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D-Link Wireless AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit Cloud Router

No, that’s not the new Mac Pro you’re looking at. Rather, it’s D-Link’s Wireless AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit Cloud Router ($179, a.k.a. DIR-868L), which is ready to serve as a companion to Apple’s upcoming workstation—or any of its 802.11ac-equipped Macs. Much like the recently-introduced AirPort Extremes, this router is taller than it is wide, allowing for greater signal distribution. It offers similar features to Apple’s latest router, for $20 less.

The most important thing to know about the router is it provides a 2.4Ghz band at 450Mbps, and a 5Ghz band at 1300Mbps, as well as supporting AC SmartBeam—the company’s term for 802.11ac beamforming. It’ll target your 802.11ac devices, and send stronger signals directly to them. Naturally, it’s backwards compatible with older devices, though D-Link’s specs notably omit references to the old 802.11b standard. AC1750 also trumps the AirPort Extreme with a total of four Ethernet outputs, plus the standard one input, and a USB port that’s specified as USB 2.0 but looks a lot like USB 3.0 from the official images. One thing to bear in mind: D-Link’s confusing product naming scheme lists two AC1750s, one tube-shaped and the other boxy, with slightly different prices and features. This version appears to be the better pick.

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