The continuing saga of trying to get decent Wi-Fi coverage in a 3000+ sq ft two story house built in the 1970s with steel siding (not aluminum) may finally be coming to a very end thankfully. I have tried many wireless routers made or sold by the 3 major router companies, with various problems. The biggest problem has always been getting good signal access in my 1 acre yard, at least to the swimming pool, or to the many IP security cameras located on property. The culprit has always seemed to have been that pesky steel siding installed on the home. It will outlast the house and maybe an indirect limited nuclear strike.
Today I had the pleasure of installing another wireless range extender, with little hope of actual success. I just want to be able to stream music or video sources at the pool without having to use my Samsung smartphone phone. I was able to get a D-Link DAP-1320 wireless range extender from the manufacturer as a test unit. After the “one touch” installation, I might not be sending this one back. Is it really as simple as “one touch?” Does the extender actually extend useful signal into my many “dead zones?” Did I just waste money which could have better been used to purchase one of the newer, multi unit mesh Wi-Fi routers recently on the market? Let’s take a closer look.
The D-Link DAP-1320 is a small white cube which plugs into your home’s ac power. It has an LED, and a single WPS button, and a reset button. The LED changes color and blinks depending upon what the unit is doing. Red: booting up. Blinking amber LED: Not connected to wireless router. Blinking green: WPS button was pushed and trying to connect. Green steady: means your 1320 is connected to your Wi-Fi network and ready to go.
The DAP-1320 claims “just push one button to connect to home Wi-Fi” This isn’t exactly true, so let’s talk about what “One Button” means. The D-Link unit has one button. It is used to connect to your home Wi-Fi. Don’t bother pushing the button until you take the time to get into the administration page, and then add a device on your home wireless router on the WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) page. This is what mine looks like: As one can see, there is the same WPS symbol as seen on the single button on the 1320 Wireless extender. Activate the system on the router, then push the WPS button on the already plugged into AC power DAP device.
Once you push the button, the LED on the back of the D-Link DAP-1320 should change from a blinking amber, to a blinking green showing it is trying to connect using the WPS interface. When the green light is steady, you have successfully completed the set up. Note: Before I did anything, I followed the directions for the DAP-1320, and supplied the unit with the name, and password of my home system.
End of the Day:
At the end of the day, the D-Link DAP-1320 was relatively easy to setup, and is supplying strong Wi-Fi signal to my backyard at up to 300 Mbps on common Wi-Fi frequencies. It’s well worth the investment for dead spots without having to spend hundreds of dollars for a newer whole house multi device WI-FI system. 9 out of ten, for the simple reason that after using the “One Button” WPS setup, I had to reset the device. I could no longer sign into the D-Link DAP-1320 Wi-Fi Utility to tweak the network name, or password and had to start the entire process over again. It worked just fine as a range extender, the utility needs some love. Until next time!!
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
User Manual – Click Here
Standards • IEEE 802.11n • IEEE 802.11g • IEEE 802.11b
Wireless Frequency Range 1 • 2.4 GHz to 2.4835 GHz
Antennas • Internal Antenna
Security • Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2) • WPS™ (PBC) • 64/128-bit WEP
Advanced Features • QRS Mobile setup app for iOS and Android devices
Device Management • Web UI
Diagnostic LEDs • Status/WPS
Operating Temperature • 0 to 40 ?C (32 to 104 ?F)
Operating Humidity • 0% to 90% non-condensing
Power Input • AC 110-240 V
Maximum Power Consumption • 5.5 W
Certiications • EMI/EMC • FCC • CE • IC • C-Tick • UL • Wi-Fi Certiied
Dimensions • 48 x 42 x 53.5 mm (1.89 x 1.65 x 2.11 inches)
Weight • 69 grams (0.152 lb)
Warranty • 2 Years
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.