Dead zone begone
Wi-Fi is an absolute necessity in today’s highly-connected environment. Unfortunately, not all routers are created equal, hence the existence of dead zones. This is where Wi-Fi range extenders come in, with the sole purpose of eliminating ‘patchy’ indoor wireless coverage. This is especially crucial if you have multiple devices for browsing the web and streaming 4K videos. Chances are, you would want to get a Wi-Fi range extender. For that, we are going to evaluate the DAP1860 Wi-Fi range extender from D-Link.
The DAP-1860 features 4x4 data streams and MU-MIMO support to optimize performance for all compatible connected devices. The range extender also has four extendable antennas, while also acting as an access point for your wired network. It is also backward compatible, meaning that it works with older routers too. The nowstandard WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption is present as well.
One of the highlight of the DAP-1860 is that it comes with smart LED indicators. If the signal is low, you’ll see a single amber bar. Otherwise, the color green appears depending on the strength of the signal, with three bars indicating the strongest established connection. In other words, this helps in locating the ideal wireless coverage. Essentially, the DAP1860 amplifies the range of a router either through wireless or an Ethernet port. Users can configure the range extender via WPS, the D-Link QRS Mobile app on iOS and Android devices, or through a web browser.
The look of the Wi-Fi range extender is pretty minimalistic. However, it is quite ‘chunky’ and most likely built that way to live up to its feature sets. To test the effectiveness of the DAP -1860, we set up the extender through a notebook PC, and connected to the extended network using the designated SSID.
The setup process was pretty straightforward, because all we had to do was push one button, and it was ready to go. The range extender immediately connects the moment the WPS button blinked a green light. We transferred 4GB worth of files while the notebook PC was a couple of inches away from the DAP- 1860, and the process took seven minutes and 25 seconds (or an estimated 8.9MB/s). Next, we moved the notebook about 10 meters away from the extender to an area, which had a relatively thick wall, and repeated the same process. The transfer time was a longer 22 minutes and 29 seconds (or approximately 3MB/s). While the transfer time was lengthy for a distance of 10 meters, we still need to take into consideration the thickness of the wall.
concLuSion the dap-1860 is an extender that lives up to its name, and is a worthwhile purchase.
Smart Led indicators notify the ideal locations to get the best coverage.