In addition to its range of COVR Wi-Fi solutions, D-Link now offers a new Eagle Pro AI family, integrating routers, repeaters and mesh Wi-Fi systems, including the D-Link Eagle Pro AI M15-3. It supports Wi-Fi 6 with a cumulative speed of 1500 Mb/s with three modules to cover a home, all for a price of less than €200.
The D-Link Eagle Pro AI M15-3 claims theoretical throughput of 1200 Mb/s on the 5 GHz band and 300 Mb/s on the 2.4 GHz band. It does not have a third band dedicated to communication between the modules, so the theoretical performance is halved when a device is connected to the module that acts as a repeater.
All three modules of this mesh system are strictly identical and can therefore be installed as a router or a satellite. The connection consists of two Ethernet sockets to the gigabit standard: the first socket, yellow, connects to the operator’s modem or box; the second is used to connect a device via Ethernet. A power outlet, a WPS button and another reset button complete the connection.
A light indicator on the front allows you to know the status of each of the modules. It is also possible to disable it or make it blink to identify a particular module.
Appearance-wise, the M15-3 modules are nearly perfect 9.2 cm (9.1 cm tall) cubes weighing 200 g each. The corners are rounded on the vertical edges, while the upper face is perforated to evacuate heat.
The installation of the D-Link Eagle Pro AI M15-3 does not pose any particular problem. The simplest method is to go through the application, the most experienced can directly configure the system from the web administration interface at the address indicated below the modules.
The app explains all the steps step by step, from scanning the QR Code to updating the modules and creating tokens.
Once installation is complete, the app allows you to perform basic settings such as changing identifiers, turning on guest Wi-Fi, or an overview of network status.
We note the presence of parental control that offers relatively basic functions: profile creation, device connection, blacklist of 24 websites and time zone.
Access to more advanced settings refers to the web administration interface. However, the latter is not quite suitable for a smartphone screen. Therefore, it will be necessary to access it through a computer to comfortably make the desired adjustments.
To evaluate the performance of the D-Link Eagle Pro AI M15-3 mesh system, we connected a module to our operator box to which we connected a laptop via an adapter to the 2.5 Gb/s socket. We transferred a file (a disk image) of 4.73 GB from the first laptop to a second laptop equipped with an Intel AX210 wifi 6 chip, but also to a fixed desktop PC located above and connected to a PCIe Gigabyte GC-card. WBAX200 with external antennas and upgraded with Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210 chip, compatible with Wi-Fi 6E.
The speeds closest to the router module (point 1) are adequate for a theoretical speed of 1200 Mb/s with real speeds of almost 600 Mb/s, that is, an average download of 74 Mb/s from the router module, the bit rates collapse to stabilize around 170 Mb/s At point 2, bit rates are typically halved in the absence of a dedicated frequency band for communication between modules. However, here they are divided by three with less than 200 Mb/s measured. However, thanks to its third module, the M15-3 allows us to offer enough speed on our point 5 to take advantage of video on demand services.
The 2.4 GHz band is far from raising the bar with 132 Mb/s at most. Speeds drop below 100 Mb/s at the closest satellite (point 2) and drop below 50 Mb/s at point 5.
Therefore, the coverage of the M15-3 is relatively low and the communication between the modules does not seem optimal. If you already have a recent Wi-Fi 6 box or router that offers decent speeds, you’ll get better results with a single repeater like the TP-Link RE605x that we tried a few months ago, for a lower price.