D-Link DIR-X1560 full review
The D-Link DIR-X1560 is a very cheap entry-level Wi-Fi 6 router from D-Link, promising some of the fastest wireless speeds currently available for a nice, sub-£100/$100 price.
Wi-Fi 6, the latest Wi-Fi standard, promises faster and more reliable Wi-Fi connections, and now we’re starting to see Wi-Fi 6 antennas appearing in cheaper phones and laptops like the ZTE Axon 30 Ultra and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5, as well as expensive flagship devices like the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max and LG gram 17 (2021).
To get the best out of these new devices, you’ll want a Wi-Fi 6 router in the home, too. While the best routers and mesh Wi-Fi systems with Wi-Fi 6 can be expensive, there are also some more wallet-friendly versions available to buy now, too, including the DIR-X1560.
Note that, like many routers, this doesn't have a modem so needs to be plugged into your existing router.
Priced at around £100/$100 when it first launched, this router can be had a fair amount less. What exactly do you get for your cash though? Let’s find out.
Design & Build
The DIR-X1560 is a fairly common-looking wireless router. It’s low, angular, vaguely wedge-shaped, has four moveable antennae – one on either side and two on the back – and is clad in black plastic.
Four feet with rubberised tips lift the DIR-X1560 clear up off of flat surfaces, and air holes are cut into the top, sides and base to allow the core components to remain cool. On the base in between the two rear feet are a pair of clips allowing you to attach the router to a wall, should you wish to mount it.
Round the back, you’ll find five gigabit Ethernet ports. One is a WAN port for your modem connection, helpfully highlighted in yellow, and four other ports for connections to your devices - TV set-top boxes, streaming devices, games consoles and the like. While there is no USB port, so you can’t attach an external hard drive to the DIR-X1560, getting a NAS drive set up should be no problem.
It’s good that D-Link hasn’t cut corners here – some budget routers will come with fewer Ethernet ports – but the DIR-X1560 isn’t an exception here. The Asus RT-AX55 and TP-Link Archer AX50 are as generous in terms of wired connectivity.
Next to that, there are the typical things like the reset button, a button for WPS, and the power on/off switch next to the mains adapter.
As the D-Link DIR-X1560 is a standalone router – there is no modem here – it’s perhaps not surprising to learn that it’s quite small (252 x 166 x 194mm) and very lightweight (410g), so finding a convenient spot for it in your living room, office, or wherever you need it shouldn’t be any bother.
Set-up & Features
Getting the DIR-X1560 up and running is simple, thanks largely to the fact that the D-Link Wi-Fi app (iOS, Android) is really easy to use and follow. Nowadays, every network equipment manufacturer has rolled out mobile apps designed to take the sting out of getting a new router up and running and D-Link is no exception.
After powering off your modem and connecting the DIR-X1560 to the mains, you’re then instructed to connect the router to your modem with the supplied Ethernet cable – it’s a metre long, which should be enough for most situations.
You then power the DIR-X1560 on, and connect to it on your phone via Wi-Fi when it appears on your list of devices, scan in the QR code that’s printed on the router’s base when prompted, after which point you should be prompted to turn your modem back on again. The whole process took me a little longer than 5 minutes, which is good going.
Once you’ve set the DIR-X1560 up, you’ll be prompted to create a network password and an admin password, after which, you’ll then be ready to connect everything else in your home to your new router.
The D-Link Wi-Fi app as well as acting as a set-up tool also gives users a quick on-the-fly look at what’s happening on the home network, with client devices arranged in a simple list.
The layout of the app takes a bit of getting used to, but once you’re familiar, doing things like creating Wi-Fi schedules and applying them to specific devices, should you wish to enforce homework hours, is easygoing, as is creating temporary Guest Wi-Fi networks, and changing passwords.
If you want to do anything further than this, you’ll need to use the desktop control panel, which gives you greater access to the functions and features of the DIR-X1560.
The desktop dashboard is much easier to get to grips with, thanks to a clever, and more user-friendly layout. The QoS (Quality of Service) tool, for example, is very easy to use, as if you want to assign priorities to certain devices.
If you want to make sure that your Nintendo Switch downloads happen in the most speedy way possible, for example, simply click and drag the card marked ‘Nintendo Switch’ as it appears on the list of devices.
Performing a speed test here also lets the DIR-X1560 apportion specific amounts of bandwidth, which is handy if you’re living somewhere where internet speeds are not great, but you want to make sure that there’s always enough bandwidth set aside for Netflix.
Other features available to you here are the ability to connect to Mydlink-enabled security cameras, along with more common router features like a real-time network monitor, which lets you see how busy things are on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, and possibly identify any sources of congestion.
There’s also a website filter that lets you create a block list, and assign this to specific client devices, but it is very rudimentary, as it only lets you build a blocklist of up to 24 URLs – not that helpful when there are far more than 24 websites out there that parents would rather younger users did not visit.
Needless to say, parental controls that come baked into routers like the DIR-X1560 are seldom much cop, and so you are far better off investing in dedicated software if this is of interest – read our best antivirus guide.
The DIR-X1560 provides fast and reliable wireless connections – provided you’re in the same room as the router.
While this device is not intended to be a whole-home solution, and it’s therefore not really fair to compare it to something like the new Amazon Eero 6 mesh. If you are living anywhere larger than a one bedroom flat, you’re probably going to want to invest in a Wi-Fi extender as well.
The below tests, taken with the WiFi Speed Test Pro app installed on a Huawei Mate 10 Pro and a RealMe X50 Pro at various points throughout a terraced two-storey house in south London, ought to give you an idea of what to expect on devices with WiFi 5 and WiFi 6 radios. The test results are averages, and have been rounded up:
|Wi-Fi 5 test||Virgin Media Super Hub 3||D-Link DIR-X1560|
|5m with a wall||501Mbps||239Mbps|
|Upstairs, near the rear of the house||20Mbps||36Mbps|
In both cases, the DIR-X1560 switched to the 2.4GHz band whenever I stood more than five metres away with a wall in between it and the test devices. Even a thin non-load bearing wall would see it use the lower frequency band.
While speeds on the 5GHz band are high, and in line with similar routers in this price range that I’ve tested, the DIR-X1560 was insistent on using the 2.4GHz band, wherever possible. Manually connecting to the 5GHz band by creating separate 2.4GHz and 5GHz SSIDs was not possible even one room away.
This pretty much to be expected for devices in this price range.
It’s worth noting that the garden test was taken roughly 20 metres away from each access point, with two closed doors in the way. I struggle to get decent Wi-Fi reception out in the garden unless I have a satellite access point or Wi-Fi extender installed in the kitchen nearby, hence why the scores here are the least good.
One thing’s for sure, as the results in the second table clearly show, Wi-Fi 6 offers faster speeds than devices using the last-gen tech, and overall, coverage is better, too.
|Wi-Fi 6 test||Virgin Media Super Hub 3||D-Link DIR-X1560|
|5m with a wall||378Mbps||229Mbps|
|Upstairs, near the rear of the house||60Mbps||129Mbps|
The D-Link DIR-X1560 is available to buy now. While the official UK RRP is still £99.99, most places are selling it for less.
D-Link is selling the DIR-X1560 directly in the States for US$99.99, or you can pick it up from Amazon for the same price. If both of these places are out of stock, Newegg also sells the DIR-X1560 for US$110.90.
D-Link sells the router directly to buyers in Australia, too, for AU$179.95. It's also stocked by The Good Guys, and JB HiFi, both selling it for AU$179, although Amazon currently has the best price, where it’s on for AU$125.87.
Read our chart of the best routers to see what other options you have.
The D-Link DIR-X1560 offers fast Wi-Fi 6 speeds for a very attractive price.
Much like the TP-Link Archer AX50, the D-Link DIR-X1560 is a good bargain buy for people living in flats, but poor range and weak wall penetration means that it’s less ideal for bigger houses.
Considering that the RRP has currently dropped to around £60-£70, it’s even more of a bargain than it was previously, but it is ultimately a cheap ‘n cheerful Wi-Fi 6 router.
D-Link DIR-X1560: Specs
- 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) 2x2 dual-band
- MU-MIMO & OFDMA
- 4 x gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
- 1 x gigabit Ethernet WAN
- Guest Wi-Fi
- Parental Controls
- Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant supportIPv6
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