The D-Link Covr-X1870 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh System has one thing going for it. It has a full complement (4 LAN and 1 WAN) of Ethernet ports. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but mesh routers like the Covr typically come with just a paltry pair of Ethernet ports. The spare ports means you can afford to use Ethernet as the backhaul connection between multiple mesh routers. And you don't have to agonise over whether you should save that precious last Ethernet port for your TV or game console.
- Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (AX1800)
- 5 Gigabit ports (4 LAN and 1 WAN)
- WPA3 wireless encryption
- Coverage of up to 5,500 sq feet (510 sq m) with 2 units
The Covr is an affordable dual-band Wi-Fi 6 mesh router that is sold in a pack of two units (S$199). It is an entry-level model with speeds capped at 1.2Gbps for Wi-Fi 6 clients using its 5GHz band. Probably because of its five Ethernet ports, the Covr is taller than many mesh routers. But the rest of its design — a white plastic tower without any pointy antennas — is standard for these devices. An LED status indicator at the front is handy for troubleshooting and installation. As expected, there's no USB port, so you cannot add an external storage drive or printer to the network.
Like the Asus ZenWiFi XD6, the two D-Link Covr-X1870 units are pre-paired out of the box. This makes it very easy to set up, and saves you some time, too. You'll need the D-Link Wi-Fi app (for iOS and Android), which does a decent job of guiding you through the process. The app settings are not as comprehensive as some of its competitors. This can be a plus point for less tech-savvy users. After all, most users probably just wish to adjust common settings like turn on/off the guest Wi-Fi, change the Wi-Fi password, and manage the internet access for a child who's spending too much online. Or perhaps you want to check your internet connection using the app's built-in speed test — it recorded a download speed of 841Mbps on my smartphone.
Experienced users who want more control over the router can log in to the Covr's settings via a Web browser. You'll find more options, such as a QoS that lets you prioritise specific devices and set bandwidth limits for each. But the Covr lacks the security software suite — typically powered by third-party vendors like Trend Micro — bundled by competing mesh routers from the likes of Asus and TP-Link. Instead, you'll find an old-school firewall. The Covr's parental controls could be better, too. Basically, you create a profile and associate it to client devices. You can then set a schedule for internet access and add websites to its filter. It's all very manual, unlike the ones offered by other brands.
The D-Link Covr-X1870 Wi-Fi 6 Mesh System is average at best. In my usual test with two notebooks, the Covr produced a download speed of around 490Mbps in the living room and 176Mbps in the bedroom. In comparison, top Wi-Fi 6 routers usually clock around 700Mbps to 800Mbps. But to be fair, you do get more Ethernet ports with the Covr, and I wasn't using Ethernet backhaul to maximise its performance. At just S$199 for a set of two, the Covr's affordable price may just hit the spot for those on a budget. Get it at Shopee, Lazada and Amazon.
Note: Review unit provided by D-Link.
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