D-Link promises the world with the company's relatively new DGL-5500 Gaming Router. Okay, maybe not the world, but D-Link definitely promises an exceptional gaming router that beats all other gaming routers. How does it stack up? Let's take a look.
What the DGL-55OO Promises
D-Link bills this router as a router that features 'powerful, traffic shaping technology.' How true is this statement? D-Link has included something called 'StreamBoost' that is the company's definition of 'traffic shaping technology.' StreamBoost does effectively prioritize bandwidth for real-time applications like games, but it could use some web interface work.
The router's web interface has been reworked, so it's really different from past versions. However, slicker isn't always better if the improvements granted don't actually make it easier to use the interface. Items seem to be strewn across the interface and are hard to find. Plus, basic settings seem to have disappeared (not sure where those went, D-Link?). That said, I'm hoping that D-Link does actually improve this web interface over time, as was the case with the 5500's predecessor.
D-Link's New Design
If you've seen the DIR-868L, you 'll have a pretty good idea what the newest router in D-Link's lineup looks like. The 5500 is just a bit shorter and a small bit narrower, but that's really the only major design change. This router is still cylindrical in shape, and still looks just like D-Link's 868L.
Why did D-Link make this router shorter and slimmer? Presumably to fit in with today's shorter and lighter devices, and it's a nice effort. However, the router really falls short where performance is concerned, and that's kind of the point of a new gaming router, right?
Pricing and Availability
My suggestion is to wait a bit to see if D-Link improves the DGL-5500 router. Sure, it looks great out of the box, and D-Link promises a lot in exchange for purchasing this router, but that web interface is iffy and the router itself isn't spectacular. Typically, D-Link does improve the company's products regularly, so you can expect a better router to arrive soon enough.
If you do like the look of the current 5500 router and don't mind those few hangups, you can purchase this router on the D-Link website for $199. Now, that's a high price to pay for a router, but this one is for gamers specifically, so keep that in mind.
Who This Router Is For
If you are a dedicated gamer and you want a router that can prioritize bandwidth, this is a good option. However, be aware that the web interface is not where it should be, despite appearances. Is it worth the $199 price tag? Maybe not yet. D-Link still seems to have a way to go with this router before it is perfect. That said, history tends to repeat itself where D-Link is concerned, and this router will likely be updated soon enough.
Overall impressions: a great router in a great package for the wrong price - right now, anyway.