A few months ago I reviewed D-Link’s new Eagle Pro R15 router. This Wi-Fi 6 router can handle speeds of up to 1500 Mbps and is priced very well. It can be used to upgrade any home’s wireless network to the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard with AX1500 speeds. The router has four MU-MIMO SmartBeam antennas and can cover a house up to 500m2 with a dual-band wireless network.
This month I review the D-Link Eagle Pro AI M15 Companion Nodes, a collection of three small wireless access points that can transform into a wireless mesh network so that a home or office can be covered with an extended wireless network that just uses a network name and can hop from node to node as the user walks around the house using a smartphone, laptop or any other portable Wi-Fi device.
D-Link Eagle Pro AI M15 meshes are small white cubes slightly smaller than a square box of toilet paper. Each node can be positioned almost anywhere there is a power outlet. Once installed, they are ideal for eliminating Wi-Fi dead spots around the house or for extending the signal in the attic, basement or garden.
Each node has its own power adapter and can be placed almost anywhere in the house. Setup is easy with the Eagle Pro AI smartphone app that has a step-by-step wizard for setting up and running the mesh network. It’s so easy to set up that almost anyone can do it without networking experience.
Although the M15 Kit is designed for use with the D-Link Eagle Pro R15 Router, it can work with almost any router. With older routers that are not Wi-Fi 6 compatible, the wireless feature can be disabled and one of the M15 nodes can be connected to the older router using the supplied Ethernet cable. In this configuration, the main M15 node functions as a router for the mesh and the old router is simply used for its cable or VDSL modem to obtain the high-speed Internet signal.
It only took me a few minutes to get all three M15 nodes up and running as a mesh and soon my whole house was bathed in the latest and fastest AX1500 wireless networking protocol. The speed easily exceeded my broadband service. The mesh optimizes, defining the fastest and clearest wireless channels, leveraging both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands to deliver the fastest possible data speeds. The mesh monitors its performance by collaborating with other nodes to shape the fastest and most efficient structure possible.
Each node can cover an area up to 210m2 and the three nodes can overlap slightly to provide up to 500m2 blanket. With the Eagle Pro AI R15 router, the system can provide wireless network coverage over an area of 1000m2. For homes or offices with a wired network, it is even possible to use one of the two ports on each unit to function as an Ethernet link. One of the ports functions as a WAN connection while the other is a LAN port. Using a wired backhaul setup leaves the dual-band Wi-Fi signal for exclusive use as a front-end backhaul, left to handle all traffic to and from client devices on the network rather than sharing the band bandwidth by sending the data back to the main router.
Although D-Link Eagle Pro AI M15 mesh units are sold in sets of three, other Eagle Pro AI E15 wireless units or extenders can easily be added to scale the network. The more the network physically expands, the slower it will become, as it must shunt data around multiple nodes. However, the strategic positioning of each node around the house will optimize network coverage and the smartphone app helps to get the positioning correct.
Once the mesh system is optimized using AI features, it can be forgotten and all the user has to do is connect to the single network name. Then the mesh automatically switches users between different mesh nodes with the strongest signal as the user moves around the home or office. Each node can handle four simultaneous data streams, 1024 QAM, BSS coloring and MU-MIMO to ensure that client devices always get the best possible connection quality. Each node also supports OFDMA, where small data packets destined for multiple devices are transmitted together, making the system ideal for servicing bandwidth-hungry devices.
Verdict: Using the Eagle Pro AI R15 router and three M15 mesh units will provide a fast and efficient Wi-Fi 6 AX1500 network that can serve up to 100 client devices and comes with handy tools like parental controls and the ability to configure a guest network. . Setting up the mesh network is super easy with the Eagle Pro AI smartphone app. The system is upgradable and each unit’s firmware can be automatically updated to keep everything up to date. For anyone who wants a simple, easy-to-setup mesh network with the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard and AX1500 speeds, the Eagle Pro AI M15 Kit is an ideal and affordable choice.
Price and availability: The D-Link Eagle Pro AI M15 Mesh System is available now and costs £154.88/$159.99.
More information: dlink.com
- Wireless Standard: 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6
- Frequency band mode: simultaneous dual band
- Wireless speed: 1200 Mbps (5 GHz) plus 300 Mbps (2.4 GHz)
- Antenna type: Built-in omnidirectional antennas
- Wired interface: 1 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN / 1 x Gigabit Ethernet WAN
- Advanced Features: AI Assistant, AI Mesh Optimizer, AI Parental Control, AI Traffic Optimizer, AI Wi-Fi Optimizer, Seamless Wi-Fi Network, SmartBeam, SmartConnect Band Optimization, Wi-Fi Mesh Support
- MU-MIMO & OFDMA efficiency
- Voice control with Google/Alexa
- WPA3 wireless security
- Easy setup and management