D-Link has a new home-network ‘perimeter’ protection device – the D-Fend AC2600 router with McAfee and voice support.

GadgetGuy has a D-Fend AC2600, but a full review will take a couple of weeks. In the interim, it is one of the few available integrated security/routers after the sudden discontinuation of Norton Core earlier this year.

Why you need home-network perimeter protection?

The concept is that McAfee Secure Home Platform (SHP) provides deep packet inspection to find and stop malware etc. before it enters or information exfiltrates the home-network. Any Wi-Fi or Ethernet connected device is safer. Any standalone Windows, Mac, Android or iOS computing device can have  McAfee LiveSafe protection installed on it. These are all kept up-to-date with the cloud-based McAfee Global Threat Intelligence.

D-Link D-Fend AC2600

It includes a 5-year subscription to SHP and 2-year to Live Safe (unlimited). That should get over most objections to subscription-based routers.

Parental controls

Set up profiles for each family member – what and when they can and cannot do. This includes blocking sites by category, curfews, pausing the internet and more.

“Alexa ask D-Fend to …”

You can use an Alexa skill to perform basic tasks like pause the internet for all or specific profiles.

The press release suggests Google Assistant will also work.

Hardware

It is an AC2600 dual-band 2.4GHz (800Mbps) and 5GHz (1733Mhz) router. It uses an Intel ANYWAN GRX350 1.6GHz System on a chip and an Intel WAV500 WLAN chip.

The router operating system and McAfee Secure Home Platform run on the Intel Atom core chip aided by a dedicated network processing unit and hardware acceleration. The latter is necessary to handle the additional overhead of packet inspection.

What that means is that it’s good for about 10 active attached Wi-Fi devices (4 x 433Mbps streams, MU-MIMO) and or a larger number of Ethernet LAN devices.

It has a WAN port to connect to an NBN or other Gateway – no inbuilt modem. It has three LAN ports to connect to an Ethernet hub or other smart devices.

Setup

Via an Android or iOS app. Then set up McAfee, profiles etc.

Mesh – we think not

It does not appear to support dual-band Mesh or access point. Given the mid-range power of this device its fine for a single level apartment.

We would be tempted to use it at the Gateway and then plug downstream a powerhouse D-Link AC5300 router or even a mesh setup. Our review will test this. As long as the Intel engine can keep up, it should be the best use.

Price: D-Link D-Fend AC2600

$499.95 online or at major retailers.