It’s no exaggeration to say that Wi-Fi has become a vital component of daily life in the home. But getting a strong and stable signal throughout all the spaces isn’t a given. That’s why many have had to resort to installing “repeaters” to take the signal coming from the Router/Wi-Fi transmitter and then amplifying it so as to create a workable Wi-Fi signal in a “dead” space. The problem has been getting these extenders to match up when the Wi-Fi transmitter is transmitting two distinct signals coming from the router/Wi-Fi; the fast 5GHz signal not being able to accept the lower band 2.4GHz signal that many older smartphones/tablets use (as well as used by some TVs and printers). Fortunately all these problems go away by using D-Link’s Covr AC3900 Whole Home Wi-Fi System, because it WILL cover your entire space.
To begin with, there’s more than one Covr in the package — besides the main unit and its array of antennas (the Covr AC2600 Seamless Wi-Fi Router), there’s a smaller “extender” unit (Covr AC1300 Seamless Wi-Fi Range Extender). This is designed to seamlessly integrate with the other (hence Covr being called a “whole home Wi-Fi system”). TheWi-Fi Range Extender take signals from the Wi-Fi Router and sends it on its way into areas that would otherwise be “dead zones.” And thanks to a sensible approach from D-Link, not only does the the Extender simply and quickly integrates with the main unit, but it continues the single Wi-Fi name: the days of fiddling with changing networks when moving from one area of the house to another are over.
The actual setup is as follows: plug both the Wi-Fi Router and the Wi-Fi Range Extender units in for AC power near the cable connection, with the Wi-Fi Router accepting the cable. Use the free app (iOS/Android) or computer to set up the Wi-Fi home network and then tell the Extender to connect to the main unit. Unplug the Extender and move it to where it needs to transmit the Wi-Fi home network’s signal in order to get Wi-Fi into problematic (i.e., “dead zone”) areas — you’ve used the app to determine where these areas are beforehand, with indicators showing relative signal strength throughout the space you’re using the home network with. Then move the Extender to the designated area and plug it in and have it start blanketing 6,000 square feet of space — keeping in mind that the speeds of the two signals (up to 1733 Mbps on 5GHz and 800Mbps on 2.4 GHZ) is a bit less as being provided by the Extender (867/5GHz and 400/2.4GHz).
But fast streaming 4K resolution videos or anything else on the Wi-Fi home network isn’t just a function of the signal strength alone. The Covr AC3900 Whole Home Wi-Fi System keeps the two signals distinct and separate so that a slower device doesn’t try and clog up the 5GHz band. This is done by prioritizing and managing the WiFi demands coming from the various devices through a mesh network procedure that ensures a mobile device connects to the strongest signal as it moves through the house depending on the current network traffic going on.
Because a high-power router is at the core of the system, speeds of up to 2X that of other Wi-Fi systems can be obtained. And we all know that speed is good. Additionally, should you want to, more Extenders can be added into the network — connecting as quickly and simply as the first.
There’s also an app available (iOS/Android) that enables varied control over the system, such as parental controls, being able to block unwanted devices and create Wi-Fi guest networks. All this makes it sound like $299.99 is too low a price to pay for the the Covr AC3900 Whole Home Wi-Fi System, but let’s not give D-Link any ideas.