D-Link DSL-X1852E AX1800 DSL router (DLink network review)

The D-Link DSL-X1852E AX1800 is a versatile Wi-Fi 6, VDSL/ ADSL2+ Modem for universal DSL connectivity in Australia and New Zealand. It has 2 VoIP ports and a WAN port to connect to NBN FTTP and HFC. It is an excellent entry-level AX modem/router for NBN FTTN.

Let’s position this first. Its USP is that it has VDSL to connect to the NBN. Most low-cost routers supplied by NBN resellers are Wi-Fi 5 – this is Wi-Fi 6. There are two caveats to its use

First, if you use Telstra BigPond, the VoIP phone ports will not work. Telstra will not release its SIP codes, locking you into the Telstra Smart Modem 3 – not all that smart or fast (update after test). Bad Telstra.

Second, it is not a mesh-capable router, so you must ensure that AX1800 is enough for your needs. Sure, you can add a mesh router system using an Ethernet LAN port, but if you need more horsepower, we suggest you read Crappy NBN FTTN Modem – here are a few better ones (guide) and Seamless whole-of-home Wi-Fi now easy with Wi-Fi 6 (guide).

Update: After publication, D-Link advised that the chipset does support mesh and, over the next couple of months, will be releasing updated firmware to support this feature. As we have not been able to try this, the review remains unchanged.

Summary – a great AX1800 DSL router in the right place.

Australian review: D-Link DSL-X1852E AX1800 DSL router

WebsiteProduct page and PDF Manual
Price$349.95 but shop around – seen for $299 inc delivery
FromD-Link online, JB Hi-Fi, Good Guys, Officeworks. Myer, Big W, and reputable IT retailers
Warranty3-year ACL
Country of OriginTaiwan
CompanyD-Link, est. 1986 is a Taiwanese multinational networking company headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan. You can trust D-Link and your privacy.
MoreCybershack D-Link news and reviews

We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass(able) rating that is not as good as it should be and a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed.

You can click on most images for an enlargement.

First Impression – Pass

It is a black router with four antennas, 2 x 2 stream, four gigabit Ethernet ports, WAN port, VDSL port, USB and two VoIP phone ports. Size-wise it is 251.64 x 166.47 x 194.18mm x 485.6g. It can be wall mounted (cables from the back).

Spec-wise it is Wi-Fi 6 AX, 2.4GHz/600Mbps and 5GHz/1200Mbps. It supports WPA/2/3 and WEP encryption.

The nice thing about D-Link is the extremely comprehensive settings that you access via the built-in website at More details are at the manual link. We recommend you use an Ethernet connection for setup. It does not use an App for setup ensuring maximum privacy. The Wizard setup is quite good and should ensure it works as intended. The manual is also very comprehensive.

Base specs

  • Broadcasts two bands SSID or can enable smart steering (seen as one band)
  • AX1800, 2.4MHz/600Mbps and 5GHz/1200Mbps, full-duplex OFDMA.
  • 2 x 2 stream (4 antenna for MU-MIMO)
  • Maximum speed router 5GHz band 1200/1200Mbps
  • 2 x VoIP FXS ports (compatible with any NBN ISP except Telstra)
  • Setup – Web UI only and full D-Link command set
  • Mesh capable: No
  • Parental controls: Yes
  • WPA 2/3/WEP suitable for older devices
  • Power: 12V/2A plug pack – negligible power draw
  • VDLS Profile: Profile 8a/8b/12a/12b/17a/30a/35b


OPPO Find X5 Pro with the latest firmware. Speeds expressed as -dBm (lower is better) and Mbps (higher is better). Internet access is a maximum of 100/20Mbps (nominal as it can go higher).

Distance5GHz routerDL/UL/Ms
Same room <2m-26/1200107.4/18.2/33
5m line of sight-36/1200105.7/17.3/36
5m through 2 walls and cupboards-53/1200101.7/17.8/73
10m line of sight-49/1200104/17.2/37
15m line of site-55/1200101.8/14.7/38

What does this mean? Pass+

These are impressive figures for a router with a good, usable signal out to 15m and the 5m test through walls/cupboards. It shows the benefit of Wi-Fi 6 and its associated OFDMA and MU-MIMO technologies.

The VDSL Profile 30a and 35b means it can handle a MAXIMUM OF 230/300Mbps downstream and 100Mbps upstream, although VDSL never gets above 100/20 (nominal). Many VDSL modem routers only have a maximum of 68/22Mbps DL/UL or less.

It also supports Save Our Showtime (SOS) and Robust Overhead Channel (ROC). ‍ They improve the stability of a VDSL2 line (the Very high-speed Digital Subscriber Line 2) by preventing dropouts due to sudden large noise bursts. Your ISP may need to enable the FTTN line for that (our test line is).

Compatibility with IoT and WPA3 encryption – Pass+

If band steering is enabled, it only transmits one SSID, and older IoT can have issues. If you find this, then disable steering. It supports all encryption modes, so there will be no issues with older devices.

4K streaming – Pass+

4K streaming requires about 25Mbps, and this appears quite efficient for two or even three streams, provided you have the NBN bandwidth.

Number of connected devices – Pass

As it has 2.4GHz/600Mbps bandwidth, you can probably attach 40 IoT devices to the system.

Lan – Pass

There are four gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. Some routers have 2x1GB port aggregation or 2.5Ghz ports, but you don’t need this.

4G Fall-over – optional

NBN is pretty reliable, but you can get a 4G LTE USB Adapter DWM022 that works with this, offering bands 1, 3, 7, 28 and 40 and DL speeds of up to 150/50MBps (depending on the Telco carrier and 4G signal strength). As its USB, it will also work with PC/Mac. Mobile data charges apply.

CyberShack’s view – the D-Link DSL-X1852E AX1800 DSL router is impressive for smaller homes and apartments

My only concern is the lack of mesh expandability, so it is not for larger or multi-level homes. Having said that, it does support Ethernet-wired extenders, albeit with these present different SSID names.

The SOS/ROC/Profile 30as/35b make this an outstanding FTTN gateway. So, you could connect a more powerful Mesh router to it and just disable the DSL-X1852E Wi-Fi.

The D-Link DSL-X1852E is a fair price for an AX device.

D-Link DSL-X1852E AX1800 DSL router








Ease of Use





  • Supports VDSL Profile 30a/35b, SOS and ROC for a faster, more stable connection
  • Decent Wi-Fi 6 signal strengths to 10m
  • Comprehensive web interface options
  • A full complement of ports


  • No Mesh expandability – use it as a gateway
  • Make sure you download the latest firmware and update via a connected PC
  • VoIP ports cannot be used for Telstra BigPond – bad Telstra