D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500 Wi-Fi 6 Router review

The D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500 is a router that’s aimed at the modern, busy, household. Its promise to customers is simple and compelling: it’ll handle whatever you throw at it – within reason – thanks to Wi-Fi 6.

Pros

  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Fast 5 GHz performance
  • Affordable
  • Easy to set up (and manage)
  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

Cons

  • Poor 2.4 GHz performance

Before we go any further let’s be clear about something. This isn’t a top-of-the-range router – you’re not going to get a high-end router for this price. However, it *is* a very good mid-range router. This device is the affordable solution for anyone who wants to upgrade the “free” router that comes bundled with their broadband connection.

Or, in other words, this is a router that has a price point, and feature set, that will appeal households who want a little bit more from their broadband connection. 

And that’s where I was before the D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500 arrived. Foolishly, I was spending close to NZD$100/month (AUD$93; USD$66; UK£51) on 1,000Mbps fibre broadband, but running (bottlenecking) the connection through the free router that Stuff Fibre provided. 

Madness.

D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500 Wi-Fi 6 Router review (back)

Why does Wi-Fi 6 matter?

If you need a single reason to justify upgrading your router, Wi-Fi 6 is it. It’s faster, more efficient and backwards compatible. And the reasonably-priced D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500 has it.

It’s a huge deal. 

Each of us has a surprisingly large number of devices connected to our routers at any one time—Smartphone, laptop, iPad, smartwatch, smart TV, games console, smart speaker. 

The list goes on. Now multiply these devices by the number of people living in your house. It’s not surprising that the average household will have anywhere between 10-100 connected devices. And consider one more thing: our devices are using more traffic than ever before. A lot more!

Wi-Fi 6 is the answer to this. Click here to learn more about Wi-Fi 6.

Setting up the D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500

Routers have been easy to set up for about a decade now. However, for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, 192.168.0.1 can still be an intimidating place. D-Link deserves credit for simplifying the process further with the DIR-X1560 AX1500.

Users will find a “quick installation card” inside the box that allows them to get their router up and running in seconds. All users need to do is download the official D-Link Wi-Fi app from the App Store or Google Play Store and then scan the provided QR code, or manually enter the login information. From here setup via the wizard is straightforward.

D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500 Wi-Fi 6 Router review - Interface

D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500: Features

This router has all the standard features you’d expect: Firewall, Port Forwarding, Website filters, Static routers and Dynamic DNS. There are also a couple of additional features that are really useful, namely the Quick VPN and QoS engine.

QoS engine

The built-in Quality of Service (QoS) engine is an excellent example of D-Link understanding real-world stress points of a modern household, sharing the same internet connection and router.

This router makes it easy for the user to set priority levels for specific devices. It’s literally a drag and drop process that anyone can do. The results are significant, though. A quick “drag and drop” allows you to prioritise your networks most important devices – work laptop or games console – meaning you can ensure they will be served the best speeds from the router. 

D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500 Wi-Fi 6 Router review - QoS

Quick VPN

As a British ex-pat living in New Zealand, the Quick VPN feature is a big plus point for me. I use ExpresVPN – at device level – to watch UK TV. However, with Quick VPN, I can now turn my run my entire house’s internet connection through ExpressVPN UK servers.

This, of course, isn’t an exclusive feature for the D-Link DIR-X1560, but it’s a welcome one. And with more of us having to work from home these days, the ability to quickly configure your home internet connection via a secure – perhaps work-based – VPN is a solid feature to have.

That said, setting up “Quick VPN” is still a bit clunky and intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing. And that’s most poeple! Routers still have a long way to go to catch up with smartphones and laptops regarding making VPNs user friendly – but this is as good as any I’ve seen.

Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support

“Alexa, tell D-link Wi-Fi to turn on the guest Wi-Fi”. 

“Alexa, ask D-Link Wi-Fi to tell me the quest Wi-Fi password.”

“Alexa, tell D-Link Wi-Fi to reboot the router.”

These are the three voice control skills that D-Link gives as examples on the box. And they’re kind of useful, I guess. However, I’ve only used them to test if they work. And they do. Other than that, Alexa and my D-Link router haven’t been talking – and I’m yet to think of another useful question/command.

D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500: Performance

I tested the D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500 using my Fibre 1,000Mbps connection. I used Ookla Speed Test and created several real-world environments. The first was a wired ethernet. The second was a 5 GHz Wi-Fi-6 with my device (iPhone 11) placed within a meter of the router. I then repeated this test on the 2.4 GHz frequency. Finally, I tested the maximum signal distance speed (through multiple walls) of the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies at maximum range.


Download (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Ping (ms)
Wired8264732
5 GHz (Min distance)7993884
2.4 GHz (Min distance)63.169.35
5 GHz (Max distance)18.04.546
2.4 GHz (Max distance)2.3342.79

There are a few things to note. First off. WOOF! That 799Mbps 5 GHz wireless speed is ridiculously for a router at this price point. 

Sadly, this performance isn’t matched in other areas. The close range 2.4 GHz performance is a bit “meh”, and when you try to use the router’s wireless signal at a distance, it starts to struggle. The “max distance” and “through walls” 2.4 GHz download score was particularly poor with the 5 GHz frequency outperforming it – which it absolutely should not do (from a technical point of view).

D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500: Verdict

There’s a lot to like about the D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500 Wi-Fi 6 router. It’s close-range 5 GHz wireless frequency performance is so fast I find myself running my Ookla Speed Test app several times a day just to enjoy the numbers it returns. And that’s the real selling point of this router: Wi-Fi 6 performance at an affordable price. Add-in its easy setup and user-friendly (ish) interface and it’s a compelling product for the average household. 

But it’s not perfect. Its 2.4 GHz wireless performance is an issue that leaves me feeling frustrated. However, if your home has a good wired network (like mine does) you can tactically position your D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500 so that it’ll do a job at providing a speedy Wi-Fi 6 signal over short, and mid-range, distances. And for a lot of houses or apartments, that’s all you need.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
5 GHz speed
2.4 GHz speed
Features
Price

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