Roti, kapda aur makaan should be rephrased to include the internet. Don’t worry, this won’t turn into a lecture about the importance and the impact of the internet and social media in our lives but it’s safe to say that from the womb to the grave, everyone in between has a digital footprint.
But the job of creating the digital presence is still up to trusty WiFi routers. Smartphone internet can only do so much and if you’re looking to upgrade your home network, mesh routers offer coverage unlike any single router. And now there’s a new method to the madness of spreading stable WiFi connections through mesh routers. EasyMesh is an open format for mesh routers and the Covr 1100 is all about that easy connectivity. What it is and how it performs are quite interesting and it might be the next best thing to upgrade.
EasyMesh format is quite simple. Previously, if you wanted a mesh network in your home, you had to stick to a single brand and have only their mesh routers talking to each other. EasyMesh kicks the door wide open. Now you can mix and match any EasyMesh compatible router without worrying about the brand. So in theory, a D-Link EasyMesh router should work with a Netgear or TP-Link and so on. Good, now that we have that out of the way, let’s discuss if the D-Link Covr 1100 is a sensible budget router.
The cube-shaped router can blend easily in your home. It doesn’t have pesky antennas sticking out. For the most part, it is easy to ignore which is great if you don’t want anything interrupting your home aesthetics. Having no antennas jutting out also means that the coverage is not as strong as routers in the same price range. Heck, it only has two ports at the back. One for the internet and the other for ethernet. Even then, the point of the Covr router is not to have wires dangling from its rear but to easily and economically cover fast internet speeds across every inch of your house.
That said, a single unit is only good for a small 1BHK apartment in Mumbai at least. If you want to cover a wider area with more walls, we recommend picking two of these. The speed is commendable. Streaming movies in 4K and having multiple devices connected to the internet is fast and easy. Although, don’t expect the router to squeeze every data from your ISP. It’s still in the budget confines so high-speed downloads are only good when the router is placed closer to the target. Having two of them in a 1300sq. ft apartment really kicks the headache out of not getting network in the loo.
We wish there were more ethernet ports at the back but that’s how mesh routers have always been unless you leave the EasyMesh bandwagon and stick to a traditional one. The EasyMesh certification doesn’t allow this router to work with traditional D-Link mesh routers that use exclusive connections to talk to their satellites. You will have to find an EasyMesh certified router to go with the Covr 1100. It is, in a way, endlessly upscalable.
The D-Link app has also been polished and refined over the years. It’s faster and more responsive than last year. Setting up a new connection is faster than waiting for your coffee at Starbucks. If you want to tinker and tweak, the app lets you set passwords, separate 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands, Parental controls, Guest Wi-Fi and other stuff. If you really want to dive deeper into the settings then it’s only possible through the web page. Hopefully, it won’t come to that because everything you need is already on the app. Even Bridge mode is available if you face NAT problems.
The Covr 1100 in itself is rather a dull Wi-Fi router. You need at least two of these to feel the mesh system at play. The seamless transition from bedroom to hall to loo is a no-brainer. The EasyMesh certification also means that you can add other (even expensive) routers to the system when necessary.
So far, the performance of the Covr 1100 is for the folks who are hooked to Netflix streaming, smart gadget wizardry and office use. And want that wide and reliable Wi-Fi blanket coverage in every corner.