The desire for a mesh Wi-Fi network is easy to understand. It’s a borderline necessity for a modern, connected, WFH household. Instead of a hodgepodge Wi-fi network made up from a string of half-connected access points and range extenders, mesh technology allows you to reach every corner of your house with a seamless single Wi-Fi network. And that’s what the D-Link COVR here offers. At a reasonable price.
Sure, D-Link COVR is not perfect. And yes, there are alternatives that perform better. There’s no Wi-Fi 6, here for starters. But if all you need is a mesh network that offers download speeds around the 150Mbps mark (in favourable conditions). Then the D-Link Cover has a lot going for it.
D-Link COVR Wi-Fi review: Price (NZ)
- COVR-1100 (single) – NZ$199.99
- COVR-1102 (two-pack) – NZ$329.99
- COVR-1103 (three-pack) – NZ$429.99
D-Link COVR Wi-Fi review: Setup
D-Link really has nailed making its new devices easy to setup. Here, all you need to do is plug in the power lead(s) and connect an Ethernet cable to you mesh network’s central router. The rest of the setup can be completed in a couple of minutes – using the D-Link app and scanning your devices QR Code.
Once you’ve established an internet connection, via the just-easy-easy setup wizard, to your primary mesh device, all that’s left to do is: plug in your secondary mesh range extenders as far away as you dare. A solid white LED confirms your setup is within range, and you’re good to go. On the flip side, a blinking light means you need to move closer.
How good is the range? Erm. It’s ok, but a long way from being excellent. I’ve managed to position my devices about 8-meters apart, and through a single wall. Don’t expect to get much more than this.
This is where, I think, cost plays a role. Low-cost mesh systems can be improved by simply adding more range extenders. Which is why I’m not sure I like the thought of spending big money on an expensive mesh network…only to have to invest big again whenever I want to extend it further.
D-Link COVR Wi-Fi review: Design
Routers, generally, aren’t beautiful devices. They’re often odd-looking spaceship-style lumps of plastic with equally ugly antennas sticking out of them at uniformed angles.
The COVR is different. It’s a modern white box that won’t look out of place on a bookshelf or mantlepiece, or even mounted to the wall. More of this, please.
D-Link COVR Wi-Fi review: Performance and coverage
As I’ve said above. This isn’t the fastest Mesh Wi-Fi network on the market. It’s not Wi-Fi 6. But it is fastest enough. From my tests on my 1,000Mbps Fibre connection, I was able to get wireless speeds comfortably above 150Mbps.
This, as D-Link points out in its own marketing spiel, is fast enough to support multiple devices performing data-intensive tasks like simultaneous HD streaming.
For comparison’s sake, the D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500 I reviewed last month was able to achieve Wireless transfer speeds of 799Mbps 5 GHz wireless speed. But that, importantly, was a dedicated Wi-Fi 6 router – and therefore should be a lot faster.
Inside the COVR is AC1200 Dual-Band Wi-Fi and 11ac Wave 2 with MU-MIMO technology. As D-Link says, COVR “is perfect if you’re just starting out in whole-home networking”.
In terms of coverage, it’s impossible to say exactly how far the devices will reach. Physical and non-physical factors such as walls, furniture and network congestion will all affect performance. However, as a rough guide: The COVR-1102 two-pack gives you more reach and coverage up to 325 square metres, and the COVR-1103 three-pack truly blankets any home with up to 464 square metres of seamless Wi-Fi.
D-Link COVR Wi-Fi review: Verdict
It’s easy to like the D-Link COVR-1102 AC1200 Seamless Mesh Wi-Fi System. It’s affordable, expandable, and ridiculously easy to set up. Those three things are sure to appeal to a lot of people looking to upgrade their home to a mesh network without spending a small fortune.