. This is just a naming convention and the layman should not be too worried about it. The bottom line is that the 802.11ax standard promised improved performance and extended coverage

The DIR-X1870 comes with Wi-Fi 6 capability to ease network congestion. The Next-gen speeds up to AX1800 ( 1200 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and 572 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band). In other words, it has decent speed and up to 38% after than compared to 11ac. It is not the fastest as there are crazy fast higher specs routers in the market such as its brethren - AX6000 Wi-Fi 6 Router. Nonetheless, it would suffice for most home users. 

The DIR-X1870 also comes with Dual-band Wi-Fi ( 5 GHz and 2.4GHz)for simultaneous 4k streams, gaming or video.

OFDMA and MU-MIMO Technology

Small footprint, big features


At one stage, this technology was limited to high-end products. These days, even entry-level routers have these specs. Basically, these technologies would allow communication to several users at any one time, easing network traffic and create a better flow of data. If this was a traffic situation, MU-MIMO would essentially add more traffic lanes on the wireless expressways. It is not a new technology and has been around for a while. 

OFMDA, on the other hand, is new to Wi-Fi 6. It essentially divides wireless channels into smaller packages to deliver them more efficiently. Both OFDMA and MU-MIMO works hand in hand. The good news is that DIR-X1870 has both of them.

Mesh Wi-Fi

A mesh network is a group of devices that act as a single Wi-Fi network. So instead of a single Wi-Fi source around your house, Wi-Fi will be available from multiple sources, giving it better coverage. While the DIR-X1870 is unable to provide Mesh Wi-Fi as a standalone router, you are able to connect it with compatible -Link Wi-Fi Mesh enabled routers to create a Mesh network.  If you are living in an apartment, this may not be necessary. However, if you are staying in a multiple story house, this could be essential.

DIR-X1870 - Is this the router for you?

The DIR-X1870 in a nutshell

  • Comes with the latest Wi-Fi 6 technologies
  • Budget-Friendly at $129
  • Small footprint


  • Router exterior design can be better. It looks similar to older models (but in a smaller case)
  • Comes with enhanced parental control 
  • Build-in Internet test powered by Ookla to check connection uplink and downlink speed
  • Limited LAN Ports ( 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Can use Google Assistant and Alexa for voice control to manage network
  • D-Link Wi-Fi Mesh compatibility 
  • Backwards Compatibility (works with all existing Wi-Fi devices)
  • Works with D-Link WI-Fi App for easy setup. You can also set it up using the computer. 


While it may not have all the bells and whistles, unless you are a gamer or a heavy user, we think that it would benefit most households in terms of usage.  Setup can be done via a smartphone app. Setup is straightforward. Simply follow the instructions on the app and you are good to go. 





The only thing about setting up a new router is that you might have to reset your devices if you choose to set it up with a new SSID and password. To avoid such a scenario, we recommend setting it up using the existing SSID and passwords.



The D-Link DIR-X1870 can be purchased from here.


Disclosure
TWD was provided with a unit for this review











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