The D-Link AC2600 Wi-Fi Router (DIR-2680) ($199.99) is a dual-band router offering strong embedded security features and robust parental controls. Based on Intel’s Wi-Fi chipset, this cube-shaped router uses McAfee’s Secure Home Platform to protect every device connected to your home network, including client and smart home devices. It installs in minutes and is a fast performer. All this earns it our Editors’ Choice for midrange routers.
At 6.3 by 6.3 by 6.3 inches (HWD) the DIR-2680’s white cubic enclosure is relatively bulky, but at least there are no unsightly antennas sticking out, as it uses four internal antennas that are strategically arranged for optimal reception.
A backlit power button on the top of the cube glows blue when the router is properly connected and yellow during a factory reset or firmware upgrade. Around back are three gigabit LAN ports instead of the usual four that you get with most routers, a WAN port, a USB 3.0 port, a power jack, and a WPS button.
The DIR-2680 is an 802.11ac Wave 2 device that supports MU-MIMO simultaneous data streaming, direct-to-client signal transmissions (beamforming), and Smart Connect automatic band steering, although you can separate the bands if you prefer. It’s a dual-band AC2600 router capable of speeds of up to 800Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,753Mbps on the 5GHz band. It’s powered by Intel’s 1.6GHz GRX CPU, 256MB of flash memory, and 512MB of RAM.
It uses the same D-Link Wi-Fi mobile app (iOS and Android) used for the D-Link Covr 2202 mesh system. The app offers almost everything you’ll need to install and manage the router, but you’ll have to use the web console to configure Quality of Service settings and to view system logs and access advanced options such as Port Forwarding, IPv4 and IPv6 settings, and Dynamic DNS settings.
The mobile app opens to a screen that displays the status of your internet connection, the number of clients, and a SpeedTest button to test your internet upload and download speeds. Swipe left to access a screen that contains a QR code that you can scan with another device to provide instant access to the network. Tapping the gear icon in the upper right corner opens a dashboard screen with several buttons. Tap the Wi-Fi button to edit the SSID and password and to create an access schedule. The Internet button gives you access to internet connection types (Static, DHCP, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP) and VLAN settings, and the Guest Wi-Fi button lets you enable/disable guest networking.
Tap the Clients button to see a list of connected clients and their MAC and IP addresses. The Schedule button takes you to a screen where you can also create access schedules, and the Management button opens a screen where you can change passwords and time zone settings, check the software version, and reset the router.
The DIR-2680 supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control that lets you pause and restart internet access, block and unblock devices from your network, and check to see if your network is at risk for security threats. To set up voice control, tap the Cloud Service button and choose Alexa or Google. Here you can also enable or disable the D-Link D-Fend parental controls.
To manage the McAfee security tools, you’ll have to download the D-Link D-Fend mobile app. Once downloaded, it will be accessible from the D-Link Wi-Fi dashboard and will also appear as a standalone app. Upon launch, the D-Fend app does a security check and displays any new devices that have connected to your network. At the top of the screen is a Notifications button that takes you to a screen which displays new notifications about virus updates and unprotected clients. There’s also a color-coded button in the middle…