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D-link Covr-1102 – trouble-free mesh with promising new standard

Tested product: D-link Covr-1102
Award: From SEK 1,203 at CDON.

D-link is taking it easy on jumping on the wifi 6 bandwagon, but investing further in good and affordable wifi 5 solutions instead. For the vast majority of users, bandwidth and capacity are plenty, so if you don’t want to pay large sums of money to get WiFi coverage in a smaller home, it’s still the smartest choice.

The latest addition is a new mesh pack of a simpler variety. It’s called Covr 1100, and is available in two- and three-packs with the names Covr-1102 and Covr-1103, respectively. The three-unit package is not sold in Sweden at the time of writing, but it should also be available shortly. The Covr-1102 that we are testing here costs just under SEK 1,300 in stores.

D-link already has a mesh pack consisting of similar compact units called Covr-1202 or Covr-1203 for a three-pack. These are basically the same price range, and have similar performance. We are talking about AC1200 Wi-Fi in both cases, i.e. capacity of 866 Mbit/sec on 5 GHz which is shared between clients and the mesh nodes, as well as approx. 300 Mbit/sec on 2.4 GHz.

D-link Covr-1102 from the front
The devices have a small and discreet status diode on the top. In the unlikely event that it interferes, it can be leaked.

Stylish little cubes with smart news

So what is the difference between the Covr-1202 and this new package? One thing is the design, a simpler white cube that can be more discreet to place in the home than its predecessor’s partially copper-colored and wider pucks. However, they cannot be wall-mounted. Another news is that the new Covr has support for voice control from Google Assistant and Alexa.

The new devices are finally also certified for easymesh, a new standard from the Wi-fi Alliance that allows mesh devices from different manufacturers to talk to each other. With other mesh systems today, you’re locked into sticking with one manufacturer, but when easymesh takes off, you don’t have to worry about that, and you can compose and expand your mesh network more freely.

It’s a consumer-friendly step in the right direction that we appreciate, but until more manufacturers jump on the standard, it makes no practical difference to you as a user.

Simple installation

The practical handling of the system is very simple. We preferably install the package using a mobile app. All we need to do is scan a qr code, and then the mobile takes care of most of the work automatically. We simply follow the instructions on the screen and only need to do one thing ourselves, enter a password for admin login. The router has secure wifi passwords pre-configured that you can change or keep.

D-link Covr-1102 from the back
One WAN and one LAN connection per device, both in gigabit class.

In the app, we can then manage a handful of the routers’ simpler settings, such as activating a guest network or keeping track of connected clients. One thing we miss here is the ability to directly block devices from connecting. What we can do is create a parental control profile with a surfing schedule without allowed times and put these clients under that profile.

It feels like a slightly backwards way, but it works. The parental control has no content filter but consists only of this access scheme. There is a simple url filter for either blacklisting or whitelisting sites, but at most 24, and not divided by different users.

You can access this and other more advanced settings via the router’s web interface. You don’t have huge opportunities there to control the router in detail either, but in any case you get access to basic settings such as firewall settings and port forwarding. Here you can also activate better wifi security in the form of wpa3 if you have clients that support it.

Expected performance

In performance measurements, we get up to about 400 Mbit/sec at best to a single client connected to the main router, and a range for the 5 GHz band of about eight meters with an internal wall in between. It is thus the range before the speed drops below 100 Mbit/s, what we consider adequate to place the next mesh device, so we can get maximum WiFi coverage of at least 100 Mbit.

D-link wifi app
The mobile app is attractive and easy to use, although not particularly rich in content.

This is not a huge result for a mesh system, but well accepted in the budget class, and matches what we got when we previously tested the Covr-1203. The system seems to deliver good stability and reliability when roaming between nodes. During a couple of days of everyday use, we did not encounter any noticeable problems.

We cannot choose the frequency band ourselves, so sometimes we jump to 2.4 GHz, and get longer range but lower bandwidth. But for the most part, clients stick to 5GHz if they support it and the bandwidth is available. A clear plus point is that the devices support ethernet backhaul. This means that if you can run a fixed cable between them, they do not need to send data between each other via wifi. Then there will be much more bandwidth left over for you to surf and stream.

Stable budget choice, but not obvious

For straightforward Wi-Fi, the Covr-1102 works really well, although we would have liked more range. It gives us all the ease of use we want in a mesh system, and the possibility of some extra settings that may sometimes be needed via the web interface.

It fits well in a smaller home that does not have sky-high bandwidth requirements. Performance and range aren’t the best in class, but D-link doesn’t do away with it completely. There are a few really strong competitors that match their two-pack solutions in price, or are only slightly more expensive.

The Easymesh certification is of course a plus on the edge, but before we know if it will become a standard adopted by more in the industry, it is mostly a theoretical advantage. But someone has to be first, and we applaud D-link for taking the plunge.

D-link web interface
Some things can only be done through the web interface, which is simple and tidy, but without a Swedish interface. You can also skip the app entirely if you want and manage everything from here.


Product name: D-link Covr-1102
Tested: March 2020
Contact: D-link
Product type: Mesh router with two nodes
Wireless protocols: Wifi 5 (ac1200) with mu-mimo, beamforming.
Frequency band: 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz.
Connections: Gigabit wan, gigabit lan
Wireless security: Wpa, wpa2, wpa3.
User interface: App (Android, IOS), web.
Miscellaneous: Voice control with Alexa and Google Assistant, easymesh support.
Performance, first unit*: 391 Mbit/s.
Range per unit**: 8 meters.
Size (per unit): 9.3 x 9.3 x 9.3 cm.
Rec. Award: SEK 1,249
Award: From SEK 1,203 at CDON.

* Measured at a distance of three meters in the same room.
** Longest distance, including a thin inner wall, where a new extender was needed.

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