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Networking

D-Link's Covr mesh systems want to smother your home in Wi-Fi, one way or another

The Covr networking family, unveiled at CES 2017, includes a Wi-Fi system and a Powerline Wi-Fi system both slated to be available in the second quarter of 2017.

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The Covr Wi-Fi system.

D-Link

D-Link's first Wi-Fi system, the Covr DKT-883, kind of bucks the trend. Instead of a few identical hardware units, which you see in systems like the Google Wifi or the Eero, it includes a main unit and a smaller satellite unit, preprogramed to work with each other right out of the box.

A router and an extender

The main unit is the fully featured DIR-883 AC2600 dual-band MU-MIMO router. This is a quad-stream (4x4) router that has a top speed on the 5GHz band of 1,733 megabits per second and on the 2.4GHz up to 800Mbps. Like most home routers, this unit has the usual number of network ports (four LANs and one WAN) and a web interface with a full set of features, just like any other D-Link router.

The satellite unit is the DAP-1655 AC1300 Gigabit Wi-Fi extender. This is a 2x2 device with up to 867Mbps on the 5GHz band and 400Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. It also has two Gigabit LAN ports. This unit automatically replicates the Wi-Fi setting of the router unit. As a system, the two will likely offer seamless hand-off, meaning clients like phones and laptops can automatically switch between the main router and the extender units without any interruption, something you generally can't achieve by using a standalone router with another standalone extender.

The Covr Wi-Fi System has smart steering that focuses its Wi-Fi signal on connected devices for faster speed. You can also add more satellite units to increase the coverage area. According to D-Link, while you will be able to buy the satellite unit individually, the Covr router will be available only in a kit that also includes one satellite unit.

It's unclear how large a space the Covr Wi-Fi system covers, but my guess is with the two units, it can easily handle some 4,000 square feet, similar to the NetgearOrbi.

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The Covr Powerline Wi-Fi adapter.

D-Link

Powerline thrown in the mix

D-Link's Covr family also includes the DHP-W732AV PowerLine Wi-Fi System. Despite the name, this system is not intended to be used only with the Covr Wi-Fi system above. Rather, it's designed for people with any existing router and who need to increase their home's Wi-Fi coverage. However, D-Link says the two systems can work together and in this case, the powerline system will automatically replicate the Wi-Fi settings of the Covr's main router.

The DHP-W732AV system includes two identical powerline units that can connect to each other via electrical wiring using the AV2 standard at 1,300Mbps. Each also includes a built-in dual-band Wi-Fi access point and three Gigabit network ports. D-Link says the Covr Powerline Wi-Fi system is perfect for homes with thick walls that Wi-Fi signal can't penetrate.

Availability

Both the Covr Wi-Fi System and Covr Powerline Wi-Fi System are slated to be available in the second quarter of 2017 at the suggested price of $400 and $200 respectively. UK and Australian pricing was not announced, but those prices convert to £325 and £165, or AU$555 and AU$275.

Click here to find out what else is happening at CES 2017.

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