D-Link AC2600 range ex­ten­der

AT LAST WE HAVE A WI-FI EX­TEN­DER THAT COV­ERS EVERY­WHERE, IS RE­LI­ABLE AND PER­FORMS BRIL­LIANTLY

PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS - NICK ROSS

We con­fess to rolling our eyes when the op­por­tu­nity to re­view an­other Wi-Fi Ex­ten­der pre­sented it­self. This one is easy to setup and will fill all our Wi-Fi dead zones will it? We’ve heard that be­fore.

But first, we were de­lighted to note that D-Link’s DAP-1860 AC2600 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Range Ex­ten­der de­sign makes it look like it’s about to be set upon by a swarm of Tie Fight­ers. The AC2600 refers to its (the­o­ret­i­cal) com­bined through­put, across 2.4GHz and 5GHz chan­nels, of 2,600Mb/s us­ing 802.11ac Wave II tech­nol­ogy. It’s back­wards com­pat­i­ble with pre­vi­ous Wi-Fi stan­dards, will work with com­peti­tors’ prod­ucts and can be used as an ac­cess point thanks to its gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net port.

We were im­pressed that the au­to­matic set-up ac­tu­ally worked: we sim­ply pressed the WPS switches on both our Linksys wire­less AC router and the ex­ten­der. As ex­pected, it cre­ated a sep­a­rate net­work called net­work­name_EXT but this didn’t prove to be an an­noy­ing is­sue.

We tested in a three-storey North Syd­ney town­house that’s been us­ing mesh Wi-Fi for the past year. Our router is on the bot­tom floor, the ex­ten­der was placed on the first-floor land­ing and we tested us­ing an iPad Pro 2 plus Ookla’s SpeedTest app. We tested next to the router, in a first-floor bed­room plus on the top-floor. We used Tel­stra ca­ble in­ter­net run­ning at 115Mb/s. We ran the tests while one child was PC gam­ing and an­other was watch­ing YouTube on a tablet.

We were se­ri­ously im­pressed. When by the router, the Ex­ten­der man­aged 93Mb/s (12ms ping), on the first floor it was 90Mb/s (12ms) and on the top floor it man­aged 75Mb/s (15ms). While it can’t beat a mesh sys­tem, it is eas­ily enough to beam ul­tra-high def­i­ni­tion video through­out the home.

There re­ally were no blackspots. We used it re­li­ably for a week and never missed our mesh sys­tem. The only down­side is that it takes up more than one plug socket.

At $250 it’s not cheap but it ac­tu­ally works as we hoped and it’s cheaper than a mesh sys­tem. At last we have an ex­ten­der that is gen­uinely worth buy­ing.

KEY SPECS

AC2600 Wave II • MU-MIMO • 2.4GHz and 5GHz sup­port • quad an­tenna • Eth­er­net out $249 • www.dlink.com.au

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