The D-Link COVR-2202 is a Wi-Fi mesh router system from D-Link capable of achieving up to 2200 Mbps. The tower design seems to be the trend, and I suppose it helps in coverage. For this coming IT Show, they retail at S$299 which comes with 2 units. Retail price is S$339.
The COVR-2202 is priced around the COVR-C1203, and has a few differences. Depending on your home needs, you might want to choose over the other:
COVR-2202 vs. COVR-C1203
- AC2200 Tri-band vs. AC1200 Dual-band
- Dedicated band for backhaul (COVR-2202)
- Up to 6000 sq ft (550 sq m) with 2 units vs. 5000 sq ft with 3x COVR-C1200 units
Trivia: COVR-C1200 is the model name for the individual unit. COVR-C1203 is the bundle name for 3-unit C1200. Similarly, COVR-2200 is the individual unit model number, hence COVR-2202 is the bundle name for 2-unit COVR-2202.
Setting up is similar to COVR-C1203. The units come pre-paired from the factory, so just follow the D-Link Wi-Fi app step-by-step instructions. Unlike other brands, D-Link has designated one of the units as primary which goes next to the broadband modem. It is recommended that you place the second close to the main unit so that the units are synced with the home network settings.
The app detects an update is required, so I let the upgrade proceed, but after that, the second unit could not connect to the primary unit (it was blinking orange). When that happens, just go to the app menu to “Add New Device”, select “COVR-2200”, follow on-screen instructions to connect both units together via an Ethernet cable, then the units will be synced up automatically. Alternatively, you can also pair the mesh units via the WPS button located at the side of the unit.
The connectors located at the base of the mesh units can be rather cramp.
Compared to the COVR-C1203, I find the COVR-2202 delivers more stable performance. I attributed that to the dedicated band for wireless backhaul. And like the COVR-C1203, I can use the 2 Ethernet ports on the secondary units and connect directly to any LAN device to direct Internet traffic.
At optimal test locations (like, next to the mesh units), the speed test can reach almost 300 Mbps when the device is connected over the 5GHz band. I was surprised that even at the furthest part of the house – my master bedroom bathroom – I can still get above 200 Mbps speed, the best result I have achieved among all the mesh routers I have reviewed so far. When testing my desktop speed connected directly to the COVR unit, I can hit over 400 Mbps. There is no control over which of the 3 bands the devices are connected to, as the mesh router chooses depending on the content it is serving. But I left it to COVR system to serve the whole home and after 2 weeks, I received no major complaints from family members.
Works with COVR-C1200
The COVR-2202 can work with COVR-C1200 units, but when trying to “Add New Device” on the app, it does not have option to add them. What I did was to simply connect the COVR-C1200 to the COVR-2202 primary unit and waited for the COVR-C1200 LED to turn solid white, which indicates that it has been synced to the COVR-2202 network.
What happens to the dedicated backhaul capability when the COVR-C1200 is introduced into the COVR-2202 home network? The dedicated backhaul remains effective between the COVR-2202 units, and will only be absent between the COVR-C1200 and the COVR-2202. Theoretically, the devices using the COVR-C1200 unit will experience similar performance as a COVR-C1203 setup, and in my case, the entire experience of the mixed-unit setup is seamless.
The D-Link Wi-Fi app offers limited functions in managing the COVR mesh system. It has a dashboard showing the number of mesh units and connected devices (clients) in the network. Tapping the icons will drill into the device details, like name, MAC address, IP address, and the ability to set online schedule for up to 10 devices.
To gain into advanced configuration, log into the mesh router via the web browser, something that D-Link continues to support. This also means you will be able to set QoS, Firewall, Port Forwarding, Website Filter, Static Routes, Dynamic DNS, check system logs, using the same consistent UI as other D-Link routers.
Based on my experience, the COVR-2202 seems to be more reliable mesh router than the COVR-C1203. The app UI is not the most intuitive compared to Google Wifi, nor does it have advanced features like Anti-Virus or monthly reports on TP-Link Deco. But if you just want a whole home Wi-Fi router system that works and not interested in the user-friendly aspects of other mesh solutions, then the D-Link COVR-2202 is a great option over standalone routers. Retail price is S$339, but the upcoming IT Show will be selling at S$299.
Official Product Website: https://www.dlink.com.sg/COVR/covr-2202.html