D-Link Wireless Routers for Home and Small Business > DIR-878

My experience with the 878 and lessons learnt - (RESOLVED)

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twisted_mind:
Got the 878 a couple of weeks ago as an itch to upgrade from my aging 850L. With the 850L i somehow was never able to get a good reliable wifi signal in other rooms without using a range extender which brings its own hassles along with it, so i thought of upgrading to a router with actual antennae. The MIMO tech has piqued my curiosity for quite some time now and i finally bit the bullet and got this off amazon.
First unit received, buggy as hell. The router would frequently drop wifi connection altogether with all my devices as well as WPA2 password incorrect errors although the wifi leds on the unit itself were solid green. I read literally every single post on the dlink forums here for the 878 as well as it's brother 882 for a fix. Learnt about smart connect turned off. Tried turning off smart connect but then the 5GHz band would simply disappear after an hour even for a device right next to the router.
With time running out to return the product, i called up Dlink India tech support. Mind you, their tech support here is ultra awesome. I remember many years ago i wanted to resolve my double nat issues due to a dlink modem and a seperate dlink router. I just told them about nat and they sat down with me over the phone and helped setup the bridge on the modem and the dhcp on the router. Ever since i've been fan of sorts of Dlink products and vocally support them.
Coming back to the issue, the tech support asked me if i had factory reset. Since i had tried that before calling them, the next suggestion was to downgrade from 1.12 to an older fw which they said was an official fix to exactly the issues i was facing (wifi drops and 5GHz band dying completely).
I tried the downgrade but the issues showed up within an hour of me getting off the call with them. I quickly raised a return request on amazon and received a replacement fresh unit in 2 days.
≈Here's some of the interesting things i noticed throughout this whole ordeal :
Both units although sealed had a lot of dust inside the actual box and the unit. There is a noticeable amount of dust on the side antenna although the router was in a shrinkwrap sort of plastic film (like the one you peel off iphones). I'm quite surprised with two sealed units having the same dust issues which kind of rules out the possibility of a refurb being sent out to me. Maybe just poor quality control at the manufacturing plant?
For the second unit, i was literally about to simply return and ask for a refund but then reading through all these posts, tried something on my own.
Factory reset the router without configuring it manually or through the wizard.
Setup the router through  the wizard and post setup upgraded the fw from within the router GUI.
Upgraded the fw to 1.12 and then immediately factory reset the router again.
Accessed the wizard and setup the router again.

Ever since this trick of double reset, the router has worked well. Smart Connect though is broken. I enabled it for a day and it brought back all the issues mentioned above wpa2 password suddenly wrong and kicking my devices off wifi, 5 ghz band simply disappearing (checked via wifianalyser app on android) and kicking devices sitting next to the router off wifi generally.
I went back and turned off smart connect and life has been good. The upnp implementation is probably not as good on this as it was on the 850L. Here if the router is rebooted, i lose open nat on ps4 and xbox. The xbox had a fit a couple of days ago getting strict nat for no reason. Had to shutdown the router and the bridged modem for 5 minutes and all's well now.
Thanks for furrynutz for being so responsive on these forums. There's a lot of uncertainty with the way this product works but atleast for now it's working well albeit with smart connect turned off.

One thing that i've learnt along with the double reset, is the antennae positioning. My house is a single storey apartment and all 4 antennae pointing vertically up didnt work out as well for adjoining rooms. What worked for me was the rear antennae slanted at 45 away from each other. And the side antennae slanted forwards at 45. This gets me brilliant signal. :)

Another thing i learnt while trying to fix the xbox strict nat and upnp unsuccessful issue, the reboot router from within the GUI doesn't work the way it should. An actual powerdown using the physical button does the trick way better than the software option.

Pros : Great range. I get full range bars in adjoining rooms and am able to stream online /offline content to two devices at once which my 850L could never do without hiccups.
Cons : Smart connect just doesn't like me. Upnp for gamers who are ocd about open NAT is a hit or a miss. The actual router is quite big which is the thing i loved the most about my 850L (it's just so cute and small ;) ) LED indicators have a lot of light bleed through the plastic enclosure which honestly feels disappointing as this is not exactly an el-cheapo product. I paid almost $78 for this so poor build quality sticks out like a sore thumb. I prefer using Google DNS within the router settings and it frequently wipes out the saved google dns for no reason which points towards 1.12 fw not exactly stable.

FurryNutz:
Link>Welcome!



* What region are you located?
How is the game console connected? Wireless. Does wired work better for the game console?

Internet Service Provider and Modem Configurations

* What ISP Service do you have? Cable or DSL?
* What ISP Modem Mfr. and model # do you have?
Wireless Configurations
Links>Wireless Installation Considerations and Managing Signal Congestion and Good Neighbour Policy

* Ensure the default (dlink) SSID name is changed. Ensure that different SSID names are used between each WiFi 2.4/5Ghz radios. Can be anything and not something that's already in use by any neighbouring WiFi routers. Under Setup/Wireless/Manual.
* Any 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz cordless house phones or WiFi APs near by that maybe causing interferences?
* Any other WiFi routers in the area that maybe causing interferences? Link> Use a WiFi Scanner to find out. How many?
Router Placement
Forum User - "Well I feel really dumb. After moving the router away from other electronic devices my speeds are back to normal. Just a heads up for anyone experiencing slow speeds, you might want to move it away from other electronics and see if that helps."
3-6' feet minimum safe distance between devices.
Placement on main level floor and central in the building and WELL ventilated is preferred. Not in basements or closets as building materials, or near by electronics devices could interfere or hinder good signal propagation.

twisted_mind:
Region : India

PS4 and Xbox are hardwired with a Cat6 Ethernet cable.

Internet is a VDSL service by Airtel.
ISP modem is a Huawei HG630 modem router device. The modem has been set in bridges mode and dhcp has been ensured as turned off within it. The Dlink 878 has been input with the isp authentication credentials using a PPPOE setup. DHCP has been setup on the 878.

Smart Connect has been turned off. Both bands have the same SSID. I am using a custom SSID name. No other changes to channel or any other customisation. The password is also custom and same for both bands.

No cordless phones in the house. The microwave is at a distance from the router so Iím ruling out interference from it. Neighbours ofcourse all have wifi. Using wifi analyser app I can see lots of networks around however I havenít tried setting any channels manually and prefer to just let the router do the heavy lifting :)

I must reiterate though, I am currently not facing any issues as such ever since I turned off smart connect. My original post wasnít as much as a complaint but rather sharing my experience with this router. The upnp unsuccessful issue that happened last week hasnít resurfaced ever since. Had to go through several power downs of the router and the 2 consoles. But itís good now. Type 2 NAT on the PS4 with Open NAT within multiplayer games. Xbox One X Open NAT in the dashboard. Donít have a mp game on the Xbox to check NAT status within game. But Iím sure it will be open because the dashboard detects as open. :)



twisted_mind:
To add : I read so much about newer generation D-Link routers not working in terms of upnp correctly and something about full cone NAT but my experience kinda proves one can get an Open NAT simultaneously on two consoles. I was about to set an alternate port on the Xbox last week but since the multiple powerdowns resolved the issue Iím holding off on doing that for now.
If youíre collating data for better helping others in the future, one more thing I learnt with the upnp and strict NAT issue on the Xbox is, rebooting the Xbox wasnít fixing the issue. I manually did a full shutdown of the Xbox, powered down the router, gave it a good 5 minutes and the. Powered on the router, let it settle in nicely and then switched on the Xbox and bam.. Open NAT
I still feel 0 issues with upnp and NAT over 4 years with the 850L and so many in a week with this new 878 indicates the upnp implementation certainly needs a lot of work from D-Link themselves and lots of patience from end-users like us. Iím not a networking expert but could it be that the 850L has full come NAT and the 878 has symmetric NAT which from what I read last week is supposed to be more secure?

FurryNutz:
Oh uPnP works on newer generation D-Link routers. Hadn't been any issues that I've seen.

NAT also works, however when it comes to two game consoles online at the same time, playing the same game at the same time, one of the two games will not be fully OPEN NAT. This mostly effects multi player online games like CoD.

Full Cone NAT isn't available anymore on D-Link routers. I used to be. They started removing it 2013/2014 time frame. If the 850L had a firewall feature selection of NAT EndPoints in the UI, then yes, the 850L has the ability to use FULL CONE NAT. I didn't test this model router, however these had the ability to use FULL CONE NAT: D-Link DIR-655 Rev A, B and Rev C*, DIR-825 Rev B, DIR-835, DIR-657,827 and 857, DGL-4500
The 868L, 826L and 836L and 810L had the ability in early FW version, however was removed in later FW versions.
The 850L may have been effected as well since the 850L was about the same time frame in development as the 868L. 

You can find out what your 850L and 878 does here:
http://nattest.net.in.tum.de
Please post what router reports. I presume it will be Port Address Restricted NAT.


--- Quote from: twisted_mind on January 22, 2019, 12:22:42 AM ---To add : I read so much about newer generation D-Link routers not working in terms of upnp correctly and something about full cone NAT but my experience kinda proves one can get an Open NAT simultaneously on two consoles. I was about to set an alternate port on the Xbox last week but since the multiple powerdowns resolved the issue Iím holding off on doing that for now.
If youíre collating data for better helping others in the future, one more thing I learnt with the upnp and strict NAT issue on the Xbox is, rebooting the Xbox wasnít fixing the issue. I manually did a full shutdown of the Xbox, powered down the router, gave it a good 5 minutes and the. Powered on the router, let it settle in nicely and then switched on the Xbox and bam.. Open NAT
I still feel 0 issues with upnp and NAT over 4 years with the 850L and so many in a week with this new 878 indicates the upnp implementation certainly needs a lot of work from D-Link themselves and lots of patience from end-users like us. Iím not a networking expert but could it be that the 850L has full come NAT and the 878 has symmetric NAT which from what I read last week is supposed to be more secure?

--- End quote ---

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