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Tiny wireless range extender from D-Link really works.
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Tiny wireless range extender from D-Link really works.

dead spotsIt seems that just about everyone ends up with a dead spot in their home wireless network no matter what type of router or location there is always one corner where the signal just doesn’t reach. What you need is a wireless network extender.

In my case it is the front porch 50 feet away from the router one floor down with two interior walls and a brick exterior wall in between. It has been a challenge for every router I have used. I have tried a couple of range extenders with mixed results so when I received the DAP-1320 Wireless Range Extender from D-Link I wondered how can something about the size of a power adapter solve my problem.

P1050366

This tiny little handful contains a load of advanced technology. It uses Wireless N technology with multiple intelligent antennas to maximize the speed and range of your wireless signal to significantly outperform previous-generation Wireless G devices. The antennas make use of your home’s environment by bouncing multiple wireless signals off walls and ceilings to work around obstructions and help eliminate dead spots. Sounds good so I gave it a try to see if it could solve my problem.

Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 12.11.48 PM

First I used the recommended WPS setup with a D-Link router..There is a button on the side of the extender..it took less than a minute and I was ready to go. It sets up your extended network using the same SSID and credentials as your main network. The presumption is that your device will pick the stronger of the two signals. Well, that may work fine in theory but I found that my devices didn’t always switch to the extender..sometimes a restart would do it. I guess there was enough of a signal from my router that it confused the receiver in my device. When it did work the results were great.

Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 12.22.20 PM

Since I wanted to test it on a non D-Link router I tried using the manual setup in an Apple Airport Extreme that doesn’t support WPS. Fortunately D-Link supplies a little card with the default settings for the Extender and the web interface control panel will be familiar to especially D-link users. Fortunately there is a wizard that does the heavy lifting. This time I gave the extended network a different SSID and what a difference it made! So I gave up the possibility of seamless switching it is not a big deal to manually change networks on the device when I take it outside. From my favourite chair I went from iffy or non existent service to a steady signal with good bandwidth. The difference of two bars to three shown on the setup page of my iPad Mini is a bit misleading..look at the speedtest numbers it is night and day.

extender speed

P1050365The D-Link Wireless Range Extender is the smallest and by far the best range extender I have used despite the minor inconvenience of having to set it up with a different SSID, I highly recommend this little device. Set it up about half way between your router and the dead spot and you will be pleased with the result. Plus there is the added benefit of it being almost invisible compared to some of the big extenders with multiple antennae I have tried.

You will find the D-Link DAP-1320 Wireless Range Extender everywhere networking products are sold. The price is a pleasant surprise at only $49.99. If you have a wireless dead spot in your house get this extender.

 

Bob Benedetti

<p>Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal</p>

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