Have a big home, or lots of walls or other obstructions? Then it may be tough for a single WiFi router to cover the whole house. That’s why a number of companies have introduced whole-home WiFi systems that join two or more routers together in a mesh network recently. That’s the approach Google, Eero, Linksys, and Netgear are taking, among others.
D-Link has a slightly different solution.
The company is launching two new whole-home WiFi systems at the Consumer Electronics Show.
The first is called the Covr Wi-Fi system, and it’s basically a router and WiFi range extender that are designed to work with one another. Place the router in a central location and the extender in a place where you want to boost the signal and you should be good to go.
D-Link’s second option is called the Covr PowerLine Wi-Fi System, and it makes use of PowerLine technology to reach the furthest corners of your home.
PowerLine is a method for transmitting data through the electric wiring in your house. So D-Link’s Powerline system basically consists of a series of adapters that you plug into power outlets in your home. Each adapter has three Gigabit Ethernet ports. So if you want to access your home network or the internet in a room where WiFi reception is spotty or non-existent, just plug in a Powerline adapter connect it to your PC, and you should have coverage.
That solution should work for computers, smart TVs, or other devices with Ethernet jacks, but it won’t be much use for smartphones and tablets.
Honestly, D-Link’s whole-home systems aren’t all that revolutionary: WiFi range extenders and Powerline adapters have been available as standalone solutions that you could use with existing routers for years. But it seems like the company is planning to bundle these technologies together into new packages in an effort to compete in the emerging whole-home WiFi space.
The Cover W-Fi System will be available in the second quarter of 2017 for $300, while the PowerLine version will be available around the same time for $199.