Most helpful positive review
142 of 155 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2012
A customer of mine has a D-Link DIR-655 wireless router and was (understandably) getting very weak wireless reception in a detached garage on his property. The distance from the DIR-655 in the house to the detached garage is about 75 to 100 feet. Fortunately, the DIR-655 is at the extreme end of the house nearest the detached garage.
I installed this DAP-1320 unit in his detached garage and had it up, tested, and running in about 30 minutes. It found the DIR-655, locked on, and repeated the wireless network flawlessly. Mind you, this is through two exterior building walls. I used the manual configuration process since I have WPS disabled on the DIR-655 and wanted complete control over the configuration anyway. You have to make a few additional configuration tweaks such as setting the device admin password and the network time server to keep the time on the device correct.
Speed tests on devices using the DAP-1320 in the detached garage ranged from 5.8 to 6.5 Mbps (his cable internet speed is 10 Mbps). It's broadcasting power is not huge (certainly less than a wireless router), but it provided enough power to cover the entire garage (about 1,250 sq feet). There was a car in the garage that was blocking some of the signal so you have to experiment with the best location to plug it in.
I was interested to see how well the device hand-off worked as I walked from the garage to the house and back again while streaming a video on my smartphone. It never dropped the signal, locked up, or even stuttered. The device hand-off was seamless.
A big plus of this unit is that you are able to re-use the same network SSID that it is repeating so you are not dealing with multiple SSIDs.
In short, I was shocked at how well this tiny little unit worked. It might be because both the router and the DAP-1320 are both D-Link products, ensuring high compatibility.
I've just installed a THIRD DAP-1320 on this customer's property in a bedroom at the far end of his home to extend his private network in that area. All three units (2 in the detached garage, one for the private network and the other for the guest network) are located 50 to 100 feet from the D-Link DIR-655 router and the signals pass through many walls. All client devices connecting to these units (smartphones, laptops) show good signal strength and fair to excellent connection speeds and varies from 3 to 9 Mbps depending upon reasonable distance and wireless loads.
I've noted that hand-offs from unit to unit as you walk around the property with a client device can take up to 30 seconds and the communications may freeze until the client locks onto another unit or the router itself and authenticates, depending upon where you are. In rare instances where a hand-off didn't occur properly, merely turning the client's wireless off and back on always fixed the problem. I think this is more of a problem in the client rather than the transmitters (i.e., the client's indecision about which transmitter to lock onto).
The only other problems we've ever experienced with these DAP-1320s is: 1) Two times over a 4-month period client devices wouldn't connect to any of them. To fix this we just simply unplugged and plugged the DAP-1320s back in. Two times over a 4-month time span is not a bad record in my opinion. 2) Frequency congestion can occur with multiple DAP-1320 installations - when multiple devices are connected to both the guest and private networks at the same time, slowdowns can occur if you're both consuming bandwidth (i.e., actively uploading/downloading) at the same time.
With regard to other people reporting severe problems with the DAP-1320, it may be that: 1) There is an incompatibility between the DAP-1320 and their router (this would be a D-Link issue that they need to investigate and fix); 2) Their router's wireless radio is weak or of poor quality to begin with. 3) The DAP-1320 is located too far from the router. 4) Interference from other nearby routers or household items (portable phones, microwave ovens, etc.) is causing communication problems which may be solved by changing the radio channel on the router. 4) They simply have a defective unit.
I just know that my customer's D-Link DIR-655 router is happy with the DAP-1320 clients and vice-versa. Not sure what the results would be with other model combinations.
In my experience, complicated wireless infrastructures usually present challenges and requires troubleshooting and patience until the issues are identified and corrected.