Dead zone be­gone

D-Link DAP-1860

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST - by Nickey Ross

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.

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