D-Link AC2600 range extender
AT LAST WE HAVE A WI-FI EXTENDER THAT COVERS EVERYWHERE, IS RELIABLE AND PERFORMS BRILLIANTLY
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.
AC2600 Wave II • MU-MIMO • 2.4GHz and 5GHz support • quad antenna • Ethernet out $249 • www.dlink.com.au