Review Mesh Router D-Link Covr 1103: to expand Wi-Fi signal [análise/vídeo]

Chances are you’ve already complained about the Wi-Fi signal in your home, especially if the wireless connection is provided by your broadband operator’s modem. The technology mesh it can be a suitable solution to solve connection problems and spreads the internet all over your house.

I’ve tested the D-Link Covr 1103, mesh kit with three units and promise of coverage up to 464 m². It works, is it good, is it difficult to install? You will find the answer in the review below.

D-Link Covr 1103 video review

ethics notice

O Techblog is an independent journalistic vehicle that has helped people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our reviews are not intended for advertising, so they highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each product. No company has paid for, reviewed or had advance access to this content.

The Covr 1103 mesh kit was provided by D-Link as a donation and will not be returned to the company. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.

Design and doors

O Techblog received the Covr 1103 kit, which has three pieces of equipment. D-Link also markets the Covr 1102, which is the same product but with just two router units. The actual product name is Covr 1100, and the variant only represents the amount of mesh devices in the same kit.


D-Link Covr 1103 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

The router itself is nice: it is a small square box in white, discreet and that can be kept in the room without messing up the decor. The Covr 1100 line has no external antennas, infinite LEDs and that standard spacecraft-like router design.

As for the design, the front only prints the Covr brand, and there’s nothing on the sides. The top has a tiny LED indicator (which can be turned off via software!) and air vents, while the bottom has information labels, reset button and more air vents. Before you worry: no, there are no fans and the cooling takes place passively, so you can leave the router in your room and no noise will disturb you to sleep.

D-Link Covr 1103 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

D-Link Covr 1103 Doors (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

D-Link Covr 1103 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

D-Link Covr 1103 top and LED indicator (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

Base of D-Link Covr 1103 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

Base of D-Link Covr 1103 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

The network ports are all on the back, which has a WAN input, so you can connect your broadband operator’s modem, and a single LAN output, to connect devices by cable – if you need more slots, just plug in a switch on Covr equipment, preferably with Gigabit Ethernet support. There is also an on-off button and the power supply input.

Settings

Installing the Covr 1103 is not a complicated task: just download the D-Link Wi-Fi application from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android), and follow the step-by-step instructions indicated. You can choose any of the equipment in the kit to be the main base, which will be next to the operator’s modem.

D-Link Wi-Fi application directs installation of Covr 1103 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

D-Link Wi-Fi application directs installation of Covr 1103 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

During the process – which takes a few minutes – the smartphone application scans a QR Code that is located on the bottom of the Covr equipment. Afterwards, the system tries to identify which is the default of your connection (dynamic IP or PPPoE) to connect to the internet.

During the first tower setup, you can change the Wi-Fi network name and password. You can also connect to the D-Link account to link the device to Google and Amazon wizards.

Initial setup allows you to set Wi-Fi name and password on D-Link Covr 1103 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

Initial setup allows you to set Wi-Fi name and password on D-Link Covr 1103 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

Once the initial process is complete, it’s time to connect the other mesh units: just plug it in and that’s it, all the other Covrs automatically joined the main equipment and spread the internet signal throughout the house.

D-Link Covr 1103 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

Configuration of mesh units in D-Link Covr 1103 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

D-Link Covr 1103 Features

Despite being a kit with multiple devices, the Covr 1100 line has simple router functions and practically makes rice and beans. In the smartphone app, you can set up a guest-only Wi-Fi network, set up time-limited parental controls, and…. only.

D-Link Wi-Fi application does just the basics (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

D-Link Wi-Fi application does just the basics (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

Some of the settings, such as port forwarding, IPv6 tweaking and website blocking are only available in the web interface, which makes the process less intuitive for more non-expert users.

D-Link Covr 1103 web interface (Reproduction: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

D-Link Covr 1103 web interface (Reproduction: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

I missed some functions: several competing routers have remote management through the smartphone app, but that doesn’t exist on the Covr 1100. D-Link even has a Cloud service, which only serves to link the device with the wizard’s platforms. voice.

Another downside is that IPv6 does not support passthrough, which may affect users of broadband modem services who do not support bridge mode and who want to use the Covr 1100 to control their home connection.

The Covr 1100 line supports hotspot mode, which is something I always praise and expect from today’s equipment. With this function active, the product ceases to work as a router and delegates this function to another pre-existing device, and starts to act only as a Wi-Fi interface for the local network.


D-Link Covr 1103 allows you to choose between bridge or router mode (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

A positive point that is worth mentioning is that the Covr 1100 line has EasyMesh certification, which brings compatibility with some mesh products from other manufacturers that have the same seal. Another advantage is that the equipment supports the WPA3 security standard, which makes it difficult for your eavesdropping neighbor who wants to steal your Wi-Fi.

Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa

The D-Link Cloud account is also used to connect the Covr 1100 to voice assistants. You can use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to control your home router even away from home.

D-Link Covr 1103 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

D-Link Covr 1103 supports Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

I’ve tested it here and it works well, but I don’t believe it’s a big difference and the function will end up forgotten over time. The integration only allows you to enable and disable the Wi-Fi guest network and restart the router.

The good thing is that it works in Brazilian Portuguese, something that doesn’t happen in the Deco line from TP-Link, which is compatible with Alexa. It has been almost a year since I reviewed the Deco M4 and at the time the manufacturer stated that it had no date set for the launch of the skill on Amazon.

D-Link Covr 1103 Performance and Signal

With the Covr 1103 kit, D-Link promises nominal Wi-Fi coverage up to 464 m², but this capacity is usually designed for North American houses, with wooden or drywall walls, and does not apply so much to Brazilian homes, of bricks and concrete.

With its three units, the product actually managed to bring Wi-Fi throughout my house, which is large and has two floors.

The best placement I found was shown in the plan below. The main equipment was on the second floor, in the Bedroom/Office room with an indicator illustrated in blue:

House plan with equipment location

Second floor – main unit and repeater of D-Link Covr 1103 (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

House plan stating equipment location

First floor – D-Link Covr 1103 repeater unit only (Image: Lucas Braga/Tecnoblog)

A curious fact is that the device on the first floor was closer to the pantry on the second floor, but the connection was always made to the main router, in the Bedroom/Office. I moved the product further away to different places in the house, but the connection was always made to the primary unit.

Speed

The Covr 1103 covered my entire house, but the access speeds of this mesh kit were lower than what I’ve achieved with competing products like the TP-Link Deco M4 or Huawei Wi-Fi Mesh WS5800.

My broadband plan has 500 Mb/s download and 250 Mb/s upload, and the provider usually delivers the contract most of the time. I’ve gotten used to the fact that it’s only possible to reach all the bandwidth available on Wi-Fi when I’m very close to the router, but I couldn’t even do that with the Covr 1103.

Around here, connected to the main equipment, my maximum speed on Wi-Fi was around 480 Mb/s, with an average of 451 Mb/s. This measurement was measured by a file transfer between two computers, both with SSD storage and compatible with the Wi-Fi 5 standard.

As I walked away from the Bedroom/Office, performance dropped even further: while the second notebook connected to a satellite router, the maximum speed I managed to reach was 209 Mb/s. Here, it is worth noting that the results can vary depending on the type of construction or interference from neighbors’ routers, and the performance can be better or worse depending on the location.

You can check our test results in the table below. Values ​​are in megabits per second (not to be confused with megabytes per second):

Local Average transfer speed
Both laptops next to the main Deco 451 Mb/s
Laptop 1 next to main Deco
Laptop 2 in right bedroom on 2nd floor, connected to secondary Covr
122 Mb/s
Laptop 1 next to main Deco
Laptop 2 in right bedroom on 2nd floor, connected to secondary Covr
122 Mb/s
Laptop 1 next to main Deco
Laptop 2 in left room on 2nd floor, connected to main Covr
227 Mb/s
Laptop 1 next to main Covr
Laptop 2 near 1st floor secondary Covr
209 Mb/s
Laptop 1 next to main Deco
Laptop 2 in the Living Room
78.4 Mb/s
Laptop 1 next to main Deco
Laptop 2 in 1st Floor Bedroom 1
125 Mb/s

Worth it?

The D-Link Covr 1103 is a product that promises to expand the Wi-Fi signal and fulfills that purpose well, but when it comes to performance it’s best to think carefully to decide if it’s the ideal choice.

D-Link Covr 1103 Box (Image: Reproduction/Technoblog)

D-Link Covr 1103 Box (Image: Reproduction/Technoblog)

For most people, who use the internet to stream videos on smart TVs, video calls, social media and web browsing, the Covr 1103 is more than enough. However, those who make heavy use of the home network with file transfer and need to download and upload multi-gigabyte content in the cloud, there are other more suitable options.

Broadband speeds are getting faster, and it is common to find plans above 300 Mb/s. If you keep the preciosity of getting all the internet contracted throughout the house, it’s better to invest in a mesh kit compatible with the new Wi-Fi 6 standard.

At the time this review was published, the D-Link Covr 1103 was found in retail for around R$1,000, while the Covr 1103, with two units, was sold for around R$600. Depending on the size of the home, it is more advantageous buy two Covr 1102 kits to build a network with four mesh units.

D-Link Covr 1103/Covr 1102 – Technical specifications

  • Radio: 802.11ac Wave II (Wi-Fi 5), 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, MU-MIMO, 2 internal antennas, EasyMesh compatible
  • Rated speed: 300 Mb/s at 2.4 GHz and 867 Mb/s at 5 GHz
  • Connectivity: IPv4, IPv6
  • doors: 1x WAN, 1x LAN (Gigabit Ethernet)
  • Safety: WPA2, WPA3
  • Operating modes: Router (DHCP server), Access Point (DHCP client)
  • extra services: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
  • Resources: guest network, device reporting, parental control, bandwidth control (QoS), Beamforming, fast roaming, Ethernet backhaul
  • dimensions: 92 mm wide, 92 mm high and 92 mm deep (unit)
  • Weight: 197g (unit)

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