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D-Link Wireless Range Extender (DAP-1320) Review

technologyEdward KiledjianComment
Manufacturer description:
  • Extend the range of your existing network
  • Easy setup with the touch of a button
  • Delivering up to 300Mbps wireless performance
  • Universally works with any Wi-Fi device

 

 

Why do I need the DAP-1320 wireless range extender?

In my never-ending search to blanket my entire house with beautiful, warm and comforting WIFI, I decided to test the D-Link DAP-1320 Network Range Extender.  

A WIFI wireless Range extender is an easy way to push WIFI connectivity to every corner of your house without having to pass wiring.

How is the device? 

The device is very small and comfortably fits in a power socket without impeding the use of the second socket on the plug. I like the design as it is small, with soft curved lines that easily blend into your decor (aka it doesn’t stick out). There is one button on the left side of the adapter that is used to pair devices with it or to configure the adapter to connect to your existing router via WPS. There is a small LED indicator light on the front.

The device can be configured using any device but comes pre-configured out of the box so it is almost plug and play. The device comes with 2 built in 2.4GHZ wireless antennas and supports up to 300Mbps. 

My tests 

 

In order to test the device, I moved my internet router to the corner top floor of my 3 story house and made sure I couldn’t get a signal in the basement. I used a WIFI analyzer to ensure the signal wasn’t coming in.

 

I then installed the DAP-1320 on the mid-level (almost in the exact middle of the floor) and went through the 5 minute configuration process using WPS. I then went to the same location in the basement and now had a signal from the wireless range extender (with its original Dlink SSID).  

My internet connection is a 30 Mbps down / 3 Mbps up via cable. My router is a Thomson DCM475 (Docsis 3.0). I tested the DAP-1320 connecting to different routers including a :

 

  • Linksys wrt54g (802.11g router running DD-WRT)
  • Engenius ESR9850 (802.11n router with stock firmware)
  • Belkin N450 DB (802.11n router with stock firmware) 

End devices I used for testing include:

 

  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 4s
  • Nexus 7
  • 4 year old Lenovo laptop
  • 2 year old Dell laptop
  • A desktop using a dual band 802.11n (with dual antennas) 

In every one of my tests, the DAP-1320 wireless range extender quickly connected to the router and started repeating the signal within 5 minutes. The Linksys WRT54g with its weaker 802.11g was the worst performer but that is due to the wireless G technology and not the repeater. Connected to the e N routers, the DAP-1320 delivered clean and responsive performance.

I have tested a couple of WIFI wireless range extenders and this one isn’t the most powerful but provided good enough signal for internet browsing or streaming audio. Speed tests showed that close to the device (on the same floor), I was able to get 85% of my internet connections full speed. When I went to the far corner in the basement, the speed dropped to 55-70% of my internet connection speed.

If you intend to use it as a repeater with the default DLINK SSID  with WPS, anyone can configure it in 5-10 minutes with no issues. The provided instructions are clear and easy to understand. If you want to play with the configuration of the device however, you will need to be a little more technical as you may encounter some small glitches while connecting to the device or changing configurations.

Verdict

 

Overall I liked this little device and recommend it for most users. It is small, easy to configure out of the box (with default configurations) and will definitely fix your WIFI weakness issues. You can use the same SSID as your main router but for that you will have to log into the device with a computer and change the configuration.

 

  • WIFI Signal Strengh: 6.5/10
  • Ease of use out of the box: 8/10
  • Ease to customize device: 7/10
  • Overall Score : 7.5/10