When I first saw the new D Link Covr mesh network system at CES 2018, I was suspicious that a device so small, could deliver the Wi Fi coverage and the bandwidth to be a serious top end contender up against offerings from Google, Netgear with their Orbi and Linksys, how wrong I was.
The $449 Covr C1203 is a dual-band dual-concurrent AC1200 mesh system that is specifically designed to deliver full network coverage across multiple level of a home or office. What you immediately notice when you unpack this Wi Fi system is that it’s not only small and stylish it’s very cleverly designed and like the Google Wi Fi offering incredibly easy to configure.
Mesh networking is new and if you have purchased a new top end 4K Ultra High Definition TV or are into streaming High Res audio you definitely need to invest in a product like the new D Link Covr for the simple reason that it handles streaming significantly easier and faster that a two or three-year-old router.
Today one of the most vital pieces of technology in a home is the wireless router, for the simple reason that it has to handle multiple attach devices, while also deliver a lot more digital traffic than in the past.
At CES D Link showed five new home Wi-Fi router products.
The dual-band C1203 which I reviewed uses three units to extend Wi-Fi coverage up to 465 square metres. The device uses the AC1200 standard and is built on MU-MIMO technology which is specifically designed handle large groups of users.
All you do to set up this device is open your smartphone and download the D Link Wi Fi Android or iOS app. The process only takes a few minutes and is extremly easy.
When you open the box, you will see that the top node is marked A this is the router while the other two nodes are extenders that interconnect to deliver the best possible signal in a home.
You simply connect the A router to your modem which in my case was a Telstra cable modem.
Each node emits a bright white light which can be annoying.
The app warns you that the full synchronisation process is in process and will take around 3 minutes. This was not the case, it took longer leaving one wondering whether the devices are actually syncing.
Be patient and all will be delivered.
As the process is taking place the lights on the router and the nodes flash, if the lights are flashing intermittently you are not fully synced, you must wait until they are fully white.
Once I had the nodes and router synced the coverage was excellent and significantly superior to the coverage we got with the Linksys Mesh network offering, it was also on par with the $548 Netgear Orbi which is more expensive than the $499 D Link Covr offering.
If you need more than one port I recommend is that you buy a small 8 port switch. For example, if you have the router next to a TV you can connect your Foxtel, gaming machine and networked soundbar direct to the small switch which in turn is connected to the D Link Covr.
The other option which I find is excellent is to connect a powerline option to your router as this allows you to distribute broadband over your electricity cables.
The Covr-C1203 boasts the usual MIMO capability the dual-band means the 5GHz channel is shared for connectivity between nodes and between nodes and end-point devices despite this the spread of a broadband signal around a room is excellent.
D-Link’s Covr system is consistent the signal strength was on average about -50dBm (decibels relative to one milliwatt) which is a strong signal -60db is near perfect, especially if you are living in an apartment. I live in a free-standing house with minimum Wi Fi around me.
Compared to other MIMO offerings this is an excellent investment especially as some competitors to the Covr-C1203 are over $100 more expensive. It’s stylish and designed to work in a modern home without being intrusive. It’s a mesh network product which means your 4K UHD content from the likes of Netflix will be delivered faster than older models Wi Fi systems.