The new DLink DSL-2900 AL Viper xDLS/UFB router is a step in the right direction: it brings a design created to enhance wireless connections while at the same time it introduces a modern user interface that is very simple to use and understand.
This new model comes with four gigabit Ethernet ports and both 2.4GHz (802.11 b/g/n) and 5GHz (802.11 ac/a/n) WiFi, including AC1900 dual band support with speeds up to 600 Mpbs + 1300 Mbps (depending on your devices of course).
The router uses a xDSL WAN port or one of the gigabit LAN ports for WAN (NBN/UFB compatible).
I also like how the “tube” like design allows you to easily position this router in smaller corners (while I would say for best performance any router should not really be cornered but this is not always possible).
The Dlink Viper also comes with other features, including what DLink calls AC SmartBean which uses a special six MIMO internal antennas design coupled with intelligence to manage power to different directions depending on usage.
It offers a USB2 and USB3 ports so you can have storage shared with your network. It can also be used as a DLNA media server.
For those of you planning to use this router with a UFB connection, interesting to see it support VLAN tagging and multiple PVCs.
Some more standard features are also available, including WPA/WPA2 Wireless security, WiFi Protected Setup (WPS), Network Address Translation and a Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) Firewall.
What I really liked in this router is the very easy to use management interface. It merges modern looks with easy to follow instructions to setup the router out of the box. The interface is mainly managed by toggle buttons and some of the rules can be easily created by a drag-and-drop action as seen below.
Also you can see in the screenshot the connection uptime for this particular instance is currently at 31 days. This is the time since the last power cycle - while moving things around the office here. The DLink DSL-2900 AL Viper seems like a reliable performance router.
As for performance itself, the router did a good job with the NAS functionality. As most routers it is not the most performing device, but you can't compare it with a dedicated NAS server. In the Wireless front, below you can see a couple of screenshots measuring signal strenght. The first one is next to it, and the second is from the kitchen, with two walls between the router and the smartphone: