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D-Link Unified Home Network Kit marries router and extender for better Wi-Fi coverage

D-Link is at CES 2016 with its first Unified Wi-Fi Home Network Kit, which includes a AC4200 router and a AC1300 extender. It's expected to cost $370.

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D-Link's Unified Wi-Fi Home Kit includes a router and an extender.

D-Link

D-Link is hitting CES 2016 with a new product it claims will help make sure Wi-Fi coverage reaches every corner of your home, even a large one. A router and a range extender sold together, it's called the Unified Home Wi-Fi Network Kit.

The router used in the kit is an all-new AC4200 Tri-Band MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Router (model DIR-891L). It's a souped-up version of the AC3200 router, the racy DIR-890L/R. The two share the same radical red design, but the DIR-891L is a more powerful model. It's a quad-stream router with the top speed of each of its two 5GHz bands hitting up to 1,733Mbps, and on the 2.4GHz band, up to 800Mbps. The router also features MU-MIMO for better Wi-Fi efficiency.

The range extender of the kit is also a new device, called the AC1300 Gigabit Wi-Fi Extender (DAP-1655), with up to 867Mbps on the 5GHz band and 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. It looks similar, although is significantly smaller.

D-Link says the kit supports dynamic adaption that automatically balances the load between the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands to ensure both bands are optimized. What's more, the kit is slated to be easy to use, with plug-and-play installation.

While the effectiveness of the kit in terms of Wi-Fi coverage is yet to be determined, it's a bit odd that D-Link is coupling an extender and a router of two different Wi-Fi tiers, with the router supporting a much faster Wi-Fi standard. This means even at its best, clients connected to the extender's network will get much slower real-world speeds compared to those connected to the router.

The Unified Home Wi-Fi Network Kit will be available in the US in the second quarter of 2016 with a suggested retail price of $370. Australian and UK details weren't revealed, but that converts to around £250 or AU$500.

See all our coverage of CES 2016 here.

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