Gadgets

Review: D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 router

Review: D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 router - The EAGLE PRO AI R12 AX1500 Smart Router brings revolutionary AI-based technologies to help you optimize and manage your home network with minimal effort.

The newest, sixth-generation WiFi ax standard has gone to the so-called mainstream. You no longer have to buy the most expensive devices to enjoy WiFi 6. Review Router D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 supports this standard. Even if we do not have devices supporting WiFi ax today, such a router will ensure compatibility in the future. Not to mention other benefits of the technology include more modern WPA3, OFDMA, MU-MIMO encryption, 1024 QAM modulation, or BSS coloring. However, it’s not speed; its range D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 surprised me the most. I had larger, more expensive devices with more antennas, and thanks to D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500, I obtained the best results in the farthest corners of the apartment. However, it was not without some problems.

The main advantages and disadvantages of D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500

Advantages of D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500:

  • White, smooth housing, easy to keep clean
  • Wall mountable
  • Small size and weight make it easy to find its place
  • Easy management of the mobile application
  • Clear and attractive web interface
  • Better than other models’ performance in the farthest corners of the apartment
  • Supports up to 128 devices connected via WiFi
  • Useful functions like turning off WiFi at night
  • Parental protection
  • WiFi for guests
  • QoS
  • Price: PLN 259

Disadvantages of D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500:

  • There is no USB port
  • No power button
  • 3 instead of 4 Ethernet slots
  • The necessity to manually update via WWW right after startup
  • The default configuration of the first launch by the mobile application recommended by the manufacturer did not work for me before the update
  • In my tests, it was not faster than the previous generation WiFi ac

Design

Design D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 is classic. It is a compact and lightweight router with 4 antennas that can be positioned at any angle. On the bottom are two mounting brackets, and on the back, there are 3 Ethernet sockets and one Internet socket – this is one Ethernet socket less than usual in this type of construction. There is also a power socket and two buttons: WPS and reset. There is no power button or USB port for plugging in memory or printer. On the front are 4 LEDs indicating power supply, network connectivity, and two WiFi network ranges – 2.4 and 5 GHz. D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 is a simple structure for a home user.

The housing is white, smooth plastic with a matte accent and a light blue underside. It is much harder to see the dust on a light casing.

The box includes a power supply with a removable connector, a meter-long Ethernet cable, and a Quick Start Guide – in English, but most of the information is pictures.

Configuration and software

After the first start, WiFi worked slowly, at 15 Mbps, and the router did not want to connect to the mobile application on the smartphone. To solve the problem, you need to connect to the router using a browser on a computer connected directly to the router by entering the address: https://devicesetup.net/ and the password that can be found on the sticker on the bottom D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 and a sticker on the Quick Start Guide. For each model, the password is different and random. When we connect to the router via the browser, the device will automatically detect the new version of the software, propose the installation, carry it out by itself, and restart. Then all problems disappear, and you can connect to the router with the mobile application.

  • Check the number of connected clients and signal amplifiers
  • Share WiFi with your contacts
  • Set up a separate guest WiFi network
  • Test your internet connection speed
  • Manage parental protection
  • Assign priorities to connected devices in the QoS system
  • Block internet access at bedtime, or disable it at your request
  • View weekly reports on WiFi environment and internet traffic
  • Configure the voice control

When we log in to the browser, we get the full possibilities. We can then:

  • Manage IPv4 and IPv6 settings
  • Change more advanced WiFi settings
  • Switch the operating mode from router to extender or bridge
  • Manage Firewall settings
  • Change port forwarding settings
  • Run dynamic DNS
  • Establish a VPN link to connect to your home network remotely
  • Review the logs
  • Add users
  • Check for update
  • View live network load statistics broken down into LAN, 2.4 GHz WiFi, and 5 GHz

The software is transparent and sufficient for a home user.

The manufacturer places great emphasis on AI functions in this device, of which there are as many as 5:

  1. AI Assistant
  2. AI Mesh Optimiser
  3. AI Parental Control
  4. AI Traffic Optimiser
  5. AI Wi-Fi Optimiser

However, it is difficult to say how exactly AI affects network performance and how these functions and their benefits can be tested in practice.

WiFi Transfers and Coverage 6 

I performed a series of tests focusing mainly on WiFi because connecting with a cable always gives the same results and the maximum possible transfer.

First, I wanted to compare the speed of the newest WiFi ax to what the UPC Giga Connect Box router offers with WiFi ac. I was expecting higher transfers for the newer WiFi 6 standard, yet D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 was not faster. I used a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and a desktop computer equipped with WiFi 6 for testing. The speeds of the UPC modem and the D-Link router were either very comparable or several dozen Mbps faster for the UPC router, and in both cases, they oscillated around 500 Mbps near the router and 300 – 400 Mbps through one wall and 200 Mbps through two walls.

Two previously tested D-link routers with WiFi ax on board turned out to be faster because both managed to break the 700 Mbps barrier. They were D-Link EXO AX AX1800 and D-Link DIR-X5460. This time reviewed D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 it did not perform as well, and the WiFi ax did not benefit from the higher transfers. This technology also has other advantages, such as less susceptibility to interference and the ability to handle more devices under a greater load.

For it, D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 surprised me with its reach, which I was completely unexpected. This is one of the smallest routers with only 4 antennas, and I thought that the range could be a challenge for him – in old brick buildings with very thick load-bearing walls, I have a problem with coverage in the last room, where the signal has to penetrate two super thick ones and the third standard wall. The UPC router is on the verge of connectivity, reaching 0.5 Mbps at one point and 2 Mbps at the other. Where UPC offered 0.5 Mbps, D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 reached 30 Mbps, and where UPC offered 2 Mbps, D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 hit 15 Mbps. These are not extremely high values, but they are the highest I have encountered when using one device. Secondly, they already allow the basic use of the Internet quite comfortably.

Conclusion

D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 is a simple and inexpensive home-based device, supporting several of the latest technologies. The first launch resulted in complications until the software was updated using a browser and a computer, but the router worked completely without any problems.

D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 It looks nice and is easy to keep clean, but most of all, despite its small size, it offers the best range of all devices tested so far.

Choosing D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 you have to remember that it does not have USB sockets, and we can connect 3 devices to it, not 4, via the cable. It is not a device aimed at serving a large office, but there are no limits to wireless connectivity, offering support for up to 128 clients.

We love: coverage

We don’t like: Need to update right out of the box

Who is the D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 for:

  • For home users
  • For people with multiple devices using wireless connectivity
  • For those who want to cover a large apartment with one device

Who is not the D-Link R15 EAGLE PRO AI AX1500 for:

  • Not for people who want to connect more than 3 devices with an Ethernet cable
  • Not for those who need a USB port to connect a memory or printer
  • Not for those requiring top WiFi performance exceeding 550 Mbps