You may remember at the end of July this year we reviewed the D-Link COVR-C1203 which is the small brother to the 2202. Well, you're right [Link] - I'm touching on the bigger brother this round and also touching on how the COVR solved one of the biggest problems I had in delivering decent WiFi to a (seemingly) small house.
I got this unit to review a few months back and wanted to wait for a bit in delivering a review in order to give them a chance to resolve a few niggly firmware issues I was having. Most have been resolved but at the time of writing the 2202 didn't support VLAN tagging on the WAN interface which is needed for most UFB ISP's here in New Zealand. In this instance however, I ended up using a Draytek on good ole ADSL to connect these to the internet.
Initially, in the house I installed these in we were having problems with WiFi reaching the far room - no matter what I did I couldn't get it to reach. I had an Ubiquiti UniFi AC-LR running with (better) success however still far from perfect. I spent a total of 5 minutes configuring and setting up the COVR to work with the Draytek modem and lo and behold we had WiFi all over the house, and best of all it was fast. Roaming between the access points in the house worked seamlessly - I've had this setup in place for a good month with absolutely no issues and no reboots required.
I would describe the features of the COVR quite comparable to the Ubiquiti AmpliFi, basic, but just works. The access points actually look quite nice also in their white + rose gold finish. On each access point there is a total of 2 Ethernet ports along with a power connector, power button and off to the side a WPS button for those who don't like entering WiFi passwords on their devices.
It wasn't all a bunch of fluffy ducks however - I did have issues with the app being rather buggy on my phone often not picking up the satellite access point and software updates / configuration seemed quite clunky at best. This is all however things that can be resolved in firmware and app updates and I have noticed in newer software many of the bugs vanish.
From what I understand also, VLAN support is coming however there is no ETA on this. With places like PB-Tech advertising this as UFB ready I think it is important for the product itself to be ready to connect straight to the ONT. This is something that was present in the baby brother (the C1203). To test performance I put this router behind a smart switch to strip the VLAN and I am happy to report it connected to my ISP (2degrees) totally fine along with IPv6 support and also worked at Gigabit speeds. The hardware is good but the software seems rushed at best which seems to be a bit of a trend with D-Link products.
For the most-part this router has been reviewed in full in the C1203 review - it has the same user interface and mostly the same features. This router however focuses on Speed. I found speed wise I could get an average of 500Mbit over WiFi to a Wave2 802.11ac client in an area with many other wireless networks around. This is also one of the only mesh products with a dedicated wireless uplink to the main router meaning it was built for speed even from the satellite units and this is exactly what I've experienced in testing.
So, in conclusion - great performance however clunky firmware. I can still however recommend this if it is on deals anywhere as a viable mesh networking solution as it does what it says on the box which is provide great WiFi with one network name. It also supports guest networking with a different SSID along with rather basic parental controls. In all, it isn't bad and is great for your average joe who just wants a product that works.
Thanks to D-Link for sending this one out to me to review and thanks again for solving a headache I had with a troublesome house!