Buffalo is one of the very few vendors that have supported DD-WRT unofficially for many years. Officially, their partnership has spanned just over three years and many router revisions. In fact, the image above, the WBR-B11 was the very first Buffalo AirStation to support DD-WRT when v23 SP2 was launched around mid 2006, nearly a decade ago.
Moving forward to 2015 where both Buffalo and DD-WRT both celebrate the launch of the latest open source solution, DD-WRT NXT. As of this writing, DD-WRT NXT is relatively new to the market and as such supports just four routers at this point, three of which come from Buffalo Technology.
The AirStation Extreme WXR-1900DHP is at the higher-end of solutions coming pre-installed with this firmware sporting typical AC1900 technology with 600 Mbps capabilities on the 2.4GHz band and 1300 Mbps on the 5GHZ band. Adding to this, the Buffalo WXR-1900DHP features a Broadcom BCM4709 SoC running at 600MHz with 512MB of RAM and 128MB of flash. To date, this solution, purpose built for NXT, carries the largest amount of RAM flash combination we have seen in the lab.
The specifications for the WXR-1900DHPD shows this solution maintains compliance with IEEE802.11ac/n/a/g/b featuring concurrent dual band support over the 2.4 and 5GHz bands. Wireless security is handled by the standard WPA/WPA2 AES standards. The rear of the unit houses four auto-sense gigabit Ethernet ports, along with a single WAN, while a single USB 2.0 is placed on the rear I/O, and the USB 3.0 finds its home on the front.
The Buffalo WXR-1900DHPD carries a MSRP $179.99 of with a three-year warranty.
Packaging for the WXR-1900DHPD houses the new NXT logo to the right, while additional marketing information is listed below. To the right, we have a large image of the router itself.
Scope of delivery includes a quick setup guide, three antennas, and the power adapter.
The front of the router four LEDs that when lit are white. Down below the gray cover hides the USB 3.0 port.
The bottom of the router houses a unique switch that allows you to change the mode in which the router operates. Options include router, access point, and wireless bridge.
The back of the router houses four LAN ports in black, while the WAN port is colored blue. Down below, we have the power input and switch, while above we have the reset button and USB 2.0 port.
Hidden behind a panel on the side of the router is the default SSID and password for the router.
Having used DD-WRT many times in the past, the look and feel of NXT was quite familiar. Here we have the landing page that gives information about the router and firmware revision. As of this writing, we are working with the initial build of NXT.
The wireless status menu gives you an advanced look at the signal rate and connections on each of the bands.
Within the wireless settings, you will find each band is separated to their own sections with 2.4GHz above and 5GHz below. Within this screen, you can change settings including channel, SSID and passwords.
Above, we have the QoS engine that allows traffic shaping managing network devices that may hog bandwidth.
The system settings menu allows access to SNMP to monitor the status of the router remotely, along with firmware management and backup/restore functionality.
Wireless throughput is tested using the ASUS PCE-AC68 PCI Express Network Adapter. Range is tested with a Late 2013 MacBook Pro.
We perform all tests in a real-world environment. You may get better range and throughput results in a spacious facility with few internal walls or outdoors. Our tests provide a benchmark for estimating the range and throughput of wireless networking devices in an indoor setting, with some obstacles.
In the chart above, we have two of the highest performing AC1900 solutions we have tested to date the R7000 from Netgear and WRT1900AC from Linksys. Adding the Buffalo WXR-1900DHPD to the list, we found its file transfer performance to be a bit behind the previous two solutions with LAN performance topping out at 90.6 MB/s and 21.6 MB/s being the peak on 2.4GHz wireless. Looking at 5GHz peak file performance, we see the Buffalo reached just 47 MB/s.
LAN-to-LAN throughput landed the Buffalo WXR-1900DHPD near the bottom as one of the slower routers we have tested. At 860 Mbps, the 1900DHPD lands just .2 Mbps quicker than the 1750DHP from Buffalo and 4 Mbps quicker than the 868L from D-Link.
WAN to LAN throughput reached a peak of 858 Mbps, similar again to the WZR-1750DHP from Buffalo and nearly 20 Mbps quicker than the RTA15 from Amped and 818DRU from TRENDnet.
Wireless throughput was a different story as the 2.4GHz band at the 40MHz width was chart topping at 247 Mbps, while the 20MHz width was rather disappointing at 49.3 Mbps.
5GHz performance had good and bad points. The bad was again at 20MHz with terrible performance at 55 Mbps, but changing bands to 40MHz increase performance fivefold to 225 Mbps and nearly doubled that again switching to 80MHz.
The Buffalo WXR-1900DHPD is the top of the line DD-WRT equipped solution from Buffalo Technology. With that said, I have both good and bad news for prospective buyers. First, we start with build quality that I found to be quite good. The plastics fit together quite well and the only problem I had was the antennas consistently becoming loose, but I imagine a quick twist with a pair of pliers would tighten those for good. The layout of the router is superb, though I have never been a fan of front mounted USB ports.
Next up is the performance of the router. In some cases, like we found with the 40 and 80MHz bands this router was fantastic, then we look at the 20MHz band and wonder what's wrong with the router. LAN to LAN performance was quite a bit lower than expected, as was WAN performance. We suspect this could be due to its unreasonably slow Broadcom SoC.
If you are one that doesn't pay particular attention to performance of router, but would rather something that is stable and just works, then you may be slightly disappointed with the WXR 1900DHPD. First, with its defaults this router works flawlessly, though its 20MHz performance is lacking, but switching to 40MHz or using 802.11ac will give you what you are looking for.
However, being that this is DD-WRT, it is lacking a ton of features that you can find on stock solutions from any other major vendor and their out of the box firmware. Adding to this, I had a few issues in access point mode where this router would reboot randomly throughout the day. Overall, it appears that at this time DD-WRT NXT simply isn't mature enough, so I would recommend you give it time to mature before buying, or upgrade your router to full on DD-WRT v24.
|Quality including Design and Build||70%|
|Bundle and Packaging||80%|
|Value for Money||70%|
The Bottom Line: Buffalo's AirStation Extreme WXR-1900DHP carries good build quality, but lacks some of the features, performance and stability found in many competing solutions. Overall, this router needs time to mature with DD-WRT NXT.Read about TweakTown's awards!
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Tyler joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.Newsletter SubscriptionWe openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.