In addition to its range of COVR wifi solutions, D-Link now offers a new Eagle Pro AI family, which integrates routers, repeaters and mesh wifi systems, including the D-Link Eagle Pro AI M15-3. It supports wifi 6 with a cumulative speed of 1500 Mb/s with three modules to cover one home, all for a price of less than €200.
The D-Link Eagle Pro AI M15-3 claims a 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 throughput is halved when a device is connected to the module acting as a repeater.
The three modules of this mesh system are strictly identical and can therefore be installed as a router or satellite. The connection consists of two Ethernet sockets to the gigabit standard: the first socket, yellow in color, is to be connected to the modem or operator box; the second is used to connect a device via Ethernet. A power socket, a WPS button and another reset complete the connection.
An indicator light on the front lets you know the status of each of the modules. It is also possible to deactivate it or make it flash in order to identify a particular module.
Appearance-wise, the modules of the M15-3 are almost perfect 9.2cm cubes (9.1cm high) weighing 200g each. The corners are rounded on the vertical edges, while the upper face is perforated in order to evacuate the 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 seasoned can directly configure the system from the web administration interface at the address indicated under the modules.
The application explains all the steps step by step, from scanning the QR Code to updating the modules and creating identifiers.
Once the installation is complete, the app allows you to perform basic settings such as changing identifiers, activating guest wifi or an overview of the network status.
We note the presence of parental control offering relatively basic functions: creation of profiles, device attachment, blacklist of 24 websites and time slot.
Access to the most advanced settings refers to the web administration interface. However, the latter is not at all suitable for a smartphone screen. It will therefore be necessary to access it via 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 PC via an adapter to the 2.5 Gb/s socket. We transfer a file (a disk image) of 4.73 GB from the first laptop PC to a second equipped with an Intel AX210 wifi 6 chip, but also to a fixed desktop PC located upstairs and connected to a PCIe card Gigabyte GC-WBAX200 with outdoor antennas and updated with Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210 chip, wifi 6E compatible.
The speeds closest to the router module (point 1) are suitable for a theoretical speed of 1200 Mb/s with real speeds of almost 600 Mb/s, i.e. an average download of 74 Mb/s. of the router module, the bit rates collapse to stabilize at around 170 Mb/s. At point 2, the bit rates are normally halved in the absence of a frequency band dedicated to communication between the modules. However, they are divided by three here with less than 200 Mb/s measured. Thanks to its third module, however, the M15-3 allows us to offer sufficient speed on our point 5 to take advantage of video-on-demand services.
The 2.4 GHz band is far from raising the level with at best 132 Mb / s at the closest. Data rates drop below 100 Mb/s at the nearest satellite (point 2) and fall below 50 Mb/s at point 5.
The coverage of the M15-3 is therefore relatively low and the communication between the modules does not seem optimal. If you already have a recent wifi 6 box or a router offering decent speeds, you will get better results with a single repeater like the TP-Link RE605x that we tested a few months ago, and this for a lower price.