Hands-on review: D-Link AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender – DAP-X1860

I have never had much luck with network extenders over the years – there’s always some compatibility issue, or something goes wrong during setup, or a firmware update suddenly kills it… so I wasn’t entirely sure whether I was in for another let-down or a pleasant surprise when this arrived for review. Still, as the mouse said… it was worth a crack, Nigel.

I thought the best use for this unit was as a bridge between my main WiFi router and the new PC set up in the new video/craft studio, which would save me from having to drill holes and run cables. It would also greatly improve the wifi signal in there for my phone and laptop, which were, at best, limping along.

Because the power plugs are located in an awkward spot underneath and behind the main desk, I ran an extension lead out so that I could monitor the signal indicator while I moved it around the room to find the best spot. Once I had a good location sorted, it was a simple matter to mount a bracket to hold the extension lead in place, keeping the unit free of any obstructions. Then it was time to set it all up.

Usually, I would open the D-Link Wifi app on my phone, because I like the hands-on approach, but this time I thought I would try the one-touch setup option since my router is fully compatible with this unit. So… press the WPS setup button the router, dodge back into the studio and press the button on the unit… wait for about 2 minutes, and bingo… it was up and running!

As soon as I powered up the newly-built PC, I realised I had forgotten to order the wifi card. Having an ethernet port on the extender was great, as it meant I could cable-connect the PC to the unit and it would bridge the physical gap, cable-free. -whew-

Performance-wise, I can’t fault it on the whole. As long as those three little crescent lights in the top-right corner are green, there’s nothing to think about – I can walk in and out of the studio while streaming music through my phone, or video-chatting, or watching YouTube, or… basically anything. Stress-free, no need to jump SSIDs… just smooth surfing the whole time.

Overall, this is one seriously clever little box, and if you need to extend your wifi coverage, or bridge a gap where cables simply aren’t practical, this is the unit I would recommend – especially because you can simply repeat the process as many times as you need to expand your network to every corner without cluttering your mobile screens with stacks of wifi networks. My only niggle – and I’m sad to say it is a significant one – is that for some reason the unit will lose the connection for no apparent reason, and won’t reconnect itself. I have to power-cycle it to get it reconnected. I suspect it’s something to do with the security package running on the office network, so I won’t point the finger at the unit itself until I have investigated further, but so far I can’t find any cause for the drop-outs.

Rating:

Reposted in partnership with: KIWIreviews.nz

Disclosure Statement: This unit was supplied by D-Link expressly for the purposes of review. No fee was offered or accepted for this impartial review.


Extend your Wi-Fi 6 with the power of mesh!
• Pair with a compatible D-Link Wi-Fi Mesh router to create a seamless mesh network
• Dual-band, with up to 1800 Mbps Wi-Fi throughout your home
• MU-MIMO Technology ensures high speeds for multiple devices simultaneously
• Latest Wi-Fi security – WPA3 for more protection
• Gigabit Ethernet port for wired mesh backhaul
• Sleek and discreet wall-plug design blends well into any home environment

You can read the original press release [-here-]