D-Link is showing two new whole-home Wi-Fi systems at CES, the dual-band COVR-C103 and the tri-band COVR-2202. Both are aimed at bridging the gap between mesh network early adopters and consumers who just want to plug things in and get seamless Wi-Fi a few minutes later.
Both routers support MU-MIMO technology, to provide high throughput to multiple wireless clients simultaneously; smart roaming, to keep client devices connected to the strongest network signal in the home; and smart steering, which directs client devices to the optimum frequency band to reduce buffering and lag.
The COVR-2202 is a tri-band AC2200 system operating one network on the 2.4GHz band, and two independent networks on the 5GHz band. As with the Netgear Orbi and Linksys Velop, one of the two 5GHz networks is dedicated to data backhaul (wired backhaul is also supported if your home has that infrastructure).
It will come in a two-pack of columnar access points (APs) equipped with both horizontal and vertical antennas to optimize connectivity between each AP. Alexa compatibility will allow Amazon Echo users to configure their network using voice commands. D-Link says you can expect the COVR-2202 to blanket up to a 6,000-square-foot home, but should you need additional coverage, you can buy single APs and integrate them with your existing network. The COVR-2202 will cost $320 when it ships in the second quarter.
The COVR-C1203 is a dual-band AC1200 (2.4/5GHz) that comes in a three-pack to cover up to 5,000 square feet. It doesn’t have a second 5GHz network to dedicate to wireless backhaul, but it can utilize a wired connection for that purpose (each access point has a pair of gigabit ethernet ports). To help its puck-sized access point blend into your home’s décor, you’ll be able to swap out their colored top plates. D-Link expects to ship the COVR-C1203 in the first quarter at price point of $250.
Michael is TechHive's lead editor, with 30+ years of experience covering the tech industry, focusing on the smart home, home audio, and home theater. He built his own smart home in 2007 and used it as a real-world test lab for product reviews. Following a relocation to the Pacific Northwest, he is now converting his new home, an 1890 Victorian bungalow, into a modern smart home.