So the first thing I did was compare the link speeds for AC enabled devices. While this is not a direct indication of bandwidth capability it does give you an idea of signal strength throughout my home and property. The first thing I noticed was that in most areas they were about equal, it wasn't until we got to the other end of the house one floor up or about 100 feet away we saw a difference. Initial tests in these locations did reflect a significant improvement.
But not all devices in my home are AC and the link testing below shows the D-Link COVR having the upper hand in several of the locations. Again in normal use the devices appeared to have better, more stable connections. Part of this is surely due to having a stronger signal but I also think D-Links band steering helps as well. It moves devices from one band to another in order to keep any one from becoming too congested, which can lead to slower speeds.
Initially all was well with this set up and for the most part it was working great, but one day I noticed the satellite was flashing indicating the dedicated 5GHz backhaul had a weak connection. Sure enough going into the web GUI I saw it indicated just that. A short time later it went back to "Good" but I decided to do some throughput testing and found that the actual bandwidth was ranging from 300-400Mbps. This was still better than the Portal which was actually pushing 200-250Mbps.
So there was an increase in bandwidth we could measure, and we could actually see when streaming shows from the Internet and from a NAS. It wasn't a drastic change but I would say it was a more consistent experience. But with this said, I am disappointed with the way D-Link handles the set up of the satellite. The LED indicator makes things easy but apparently not foolproof. Granted you can go into the web GUI and see a slightly better indication of connection strength but I think it would be better if they showed actual link speed between the satellite and the base. This would allow you to really fine tune your location.
Moving throughout the home and outside I noticed no issues as my device moved from one access point to the next as you would expect with a mesh network. Even when I was watching YouTube videos I saw no indication in the playback as I moved back and forth.
It is nice to have the two Ethernet ports in the satellite, but having two in the base (and only one usable) means you will likely need a switch. The only other issue I had with the ports were access. While they provide a notch for the cables it isn't particularly wide. Certainly wide enough for the cables but due to the angle of the side, one of the ports can be difficult to get a plug in and out of.
Another nice addition to this router is the inclusion of D-Link Defend
. This adds a layer of security to you router and attached devices provided by McAfee. From the link it appears as if the router comes with 5 years of this coverage. But much like all D-link products you need to load another app to utilize this and while you can install local protection to many devices, well that is another app. I really wish they could combine all of these great features into one app. Using the app you can see all the devices connected, get alerts when new devices connect and invite devices to load additional software.
Also included in this are parental controls. Here you can create profiles for each person and assign devices to each one. Then you can set times they have access to the Internet and what types of sites can be reached. If you link Alexa, you can even ask it to disconnect any device, person or completely shut it down when it is dinner. Overall I found this to work fairly well.