Hands-on review: D-Link AC1200 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender
With its DAP-1610 AC1200 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender, D-Link wants to plug any holes in your home Wi-Fi network.
I think we can all agree with just how important decent Wi-Fi coverage is in the home. We now have countless devices all vying for Internet access from mobile phones to game consoles, and, if you are fancy, fridges and dryers as well.
Another thing that’s important, like Wi-Fi, in a home is the walls. Unfortunately, the two do not get on. To be fair, walls don’t care about Wi-Fi, but Wi-Fi most definitely cares about walls.
The fastest, most premium Internet and network speeds are all for nought if, when sitting at the kitchen bench, you can’t update your Twitter feed to see the reactions to that cheeky tweet that you wrote on the toilet earlier. Chances are, somewhere in the house, you’ve got a Wi-Fi coverage blackspot, or maybe you just need to extend your network through the cinderblock wall at the back.
This is where D-Link’s DAP-1610 comes in. The last time I used one of D-Link’s plug-in Wi-Fi Range Extenders, it was a large as a radio-controlled car, hanging precariously from the electric socket. This new little device is no bigger than your average phone charger plug (the non-USB ones we used to have). The two antennae unfold and can be directed as required. There’s not much to the device at all, and it shows just how fast wireless technology is improving as it becomes more and more important in our lives.
The DAP-1610 is a dual-band 802.11ac AC1200 wireless extender. It is capable of data wireless data transfer speeds of up to 1200Mbps. The device operates at both the 2.4GHz (max 300Mbps) and 5GHz (max 900Mbps) frequencies. Both frequencies can be set up to use the same password to ensure the best connection for your devices. The extender also has an RJ-45 ethernet socket which can be used for a wired connection to a router or for plugging in ethernet client devices that don’t have Wi-Fi.
The DAP-1610 can be set up using WPS by plugging in near your router and pressing the WPS button on the router and the extender. After a few moments, they will be connected. The extender can then be removed and repositioned wherever your Wi_fi needs a boost.
The other way to set the device up is slightly more complex but still relatively painless, using the D-Link W-Fi mobile app. I was adding the extender to an existing D-Link network of four COVR-1100 mesh devices, none of which have a WPS button. I scanned the QR code with the app, which is both on the quick installation card and on the actual device.
Using the DAP-1610’s Wi-Fi setup SSID and password, I connected my phone and followed the prompts. After selecting the SSID of my home Wi-Fi network that I wanted to extend and inputting my Wi-Fi network password, the device restarted. With the lights, all green the extender was up and running. It was as simple as that.
Plugging the extender into the kitchen socket, I can now enjoy Twitter doom-scrolling with my morning coffee. The versatile D-Link Wi-Fi app allows for easy monitoring and control of the Wi-Fi network. Client connections can be checked and the access scheduled.
As a Mesh extender, the DAP-1610, when paired with other Mesh devices, creates a seamless extension to your network. It uses the same SSID and passwords as your router.
Mesh smart roaming allows client devices to connect to the wireless network via the networking device with the strongest signal. If you are unsure of the best location that needs a signal boost, the DAP-1610 has a series of green LEDs that will highlight your Wi-Fi network blackspots.
The D-Link AC1200 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender is an easy-to-use and discreet way to wirelessly extend your Wi-Fi network. With the device, Wi-Fi blackspots as a thing of the past, allowing you to roam your house without losing your network connection.