Hands-on review: D-Link Covr-2202 Seamless Mesh Wi-Fi System
There’s never been a more important time to ensure that your home has adequate wi-fi coverage. As home working becomes the norm, and the weather improves, it won’t be long before many of us think about moving our workspace outside. If you’ve not considered it before, now the time to reassess your wi-fi needs.
Most home wi-fi networks are still built around dated usage patterns; a couple of phones and a laptop in or around the lounge area. Today’s reality is more like a TV or two streaming 4K Netflix, a Google Home or Amazon Echo streaming Spotify, perhaps some online gaming, all whilst you are trying to connect to the work server to work on a presentation for tomorrow’s Zoom meeting. Our home network and internet access, more than ever, has become a fundamental part of our leisure and working lives.
The D-Link Covr-2202 Wi-Fi Mesh Wi-Fi System consists of two stylish-looking white devices with subtle bronze trim. The system is essentially a replacement for your router, although it can be used in addition to it via a bridging mode.
One device is labelled with an A. Device A connects directly to your modem, via a wired connection, to one of the two Ethernet ports on the back of each unit. The second device can be placed in a convenient location to extend the wi-fi to that area. Together, the Covr-2202 units can create a coverage area of up to 560 sqm.
Each Covr device has six antennas to deliver tri-band Wave 2 MU-MIMO AC2200 wi-fi at speeds of up to 2200 Mbps. The devices can shape the coverage area depending on the location of the client devices.
As well as extending wi-fi network coverage, the Covr-2202 comes with a complimentary 5-year McAfee Internet security subscription and a 2-years McAfee Antivirus protection. Anti-virus software can be installed on an unlimited number of devices be they PCs, laptops, tablets or mobile phones.
Setting up the Covr-2202 system is very easy and can be done via the D-Link Wi-Fi mobile app or direct connection to the devices web-based system menu. My advice is to set-up the devices via the mobile app and to only use the web-based menu, once the system is set up if you are a confident user wishing to take advantage of the more advanced functions. Most users will find everything that they need, accessible via the mobile phone app.
The D-Link Wi-Fi mobile app has easy-to-follow instructions that simply require you to plug in the device labelled A and scan the bar code on the enclosed set-up label. You then answer a few simple questions to customise your wireless network name and password and wait for the lights to turn white. You then switch on the second device and that’s it. Additional Covr-2200 devices can be purchased and added to the network to further extend coverage.
From the D-Link app you can set up guest access, client device scheduling (for limiting the kids’ access, for instance), and the McAfee security functions. To enable the McAfee protection, you need a D-Link cloud account which, after setting up allows access to the D-Link Defend app. From here links to the Antivirus software can be deployed to client devices and McAfee security services accessed.
The most impressive thing about the Covr-2202 system is that despite the devices’ more domestic aesthetics, clearly designed to blend into home décor, it is still a fully-functional, customisable high-spec router system. By accessing the router settings via a PC, the web-based menu allows access to all the advanced functionality required to fine-tune your network experience.
Quality of Service (QoS) settings allows priority to be given to the most important client devices - for instance, your work laptop over the kids' consoles or streaming TV (no more productivity nose-dives due to a massive Call of Duty patch). Gamers may wish to use the DMZ function to give their consoles direct access to the internet (use with caution). Then there are port forwarding settings for ensuring the right info gets to the right client.
The D-Link Covr-2202 Seamless Mesh Wi-Fi System offers an elegant-looking solution to the needs of the modern connected home. Not only are the devices aesthetically designed to blend in, they also offer fast internet speeds and network coverage throughout the house. The advanced functions rival those of one of D-Link’s more enthusiast-level routers. The addition of built-in McAfee protection offers piece-of-mind and internet security for all the family.
As an easy-to-use, all-in-one wi-fi mesh and internet security solution, it’s hard not to recommend D-Link’s Covr-2202 Seamless Mesh Wi-Fi System.