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D-Link DWA-182: Review of this Wi-Fi adapter AC1200 USB 3.0

Today we will review the D-Link DWA-182, the latest Wi-FI AC USB adapter from D-Link. The main feature of this new USB adapter is its Wi-Fi AC connectivity with selectable double bandwidth. It’s compatible with the 802.11a/b/g/n/ac standards, so we can get speeds of up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz thanks to its two MIMO 2T2R internal antennas and Two-Stream. If you connect a device that supports Wi-Fi N, in the 5GHz band you can reach speeds of up to 300Mbps, and if you choose to use a Wi-Fi AC-compatible device, you0ll get speeds of up to 867Mbps in the 5GHz band.

This Wi-Fi adapter features USB 3.0 connectivity as well as a WPS button to connect to the router with a single touch (the router must also support this feature).

Now that we know what it’s capable of, let’s take a more exact look at its specs.

Technical Specs

  • Wireless: Selectable double bandwidth: 300Mbps in the 2.4GHz band and 867Mbps in the 5GHz one with Wi-Fi AC.
  • Includes network managing software.
  • USB 3.0 connectivity

Let’s now take a look at the external analysis of this device.

External analysis

The new D-Link DWA-182 adapter comes in a white-colored box, and the device is black-colored. The main features of this device are listed in the box, like its double bandwidth capabilities, its AC1200 class, the WPS button to auto-configure it with a single touch and, finally, the base used to set the device wherever you want (USB extender). D-Link definitely though about those with desktop computers near the corner of the room that lose internet quality because of their position, so this extender is a godsend: thanks to it –and the base-, you can set it whenever you want without having to compromise the performance.

In the back of its packaging, you can find a comparison between this device and similar ones, like the Wi-Fi N600 and N900. The main difference is that you can stream HD content from various sources with these devices without the wireless network posing a problem. It’s important to notice that the only way to take full advantage of the Wi-Fi AC is by transferring multiple files simultaneously. There’s also a diagram that explains how to use this USB adapter with our computer and the main benefits of using Wi-Fi AC compared to the old 802.11N. You can also see the comparisons between this and other products from D-Link with Wi-Fi AC, like IP cameras or routers.

The contents of the D-Link DWA-182 box are:

  • D-Link DWA-182 Wi-Fi AC USB adapter
  • · USB base with extender
  • CD with documentation and software
  • Print documents, user manual and warranty

The D-Link DWA-182 adapter is a black-colored, elegant-looking device. You can notice its great quality just by touching it, as it doesn’t give that cheap plastic-like feel (so common with this kind of devices), and it’s also very robust and resistant. On the front, there is the WPS button to synchronizing it with other devices with one touch –as long as the router or AP supports this feature-. On the back, you can find the version of the hardware, as well the version of your device and its firmware.

In the next image gallery, you’ll be able to take a closer look at the D-Link DWA-182 and USB extension base.

This ends our external analysis, and now that we know everything there is to know about this device, it’s time to test it to see what it is truly capable of.

Test Lab

Testing LAN-WLAN (Wireless)

It’s time to test if the speed and range this device is capable of offering can give it a solid place on the shelves. If this is the first time you read done of our analysis, we recommend you to read out Wireless Test Bank.

We’ve already tested the D-Link DWA-182 this device features with the D-Link DIR-868L AC1750 router; you can take a look at its performance in the following graphs:

  • Test in the 2.4GHz band (802.11N)
D-Link DIR-868L 2.4GHz Contiguous Room Room below storage room
Intel 4965AGN Synchro: 144Mbps speed: 9.4 MB / s Synchro: 144Mbps speed: 8.8 MB / s Synchro: 117Mbps speed: 7.9 MB / s
Linksys AE3000 Synchro: 450Mbps Speed: 12.8 MB / s Synchro: 243Mbps Speed: 12.3 MB / s Synchro: 54Mbps Speed: 6.6 MB / s
TRENDnet TEW-684UB Synchro: 450Mbps Speed: 14.1 MB / s Synchro: 324Mbps Speed: 12.5 MB / s Synchro: 162Mbps Speed: 10.9 MB / s
TP-LINK TL-WDN3200 Synchro: 300Mbps Speed: 11.7 MB /s Synchro: 216Mbps Speed: 11.1 MB / s Synchro: 81Mbps Speed: 5.7 MB / s
FRITZ!WLAN STICK USB N Synchro: 300Mbps speed: 9.6 MB /s Synchro: 216Mbps Speed: 10.2 MB / s Synchro: 81Mbps Speed: 2.0 MB / s
TRENDnet TEW-805UB Synchro: 300Mbps Speed: 10.8 MB / s Synchro: 270Mbps speed: 8.5 MB / s Synchro: 150Mbps speed: 4.7 MB / s
D-Link DWA-182 USB 3.0 Synchro: 300Mbps Speed: 10.5 MB / s Synchro: 300Mbps Speed: 13.2 MB / s Synchro: 180Mbps speed: 7.1 MB / s

Here, you can take a look at the performance of the same card with the D-Link DSL-3580L AC1200 in the following graphs:

While testing the D-Link DWA-182, we tested its performance with our client-server JPerf to see how a certain number of threads performs and so obtain the best possible results.

This graph illustrates the comparison with the performance obtained with JPer:

What we liked

  • Amazing performance of the D-Link DIR-868L, both in the 2.4GHz band and the 5GHz one.
  • Great performance of the D-Link DSL-3580L router in the 5GHz band.
  • USB 3.0 connectivity that avoid the bottlenecking the USB 2.0 connectivity (480Mbps) may cause.
  • Simple, intuitive and non-intrusive software when compared to Windows’ network manager.

What we did not like

  • Not as good performance of the D-Link DSL-3580L in the 2.4GHz band.
  • Low performance in the 5GHz band when we’re too far away from the router.
  • No option to create an ad-hoc network in the included software.

Final Conclusion

The Wi-Fi D-Link DWA-182 adapter showed it’s capable of a lot during our tests. In short and medium distances, it’s capable of offering an excellent performance, in both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. However, if you use the 5GHz and you get too far away from the device, the performance will suffer something we didn’t expect and, therefore, disappointed us.

The management software is simple and intuitive, but it doesn’t have something we consider essential for some users: the creation of an AD-hoc network quickly and easily. The USB 3.0 connectivity avoids the bottlenecking the USB 2.0 might cause, however, even if it only had USB 2.0, we wouldn’t have too much problems because we’re still far from the 19-20MB/s limit, where you start experiencing bottlenecking if you use a USB 2.0 router.

One Thought on “D-Link DWA-182: Review of this Wi-Fi adapter AC1200 USB 3.0

  1. This seems to be tricky to achieve. Elsewhere, I saw a suggestion of using the priority field on DNS to put IPv6 as a higher priority, with IPv4 a lower. What happens in that case is that IPv6/double-stacked users will, indeed, get only the IPv6 address as intended ??? but this will cut out the IPv4 users. These will only get the IPv6 address and be obviously unable to connect. Priorities in DNS are trickier than they look, and I have only managed to get them working for mail servers…

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