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D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review

D-LINK X1560 EXO AX1500

RM 259.00
8.4

Build Quality

8.5/10

Hardware Specification

8.5/10

Feature

8.0/10

User Experience

9.0/10

Value

8.0/10

Advantages

  • Decent built quality
  • Good wireless coverage
  • WPA3 encryption
  • MU-MIMO
  • Able to support up to 800Mbps

Disadvantages

  • Buggy firmware
  • No 160MHz support
  • No USB port
  • Non-removable antenna
  • No OpenVPN client support

D-LINK DIR-X1560 is a smart AX1500 wireless router from Taiwanese networking gear manufacturer, D-LINK. This router features the latest wireless protocol, 802.11ax (WiFi 6) to provide faster wireless throughput with a greater capacity at an optimum environment. This router powered by a Broadcom’s triple-core ARM-A7 processor clocked at 1.5GHz with a memory of 256MB. Having such processor, is this router, suitable for large homes or offices? The answer relies in the conclusion, down below.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - D-LINK X1560 Overview
Figure 1: D-LINK DIR-X1560 Front-View.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Features:

  • Latest WiFi 6 technology
  • Next-gen speeds up to 1.5Gbps (2.4GHz-300Mbps and 5GHz-1200Mbps)
  • OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology
  • Intelligent Quality of Service that prioritizes network traffic
  • Backward compatibilities
  • Supports latest 128-bit industry-standard Wi-Fi encryption
  • Works with D-LINK Wi-Fi application for centralized control
D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - Standard accessories
Figure 2: D-LINK DIR-1560’s standard accessories.

A few standard accessories will be supplied along with the router. A unit of AX1560, a power cable, a Cat 5e ethernet cable, one user manual and a warranty card. The unit given to me is a review unit, hence the actual accessories that come with the official packaging may differ than this.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - Air Vents
Figure 3: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s air vents.

Looking at the design of the router, it comes with four visible non-detachable antennas. It enclosed with the black casing with air vents located on top for a better airflow. In fact, you can see the internal components through the ventilation hole, this will somehow cause small dust particles to sleek through the holes and accumulate within the hardware.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - Rear View
Figure 3A: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s rear view.

Moving to the rear of the router, a standard power button, a DC input port, a reset button, a WPS button and five-gigabit port present. LAN 4 port of the router was reserved specially for IPTV service which can be customized its purpose in the ISP-profile selection or customizing the VLAN settings. One major disappointment of the X1560 is, no USB port present, so if you’re planning to use the USB stick or setting up a printer server, it is not possible in this router.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - Bottom view
Figure 5: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s bottom view.

The X1560 is wall mountable. If you are having a limited space in your home or offices, then mounting the X1560 is possible. Air vent holes are also present here and from my experience using the router, the X1560 tend to have a decent operating temperature.

Specification

The specification of D-LINK DIR-X1560 are as follows:

Wireless ClassAX1500
Wireless Technology802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
ProcessorBroadcom Triple-Core ARM-A7 @ 1.5GHz
SDRAM256MB
Flash128MB
Antenna Type4 External Non-detachable
Port Capacity5 x 10/100/1000Mbps
USB PortNo
FeatureWPA3 Encryption
Multicast Support
MU-MIMO
QuickVPN
PPPoE (IPv6 over PPPoE)
Static IPv6
Static IP
Dynamic IP
Guest Zone
Table 1: D-LINK DIR-X1560 Specification.

User Experience

The process of setting up X1560 is pretty simple and can be done either via a standard web administration panel or via D-LINK Wi-Fi mobile application. A dedicated guide is available here for the public view.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - Homepage view
Figure 6: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s Home view.

The web-admin interface offers a easy to access menu located at the navigation panel on the top. An overview of the current network status was displayed along with the DNS server, IPv4’s public IP and MAC-address of the router.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - IPv6 testing
Figure 7: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s IPv6 Analysis

Features such as IPv6 support is very crucial for an entry-level router these days and glad that the X1560 is not an exception for such feature to be available in the firmware. Well, by using my preferred DNS service provider, I able to get access to IPv6 enabled sites and the router can actually fetch public IPv6 from my ISP. At least, I am happy that the IPv6 compatibility although I won’t use it, much.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - Port Forwarding of X1560
Figure 8: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s port forwarding rule.

The next feature I test is by preparing a rule for my qBittorrent to bypass the firewall via a specific port in the port-forwarding page. Do note that, in order to use port-forwarding feature, you have to be assigned with a public IP address by your ISP’s. If you’re allocated with a private IP, you can further request for a public IP from your respective ISP’s. A problem I encounter while torrenting using this router is, it tends to freeze the whole internet temporarily before resuming back to active state. After issued with latest patch of DIR-X1560 firmware, build 1.04, the problem solved. I didn’t encounter any freeze while torrenting, heavily.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - Wireless Settings
Figure 9: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s Wireless Settings.

Unlike recently reviewed COVR 1102, the X1560 offers smart-connect (combines both bands under single wireless broadcast and your device chose the best band that fits the usage/environment) feature. It only requires a single step by switching to smart-connect or disabling the feature. I won’t recommend to use Smart-Connect feature as I prefer the OG-method of wireless access. You can further customize your desired wireless channel and channel width for optimum wireless throughput.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - WPA3 Encryption
Figure 10: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s WPA 3 Encryption mode.

Another advantage of X1560 is it supports WPA3 by default. However, not many existing devices can utilize the WPA3 encryption protocol, hence I still consider this encryption design as unique, yet non-usable for older device. The router is backward compatible, not only non-ax device can access to the internet, WPA2 encryption is provided.

Wireless CardIntel AC1200 (2×2)
Wireless ClientASUS G752VT
Adapter Link-Rate: 2.4GHz300Mbps
Adapter Link-Rate: 5GHz867Mbps
Table 2: Client Device Information.

I’ve downgraded my current internet subscription plan to 100Mbps to save some cash every month. Hence, I am not able to provide the true potential of this router over high-speed internet access, such as using 800Mbps or 1Gbps. Living in a double-storey house, I able to hit 100Mbps solid both over wired and wireless connections. Under 2.4GHz band, I able to hit over 90Mbps, only through customized wireless settings done through a proper network mapping.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - QoS Setting.
Figure 13: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s QoS Engine.

The DIR-X1560 offers a pretty standard QoS settings. You can drop the connected device into the box provided. However, the downside of D-Link’s QoS feature is, it’s limited, providing up to 11 devices (1-highest, 2-high and 8-medium). If you are using internet subscription below 300Mbps, you won’t feel much difference here.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - QuickVPN
Figure 14: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s QuickVPN feature.

If you are working from home, you can take advantage of using Quick VPN feature from the router to access to your company’s database through a VPN connection (provided by your company’s IT department). I hope D-Link will implement a OpenVPN feature, both server and client in the next firmware build *finger-crossed*.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - Guest WiFi review
Figure 15: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s Guest WiFi Settings.

Another feature I liked is the guest zone or the guest WiFi option. If you’re having a small office or home, then the D-LINK X1560 certainly excel in terms of providing an excellent security for your intranet by only providing access only to the internet. Though I still wanted a client-isolation feature, I find, it’s acceptable.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - Statistics
Figure 16: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s Statistic page.

Similar to COVR 1102, the X1560 features a dedicated page called as Statistic. This record the current networking traffic such as providing the total bandwidth used by the device in your home network and number of the session that the router currently carried on. This feature should be displayed at the home, as my suggestion to reduce the amount of time accessing to each available features. But overall, this feature works like charm.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - Automatic Firmware upgrade.
Figure 17: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s Firmware Upgrade page.

The last feature I would like to highlight in the review is the firmware upgrade that can be done, automatically. For normal users who don’t know in detail about why firmware of the router should be upgrade often, this feature will be a good addition to them. You also can disable the automatic firmware upgrade to avoid from being flashed to a buggier firmware that may cause a temporary discomfort internet experience. This is a very good move done by D-LINK’s system engineer. Well done.

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - D-LINK Wi-Fi App review
Figure 18: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s D-LINK Wi-Fi App

You can further control your network via D-LINK’s Wi-Fi application that is available for both mobile platforms. The feature accessibility is pretty user friendly and you also can set the access time to the internet via the given parental control feature. The application literally does everything of what an app designed to provide a centralized control should do.

Conclusion

D-LINK DIR-X1560 Smart EXO AX1500 Dual Band WiFi 6 Router Review - Conclusion
Figure 19: D-LINK DIR-X1560’s Conclusion.

Retailing at RM259, the router is certainly recommended as a budget Wi-Fi 6 router. If you’re looking for a cheap wireless 6 router, the DIR-X1860 falls in the checklist. The firmware is quite good and stable. For small-mid house and small offices, the router can get the job done.

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