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61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I simply could not get excited about this router.

This is classified as a gaming router - and one might rightfully assume that it should have blow-your-socks-off functionality - especially at the steep price premium.

Instead, what you get is a watered-down DIR-868L with a traffic shaping feature called Streamboost.

How does it compare to the DIR-868L?
-- lower 5GHz AC bandwidth rating - 867Mbps vs 1300Mbps
-- No SmartBeam
-- no Dynamic DNS support
-- no guest networks on either band
-- no USB 3.0 port
-- not a cloud router (mobile app-based router management)

The real question therefore is whether Streamboost is worth the premium paid. And that is where I will focus this review.

What is Streamboost?

Streamboost is powered by Qualcomm Atheros' VIVE 802.11AC chip, and is supposed to be QoS (Quality of Service) on steroids.

When devices begin to clamor for network access, a router must determine how to prioritize this traffic and how to assign slices of the bandwidth pie. A "normal" router punts on this by assigning equal priority and equal bandwidth slices to each client. This is fine when the slices are large enough to meet the needs of each client device. However, as the number of clients increases, the slices that go to each client get smaller and smaller, until at some point the client application is unable to get a large enough slice to meet its needs.

The problem here is that the router is unable to consider the characteristics of a client's needs when deciding on the priority and slice size assigned to each client. For instance, a client that is streaming a video is much more sensitive to latency and must get a bigger slice, as compared to another client that is downloading a file.

Basic QoS, supported by most routers, recognizes this fact - that not all traffic is the same. It lets you tell the router what constitutes important traffic. E.g., you could prioritize traffic from a specific device on the network, or from a specific application (such as a game).

Unfortunately, this is a very blunt instrument since configuration is coarse grained - based on device IP addresses or ports. I.e., giving a higher priority to a certain computer raises the priority for all applications on that computer, not just for your Netflix streaming. In addition, this a complex manual process with a lot of trial and error.

These are the problems Streamboost is designed to address.

1] Streamboost maintains a fine grained mapping of client stream [client device + application on that device] to network policy [priority + bandwidth slice].

2] It automatically analyzes packet traffic to determine the client stream, and looks up the policy for that stream.

This lets it prioritize Netflix streaming over large file downloads - even if both are running on the same physical client! E.g., if it detects streaming video, it will attempt to minimize latency (higher priority traffic) and to meet the bandwidth needs (larger slice.)

This would be at the expense of, say, a file download where the client might tolerate lower priority/bandwidth.

3] And best of all? This happens without any user intervention. Because these policy tables are cloud based, they can also be automatically updated as brand new devices and applications are released.

Unfortunately, while this sounded good in theory, I did not see any earth shattering improvements over my 2 year old WNDR4500.

My assumption is that this is because of our particular usage patterns. In our case, video streaming is the most common application - on up to 3 devices at a time; and file downloads and online games usually occur only rarely/intermittently. As a result, we did not give Streamboost much to work with.

The DGL-5500 seems to be better suited for households where there is traffic with varied characteristics (huge downloads, Internet/local streaming, VOIP, online browsing/shopping, gaming, etc.) - where Streamboost can shine by using its policy based decision logic.

Given that this is not the fastest router on the market, and given that Streamboost did not blow me away, I'm reluctant to rate this router at higher than 3 stars (Its Okay).

Particularly because of its lack of Dynamic DNS support - which I have grown to rely upon greatly.

A disappointment with Streamboost's crowdsourced data is that you cannot opt in just for updates of that policy data - you must also opt in for uploading your network traffic for data analysis. In addition, note that this Streamboost data is only guaranteed through Apr 2017 - after which it will be delivered via firmware updates.

As with any product, this is just my personal rating - this is a capable product, and your specific experience with it might cause it to rate much higher.

Happy networking!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2014
I was having NAT issues with having 4 Xbox Consoles in one house. This fixed the problem.
Their is also one update already out so go ahead and update to the latest Firmware before you put too much time in.
However either firmware works without NAT issues.
I have about 16 different things connected to this unit hardwired through switches. Security cameras, TV's, desktop computers, Xboxes, etc. plus IPods, phones etc. wirelessly.
I really like it. I would buy another one right now if I needed it.
Also support by phone is open 7 days a week 24 hours a day. I contacted them and it went pretty well.
I never leave feedback but it is difficult finding routers that can handle multiple XBox consoles.
So here you go. This one works like a champ.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 22, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We have a two story home and while our existing D-Link Wireless N+300 Mbps Extreme-N Gigabit Router (DIR-655) provides great speeds, but we have notice reduced speeds on the 2nd floor in the opposite corner of the house. We have the house wired with Ethernet, so I picked up this router to open a secondary wireless spot on the 2nd floor and increase speeds.

+ Compact design. Many of the D-link routers now feature the tower design, which is more stable than some of the older routers that tend to fall when you start plugging in ethernet cables.
+ Easy setup. I love the fact that D-link didn't even include a CD. Software is outdated almost as soon as its packaged and I prefer the browser configuration.
+ Gigabit ethernet ports. This is a must at this point if you are purchasing a router, but this will ensure that your wired devices are getting the best throughput possible on your internal network.
+ Dual band. If you are worried about interference from devices like portable phones you can't go wrong with a dual band (2.4 gHZ and 5 gHZ).
+ StreamBoost. This is the big differentiator from the mainstream routers. Read the "What is StreamBoost?" if you are interested in why this matters. I actually ran some tests and saw this kicking in as my web traffic download/upload speeds were throttled as I had other connected devices (iPads) streaming video. When I ran the same tests on our current router I had faster upload/download speeds surfing the web, but my videos kept buffering on the iPads.
+ Web dashboard. The dashboard provides some great information about how the connected devices are sharing bandwidth on your network to show how StreamBoost is working. It's also pretty cool seeing the device detection from the router automatically identify all the different connected devices and what type of network traffic each is generating.

- Price. $200 is a steep price for a router.
- Parental controls. These are a bit light, but it's expected, since this is being pitched as a gaming router.

StreamBoost is a different QoS (Quality of Service) scheme. The most common scheme is fair sharing where every device connected shares equally. For example, let's say you have a 10 mbps connection and you are surfing the Internet and using a VoIP line. In this setup you have 5 mbps between the two. As you add more devices you get less allotted per each. Prioritized QoS is what most routers have today where you can identify a specific device to take bandwidth priority over others, but the remaining devices still fall into the fair sharing scheme. StreamBoost uses analytics, device/application detection and available bandwidth to allot bandwidth accordingly. For example, if someone in your house is downloading a 200 MB application would normally clog up your Internet bandwidth. Using StreamBoost the bandwidth used for download is throttled, so that online gaming, VoIP and video streaming are not impacted.

Check out the following link for a good overview on the technology and some additional testing results.


Overall this is a great router that provides some of the most advanced features available today. The cost, which to me is what will hold most from taking the plunge, is driven up by the dual-band and the StreamBoost technology. While this router is pitched as a gaming router I think it can easily serve as the primary router in a home with many Internet-enabled devices. Anyone considering increasing their current bandwidth due to competing traffic should consider this one-time investment versus an increased monthly cost. In instances where bandwidth increase is not possible this is your best option to optimizing your network performance.

********* I received this product for free as part of the Vine program. Nonetheless, I review the product in the same manner as I would if I had purchased it myself. *********
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2014
so I kind of bought this on a whim. I was having trouble with having two xbox consoles playing a multi player game at the same time in the same house. I needed an OPEN NAT network, but one of my consoles kept telling me I had a STRICT NAT and it was going to degrade the performance of the game in order to play multi player. I was hoping if I connected this router to my atandt router/modem that it would solve the problem and OPEN the network. Long story short it did! I now have two xbox consoles with an open network, Not sure exactly how it did it but problem solved. Highly recommend this router to gamers with a decent internet connect and are having the same type of issue. If your curious what game I have been playing it is called Destiny, and when I connect I no longer with the help of this router get the connection warning of STRICT NAT... very happy! Hope this info helps some people.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2013
What a disappointment. I had been looking forward to one of the first 802.11ac routers based on Qualcomm Atheros chips and running the Streamboost engine. For the first time in a decade, I ventured back to D-Link with the DGL-5500.

First off, let me say that I am not a fan overall of Broadcom based wireless routers. I tend to go for Qualcomm Atheros based equipment for my personal use and in the numerous small business and home installation setups I do. Therefore, I have been mostly in Netgear's sandbox of equipment for the past decade.

As Netgear does not have a high-end consumer 802.11ac QCA-based router on the market or in the works for 2013, I jumped on the DGL-5500. Yes they have the R6100, but with only 10/100 ports it falls into the mid-range tier in my book. The only thing coming from Netgear this year will be another Broadcom-based unit in the R7000.

My Equipment:
- D-link DGL-5500 Router (Firmware v1.01)
- Netgear WNDR4700 Router (Firmware v1.0.0.52)
- Sony VAIO S15, Windows 8 w/ QCA Killer Wireless-N 1202 (AR9462 2x2 dual-band, Driver Package v1.0.25.1224)
- D-link DCS-2132L Camera (Firmware v1.01.10, 1x1 RTL8188CUS 2.4GHz single-band)
- Canon MG8220 AIO (1x1 2.4GHz)
- Netgear ReadyNASv2 NAS (v5.3.8)
- 2- LG BP730 Blu-ray Players (10/100 wired, 2nd unit wireless using built-in RT2860 2x2 dual-band chip)
- Nexus 7- Second Generation (1x1 dual-band Qualcomm Atheros WCN3660)

I should say that I am comparing the D-link DGL-5500 to my Netgear WNDR4700. It also has Qualcomm Atheros chips in it. The 3x3 AR9381 for 2.4GHz and the 3x3 AR9380 for 5GHz. It does however use a 1GHz Applied Micro APM82181 chip for the processor with 256MB RAM, whereas the DGL-5500 uses the 720 MHz QCA9558 chip for the processor and 2.4GHz with 128MB of RAM and 2x2 QCA9882 for 5GHz.

My plan was to upgrade my Sony laptop's Wi-Fi card if the DGL-5500 performed well with what I already had. Sadly, the Killer Wireless-N 1202 will be staying inside my Sony longer. My LAN speed tests for the D-link DGL-5500and Netgear WNDR4700 for comparison with my setup. The router and laptop were 8' apart with one wall between them. The 2.4GHz band where I live is crowded, so channel width was set to 20MHz on channel 1, which had nothing transmitting on it. The 5GHz band was running free with nothing else transmitting within range. As a result, The WNDR4700 was full boar on channel 153 at 40 MHz channel width and the DGL-5500 was set to "Auto 20/40/80 MHz" channel width on channel 153.

LAN Speed Tests:

DGL-5500 5GHz 200MB File:
Write: 78.81 Mbps
Read: 136.95 Mbps

WNDR4700 5GHz 200MB File:
Write: 103.17 Mbps
Read: 156.65 Mbps

DGL-5500 2.4GHz 200MB File:
Write: 63.34 Mbps
Read: 81.18 Mbps

WNDR4700 2.4GHz 200MB File:
Write: 84.68 Mbps
Read: 95.60 Mbps

Now let me tell you what failed. First off, my second generation Nexus 7 could not maintain for more than three minutes or most of the time connect via either band. It did not matter if the DGL-5500 had security set on the router or was transmitting completely unsecure. The Nexus 7 would authenticate, but then loose the DGL-5500 connection. Second, my D-link DCS-2132L 720p network camera that I have setup looking down into my bird's cage could not receive smooth video. No matter the set resolution, video (with no audio) coming from the camera was jerky with numerous dropped frames. This was never an issue with the WNDR4700 (or WNDR3800 or WNDR4300). Those router's helped the video feed shine from the DCS-2132L. No so with the $200 DGL-5500.

Now let's talk video streaming.. I have Road Runner Turbo (20Mbps down / 2Mbps up). My modem is the Motorola SB6141. On the router I enabled StreamBoost bandwidth control, disabled "auto bandwidth estimation," input my down/up figures and let StreamBoost update itself. For video streaming I was watching Netflix on a hard wired 10/100 LG BP730 Blu-ray player and the same player model in my bedroom streaming using the player's internal adapter 2x2 dual band adapter connected to the 5GHz band.

StreamBoost did the job of detecting bandwidth used in the web interface, but numerous video titles streamed jumped around more than a little girl skipping rope on the playground. "Star Trek: Voyager," which can get up to 480p mostly streamed at 384p. "House of Cards," which can get up to 1080p was mostly sticking to 480p and hit 720p for only 9 minutes of the 52 minute episode. This was basically the case for both the wired and wirelessly connected players. When switching back to the Netgear WNDR4700 and the same network condition, "Star Trek: Voyager" played at its top resolution for 41 of the 44 minute program length. "House of Cards" hit 720p or 1080p for 49 minutes of the 52 minute length episode.

I also have to say, who ships a premium router today without being IPv6 ready? D-link apparently does. The DGL-5500 is not IPv6 ready with the current firmware available as I type this up.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
We thank you for your feedback as it both appreciated and valued. We are sorry to hear that the DGL-5500 did not meet your expectations. Please be advised that D-Link has just released a new firmware version that may address many of your issues which include updating WLAN Driver stability, added 5GHz Bursting as Default Enabled, auto 20/40Mhz 2.4GHz Co-existence, tuned LAN-WAN QOS and removed the 802.11b only mode in 2.4GHz are just some of the many enhancements made with the new firmware. Please visit to download and install this latest firmware upgrade just released. If you have further trouble please contact D-Link technical support at for assistance. Thank you for choosing D-Link.
The manufacturer commented on the review below
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2014
Avoid this router.

I purchased it to replace an aging router I was using as a wired access point that was giving me some problems (and wasn't AC). This was a good deal and I was interested in the Streamboost. I was using a D-Link DIR-850L as my router, which I then moved to be my wired wireless access point (my house doesn't get good coverage with a single router).

My use:
I have 9 hardwired devices in my home (also use a 4-port gigabit switch) and about 11 wireless devices. I am a heavy LAN user, as I have a HD Homerun Prime running a cable card to a WMC 8.1 and using a Xbox 360 as an extender, which is heavy on the local bandwidth. I also do a lot of DLNA and some backups to my NAS. Internet wise, 15/1 Time Warner HSD, do a lot of streaming (Netflix/Prime/HBO Go) + heavy downloading and your normal browser stuff. As you may notice, I did not mention gaming and yes I bought a "gaming" router to not game on it.

Router worked great for about 3 weeks. Streamboost worked - I could see it adjusting bandwidth when my wife logged into work (virtual desktop). No QoS issues at all, though it totally sucks that you can't do any manual QoS settings with this router...that alone is worth a 1 star deduction. Can't really comment on the wireless range as most of my really active wireless connections are on the other wired access point, but I never had any range issues with this that I noticed.

After 3 weeks, all of a sudden I had extremely bad ping times, dropped packets and couldn't surf, but LAN traffic was unaffected. Turned off Streamboost and the problem immediately went away. Turned it back on and the problem came back immediately. Obviously that was the issue. My troubleshooting:
- Hard reset router, both through the GUI and a 30/30/30
- Upgraded to Beta firmware. Why Beta? I was already on the latest firmware, which was last updated over a year ago. Now they just release flaky beta's so they don't have to support it. Well, guess what - Beta firmware did nothing

I need QoS. That important feature that is Streamboost stopped working, couldn't be fixed, so I'm done with it. I just replaced it with a Trendnet TEW-811DRU. I immediately installed DD-WRT firmware on it (so I have no idea how good/bad the Trendnet firmware is) and it is working perfectly. It was also $22 less. I only bought the D-Link due to having another D-Link already that I was happy with and buying quickly without doing my normal research. Lesson learned...there is no good reason to buy this router over the Trendnet I bought.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
We want to thank you for the review as we greatly value the input and we are sorry to hear that you dissatisfied with the DGL-5500. Please note that based on your review, we would like for you to click on the link below and fill out the detailed form. By providing us with the necessary information, one of our specialists will contact you directly and assist you in resolving the problems you are encountering.

Thank you for choosing D-Link.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2013
I recently got this router to replace my old one which I had for over 5 years. I wanted something good coverage since my old router wasn't reaching the ends of my house. Set up was quick and simple and I was up in a matter of minutes. I tested out the coverage and it is amazing. Covers my entire house with no problem. My download speeds improved from immensely. Overall the router is great for my needs and I couldn't be happier.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2015
Far from perfect, this router does a pretty good job of maintaining consistently low ping for League of Legends when other members of the household are casually using the internet. I am still trying to tweak the settings, but it doesn't seem to care if I have my PC set to priority #1, when streaming HD video on a Roku in another room, the router seems to prioritze streaming the video at highest quality rather than maintaining low ping for League. Still, I bought this router in hopes of allowing others in the house to use the internet at the same time as someone gaming without everyone getting frustrated.
I should add a disclaimer that we have an atrocious ISP in the Frankfort Plant Board and average 9-12 Mbs dl and 1.5 ul when we pay for 20 dl. I believe this router has difficulty making the best of a bad situation in the narrow bandwidth times.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2015
Had trouble setting up to my system although the plug and play instructions were easy. I needed DLink support desk which was VERY helpful and got me connected somewhat quickly. Had DLink router before which died after years of use and wanted to keep the same company. First impressions of new router (after clean install) are good but still need to test limits. Case # C6631114....after a couple days I have more input. I don't have the fastest Internet and this router help only a little bit compared to my 7 year old router. Still can't stream movie and play phone games with out phone being slowed down even when I change frequency. But it does have a more solid connection but connects slower. Happy but only a little. Dlink does have a great help desk.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
D-Link appreciates the input and wants to thank you for the feedback. We are happy to hear that one of our agents was able to help you resolve the issues you were experiencing. Thank you again for being a D-Link customer.
The manufacturer commented on the review below
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2014
Stream boost boggles down the speed even after correct set up. The range sucks in a BIG house; my house is 3200 sqft. I have my router upstairs and the signal barely reaches my living area about 100 ft of direct line of sight. I had this router for a year but waited to resolve most issues before writing on it. I currently have made 5 trouble calls on it for various issues. I will not buy again. Currently it cuts off and locks me out the admin section not allowing me to log on to the router.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
We wish to thank you for your feedback as we do appreciate and value your input and comments very much. Based on your review comments we would like to provide you with the link listed below, which is good for the next 10 days, so that you may click on it and provide us with your direct contact information and further details concerning the issues you are having with the DGL-5500. Once we have received your reply and information we will have a D-Link support specialist contact you directly to further troubleshoot with you and resolve your issues or check for any possible hardware failure issues. Please be sure that you have upgraded your device with the latest firmware version available by visiting

Here is your link:

Thank you for being a D-Link customer.

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