With the ever increasing demand on peoples home networks, its really important you have a router that is able withstand multiple devices that all demand resources. With the introduction of WIFI 6 networking standards, manufacturers have been quick to release a new generation of router.

For those who prefer an entry level experience, the D-Link EXO AX1500 WI-Fi 6 Router is great place to start.

The DIR-X1560 is a compact router that will fit nicely on most office desk. It has four non-removable adjustable antennas and four LED indicators for power, Internet, and both radio bands. At the back there are 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and 1 Gigabit Ethernet WAN port provide optional wired connectivity as well as the power, WPS and reset buttons.

D-Link EXO AX1500 WI-Fi 6 Router features

  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) technology provides faster speeds, greater capacity and less network congestion
  • Next-gen speeds up to 1.5 Gbps (1200 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band)
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi with up to 4 simultaneous streams makes 4K streaming, gaming or video chatting a breeze
  • OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology communicate more data to more devices while simultaneously reducing latency
  • BSS coloring technology reduces interference in ‘noisy’ Wi-Fi environments, making more efficient use of available Wi-Fi spectrum
  • 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and 1 Gigabit Ethernet WAN port provide optional wired connectivity
  • Intelligent Quality of Service (QoS) prioritizes network traffic to minimize the impact of busy bandwidth
  • Backwards compatibility ensures support for previous Wi-Fi standards and all Wi-Fi devices
  • Increased battery life of connected devices with Target Wake Time (TWT) technology
  • Supports WPA3™ — the latest WiFi security for more protection
  • Voice Control for an even easier home Wi-Fi networking experience
  • Works with the D-Link Wi-Fi App for easy setup and enhanced parental control

Setup & Using the router

Setting up the router was simple – I simply used my existing SSID details and broadband login and everything was inline within 5 mins. There is a rather clever installation assistant that helps you if you haven’t installed a router before and youo can configure whether the router manages the firmware installations itself. In terms of managing the router, there is a mobile app, but for more detailed management you will need to use the web console, which I’ll talk more about later.

All my devices resumed connectivity, although I did have an issue with my BT YouView box, it also took at while to convince my Xbox One X that it had an open NAT. However once I overcame those issues the performance on the network was as good as it was with my previous router. In terms of Wireless range I did notice an improvement, the router is at the front of the house so I do suffer performance issues as soon as I reach the back end of my house, with the DIR-X1560 I still had one.

Managing the router through the web console is fairly simple, although I think the UI/UX could be improved. It took me a while to work out how to manage devices, also when it came to sorting out port forwarding for the Xbox One X, I had to manually assign all the details. On my previous router, there was a pre-determined list that kept all the ports up to date, which ensured continuous service and prevented mistakes being made by the user. I was impressed with the Quality of Service feature that lets you drag your device to a higher priority spot, with other devices being given medium and low priority. Despite some niggles I was impressed with the way the router managed itself through the setup and automatically managed firmware updates, I also liked the ability to run a speed tests directly through the router.

As homes become more populated with Smart Devices it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this router supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. You can turn on/off your guest Wi-Fi, ask for your guest Wi-Fi credentials, reboot your router or update your firmware. It worked really well although I don’t think its something that I’d use in the future.

Overall Impressions

The DIR-X1560 is a brilliant entry-level WIFI-6 router. Coming in under £100, you are essentially paying for a basic router so if you are looking for something more feature rich then you will be looking to pay over £200. Foe the average user like myself however, this compact device will do everything you need.