StarHub has recently given me the opportunity to test the another D-Link product, the DWA-182 Wireless AC1200 Dual Band USB Adapter, which allows a computer to connect to a wireless network via USB.
It supports the latest Wireless AC standard which provides crazy fast wireless speeds of “up to 867mbps”.
The box contains the adapter, installation CD, USB extension cum cradle.
I found the adapter to be considerably big, bigger than that of a Huawei E1762 for example. Its size makes it impossible for it to be plugged in next to another USB device should the ports be located too close to each other. This is, of course, where the USB extension comes in which doubles as a pleasant looking cradle.
The adapter does not work without setup which can be found on the CD or D-Link website. The installation is very straightforward and fast, and the adapter shows up as “WiFi” in network connections (note: you can rename this in Network Connections under Control Panel or “ncpa.cpl”). The drivers are installed with D-Link’s Wireless Connection Manager, which can manage wireless connections in place of Windows’ default connection management. It’s my opinion that it’s an extra hassle to use another software to manage wireless connections though, and thankfully, connection management can still be done through Windows. Furthermore, the D-Link Wireless Connection Manager failed to start on my Windows 8.1 laptop.
I tested my connection (SingTel Fibre 300mbps, ASUS RT-AC66U Router)
Here is my laptop connected to the network through normal wireless (best of 3):-
And connected via Ethernet (best of 3):-
And here is it connected through the DWA-182 (best of 3):-
I was astonished at the results, having such speeds for a wireless network is really amazing and unexpected. I’d definitely be using the wireless adapter instead of the inbuilt wireless from now until laptops start being built with 802.11ac support.
802.11ac technology is getting interesting with more and more devices starting to use them, including mobile phones such as the Nokia Lumia 1520 apparently shipping with 802.11ac. The 802.11ac wireless standard is still a draft though and may change (for the better), and the DWA-182 is an adapter that is built for 802.11ac draft standard. I’ll be looking forward to more devices with Wireless AC.