For more than half a century, when anyone mentions the word ‘networking’, D-Link and TP-Link are never far from the conversation. In fact, designing and developing networking and connectivity products for consumers, businesses and enterprises is what they do. So, when we were given the opportunity to try the latest in their whole home networking solutions for the average consumer, we thought we put them in a head to head battle in a first for One Cut Reviews.
Using the latest in mesh networking technology, the M9 plus builds on the success of the M5 with some welcome improvements to achieve that seamless Wi-Fi coverage we all so desperately seek.
Each stylish circular disk-shaped access point of the M9 packs some serious future proof networking technology and can cover 1500sqm of your home (totalling 4500sq ft) with broad, powerful and fast tri-band Wi-Fi thanks in part to the upgraded 8 internal antennas found inside. With its powerful quad core processor, each unit also offers users 2 LAN/WAN Gigabit Ethernet Ports to hardwire devices directly into each satellite and features all the most recent wireless standards including IEEE 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz; IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz; Bluetooth 4.2 and ZigBee HA1.2.
You also get many advanced networking functions to guarantee the best coverage and speed possible such MU-MIMO support and Auto Path Selection which ensures effective back and forth data transmission to all devices without loss of signal. There is also Band Steering, Auto path steering and Beamforming which guarantees that each connected device receives the strongest possible signal on the appropriate wireless band.
In fact, the addition of a third wireless band also means stronger connectivity and better data traffic management with a Wi-Fi rating of AC2200, which translates to two 5ghz bands with a top speed of 867Mbps and one 2.4Ghz band of speeds up to 400 Mbps. It is also worth mentioning that once set up the network is also self-healing, so if one unit goes down it re-routes traffic amongst the others to ensure no drops in service.
The M9 Plus uses its numerous wireless radios to connect to and control home automation devices such as Kwikset smart door locks; smart lights from TP-Link, Cree, Philips, and GE; smart switches from TP-Link and Centralite; and numerous sensors, including motion sensors, door/window sensors, and water leak detectors from companies such as SmartThings and Securifi. It will also control Nest thermostats and Nest Protect Smoke/CO detectors.
Lastly, the inclusion of the Quality-of-Service (QoS) feature allows owners to prioritize wireless devices and activities for faster performance when it’s needed and if you are worried about the security of your network, all of this is backed by an included 3 years of Antivirus protection for peace of mind. You can even control your network using Alexa!
With the philosophy of providing the end consumer with richer online experiences and greater peace of mind in the comfort of their homes, the D-Link COVR 2202 is no slouch when it comes to providing a whole home networking experience and it too builds on the success of its predecessor.
Each COVR tower provides even greater coverage up to 6000sq ft with its 6 internal antennas and blankets your home in fast and reliable tri-band Wi-Fi. There are also two on-board Gigabit Ethernet ports (per unit) for wired connectivity and covers even more of the latest wireless standards including – IEEE 802.3i, IEEE 802.3u; IEEE 802.3ab; IEEE 802.11ac Wave II; and the usual IEEE 802.11a,g,n protocols.
Each unit also brings some powerful advanced networking functionality including – MU-MIMO, which transmits data to multiple wireless devices simultaneously to increase speed and efficiency; Intelligent band steering; smart roaming and even smart backhaul where two bands connect to devices in your home while the third one connects the satellite units and your router. Lastly, you get the bonus of the QoS and DHCP services.
The COVR 2202 is also a tri-band system, meaning, it is rated as an AC-2200 (400 + 866 Mbps) tri-band device that supports satellite, FTTP, fixed wireless, and cable connection. Each Wi-Fi radio reaches maximum speeds of up to 866 Mbps [5Ghz] x2 or up to 400 Mbps [2.4Ghz]. As expected, this welcome change to the COVR system, results in improved overall network performance.Lastly, it too features built-in antivirus protection from McAfee and is also compatible with both Alexa and the Google Assistant.
So which one do we recommend?
As can be seen, both units are very similar in feature sets and throughput but if we had to break it down into a simple conclusion, we’ll say this:
The COVR 2202 is a true mesh networking system using a daisy-chain topology, making it much more flexible when deploying around the house and is the best choice for the average consumer that is new to mesh systems. It is user friendly and offers exceptional range and above average performance.
Whereas, the Deco M9 Plus delivers more value than most other Wi-Fi systems with faster 5ghz performance plus its smart home Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/Zigbee hub automation, IFTTT and Alexa compatibility and web content filtering with antivirus bundled in at no additional cost.
At the end of the day, both systems provide a better than most home networking experience and the choice of which one is right for you, is always yours.
BUY the COVR 2202 here – D-Link AC2200 – Whole Home Wi-Fi System
BUY the M9 Plus here – TP-Link Smart Hub & Whole Home WiFi Mesh System – PCMag Editor’s Choice, ZigBee & Bluetooth Smart Hub, Homecare Support, Seamless Roaming, Tri-Band, Adaptive Routing, Works with Alexa (Deco M9 Plus)