D-Link’s new routers include a Wi-Fi 6 mesh system for $269

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This story is part of CES 2020, complete coverage of the showroom floor for the hottest new tech gadgets around.


Stephen Shankland/CNET

CES doesn’t officially start until next week, but that isn’t stopping D-Link from spilling the beans on its product plans for the new year. Along with a host of other announcements, the wireless networking brand is throwing its weight behind next-gen Wi-Fi 6 technology, with a number of new routers and accessories that all support the speedy new standard.

I’ll list all of them along with prices and release dates at the end of this post, but let’s start by running through the highlights.

New COVR mesh system supports Wi-Fi 6

The most interesting of all of D-Link’s new routers is the COVR X1872, a two-piece mesh router system that’s slated to arrive later this year at an asking price of $269. As the “X” in the product name might indicate, the system supports 802.11ax, or Wi-Fi 6 — the newest, fastest version of Wi-Fi.

covr-x1872-wi-fi-6-mesh-two-piece-system

D-Link

At $269, the COVR system is the same cost as the Nest Wifi, a two-piece mesh router from Google that’s only a few months old at this point. And, though it supports next-gen Wi-Fi security via WPA3 encryption (good), the Nest Wifi doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6 at all (bummer). 

That might make the new COVR system an awfully intriguing option for anyone in the market for a new mesh router that’s as future-proofed as possible. Just keep in mind that the new COVR system won’t get here until the second quarter of 2020, and once it does, you’ll need an internet connection of at least a few hundred megabits per second in order to see much of a difference in speeds.

Still, if your internet connection is fast enough, you’ll be able to enjoy top speeds of up to 574 megabits per second on the 2.4GHz band and 1,201Mbps on the 5GHz band. The dual-band router features a total of four antennas — two for the 2.4GHz band and two for the 5GHz band — so you’ll be able to take advantage of basic, 2×2 MU-MIMO connections that use both antennas at once in order to transmit data more efficiently to devices with multiple antennas of their own. 

You’ll control all of it from the D-Link Wi-Fi app, which offers profile-based parental controls, a quick VPN and a built-in speed test from Ookla. The router supports voice controls via Alexa or Google Assistant that’ll let you turn on the guest network or pause the internet to a group of devices just by asking nicely. As for ports, you’ll find a USB jack on the back of the router, as well as four spare Ethernet jacks on the back of the router and on the back of the satellite, too. That’ll let you wire the two together for faster mesh performance.

A mish-mash of mesh

Mesh setups, which use secondary satellite devices to relay a better Wi-Fi signal throughout your home, are a clear point of focus for D-Link this year. To that end, that new Wi-Fi 6 COVR system isn’t D-Link’s only new mesh product. 

In fact, all of the brand’s new routers promise to support mesh connections. And, along with the new hardware, D-Link is also announcing across-the-board compatibility with the Wi-Fi Alliance’s upcoming EasyMesh standard, a move that should make it easier to create an in-home mesh network using products from multiple brands.

“With this new technology, all D-Link routers and range extenders will work seamlessly with other products using the same technology to make Wi-Fi more efficient,” D-Link says.

D-Link’s new Wi-Fi 6 routers can each serve as the centerpiece of a multipoint mesh setup. Click to see specs for each of them.


D-Link

Along with two Wi-Fi 5 routers and a less expensive, Wi-Fi 5 version of the COVR mesh router, D-Link plans to release four new Wi-Fi 6 routers that can each serve as centerpiece of a mesh setup. The first two, due out in the early months of 2020, are the $120 D-Link DIR-X1560 and the faster, more expensive D-Link DIR-X5460, which will cost $280. Two other Wi-Fi 6 routers, the D-Link DIR-X1870 and DIR-X2460, will arrive later in the year — they’ll represent the middle ground in between those first two options, both in terms of price and top speeds.

D-Link also has new, plug-in range extenders coming this year. Two will stick with AC, Wi-Fi 5 speeds while a third, the D-Link DAP-X1870, will support Wi-Fi 6. That one will cost $130.

The whole lineup

I expect that we’ll be testing a lot of these new routers and accessories as the year progresses, and it’s a very safe bet that we’re in line to see more new routers next week at CES, too. For now, here’s the full D-Link lineup, which quarter of the year they’re expected and how much they’ll cost in the US (UK and Australian prices are TBA):

  • D-Link AC1900 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (COVR-1900-US), Q1 2020, $120
  • D-Link AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1750-US), Q1 2020, $100
  • D-Link AC1900 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1950-US), Q1 2020, $120
  • D-Link AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1755-US), Q1 2020, $100
  • D-Link AC1950 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1955-US), Q1 2020, $110
  • D-Link Smart AX1500 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1560-US), Q1 2020, $120
  • D-Link Smart AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $140
  • D-Link Smart AX2400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X2460-US), Q3 2020, $160
  • D-Link Smart AX5400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X5460-US), Q1 2020, $280
  • D-Link AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender (DAP-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $130
  • D-Link AX1800 Whole Home Mesh System (COVR-X1872-US), Q2 2020, $270



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