Few months ago, I reviewed the D-Link DAP-1860 Wi-Fi range extender that supports 4×4 MU-MIMO with combined bandwidth up to 2532Mbps. For consumers who are looking for a more affordable range extender, the new D-Link DAP-1720 might be of interest.
Comparing with the DAP-1860, the DAP-1720 is lighter while keep the overall size similar. The power pins connecting to the wall socket is repositioned to the lower section compared to the DAP-1860 at the upper section.
The DAP-1720 supports Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac bands, up to 1750Mbps bandwidth (450Mbps at 2.4GHz and 1300MHz at 5GHz), 3×3 MIMO (3 antennas).
I recalled previously I had some hiccups during setting up the DAP-1860, but this time round, the setup process is fuss-free. Using the QRS Mobile App (instead of WPS method), I went through the wizard and set up the DAP-1720 as a repeater. I also chose to name the SSID differently for both bands, which both ran without problem. This is my recommended setup, so that you know which router or repeater you are connecting the device to. I always choose the SSID on the DAP-1720
Though lower spec, I find the DAP-1720 performs comparatively to the DAP-1860 when it comes to wireless coverage. When checking the signal strength, the DAP-1720 is slightly better in the 2.4GHz frequency compared to DAP-1860. I had to place my current router in the living room due to its proximity to the fibre ONT. My favourite position for the DAP-1720 repeater is in my study room, which is the most central location in my apartment. At this position, the DAP-1720 has no problem reaching the main door where I have the Blink battery-operated surveillance camera running. The DAP-1720 is also able to penetrate 3 wooden doors to reach my master bedroom toilet, the farthest spot in my apartment.
There are 3 LED indicators on the DAP-1720 which shows the signal strength of the repeater. 2 green bars are good enough, while one green bar or one yellow bar is ineffective. This gives user a good indication on whether the location of the DAP-1720 is ideal or not.
When it comes to network speed, the DAP-1720 is able to attain an average of 170Mbps on the Huawei P10 Plus (200Mbps occasionally) from the 5GHz frequency band at close range. In my mater bedroom which is quite a dead zone, I achieve about 85Mbps (previously on DAP-1860 I attained about 110Mbps). Of course, it helps when my wireless router is the D-Link DIR-895L which transmits blazing wireless speeds for the DAP-1720 to repeat the signals effectively. The speed is slightly slower than the DAP-1860, but for that price value, it is quite good. After all, the DAP-1860 supports 4X4 MU-MIMO which means it supports more devices connected without impacting transmission speed.
Like the DAP-1860, the Ethernet port on the DAP-1720 serves dual functions. As access point mode, the LAN port connects to the existing router to become another wireless router. As range extender mode, the LAN port allows you to connect directly to any device to receive wired data. Testing on my Lenovo ThinkPad laptop, I achieve close to 300Mbps over speedtest.net website.
Any issues throughout my review period? I was surprised there were actually none over the 2 weeks so far. The SSID on the DAP-1720 behaves no different from the main router. But even if there are some hiccups (which I felt was common for repeaters in general), a simple power cycle (off and on) should do the trick.
The DAP-1720 retails for S$139 at all good IT stores and Lazada, which a good deal given all the features. It is a relatively compact extender that plugs directly to the socket with no fuss. It works well with D-Link DIR-895 and other premium wireless routers, and has proven once again to meet my home Wi-Fi needs. By naming a different SSID, I locked my devices to the DAP-1720 and find no performance issues during my review period. It definitely offers slightly better coverage than my existing router, and if you do not require the advanced spec of the DAP-1860, the DAP-1720 is a wireless extender that I am happy to recommend.
Photos shot in lightbox sponsored by Whitebox Technologies. Read review here.