We are a big fan of the Eagle Pro AI range of routers at Small Business Answers. We have previously reviewed the D-Link M15 mesh router solution in the range for our sister publication GadgetGuy. As a small business, you may not understand what a wireless network router is or how important it is in running your business. In this review of the D-Link Eagle Pro AI M32, we will cut through the jargon and share with you the benefits of rolling out a Mesh Wi-Fi solution.
What is a Mesh Wi-Fi router?
Let’s start by talking about the problem you are solving. Employees need to connect to the internet and share information within your business location. The device they are using could be a barcode scanner, an eftpos terminal, a tablet, a PC, a printer a shared data storage solution.
To achieve this, you need a Wi-Fi router. A Wi-Fi router takes a single connection from most likely the NBN or could be a 4G/5G mobile data hotspot. And share that internet access either by Ethernet cable or a Wi-Fi signal. A router takes one connection and allows multiple devices to connect to it whilst being a traffic cop to ensure everything runs smoothly.
A Mesh Wi-Fi router allows you to have several Satellite boxes spread around your premises to extend the Wi-Fi range. Thus, you could have good Wi-Fi coverage in your showroom, back office and warehouse. Each satellite needs to be in good Wi-Fi range of each other, and this will be around 15-20 meters depending on interference like walls which reduce the signal strength. The Satellites can also be linked by Ethernet cable, allowing you to place a satellite out of Wi-Fi range.
Mesh makes extending your Wi-Fi network across a greater area easier and allows your connected devices to connect seamlessly. Older extender devices were hard to set up, and your devices did not like switching between the router and different extenders.
WHY should you consider a D-Link M32?
The D-Link M32 is D-Links fastest speed W-Fi Mesh solution. It supports a 2.4Ghz (will provide a greater range) up to data transfer speeds of 800Mbps and 5Ghz (faster speeds) up to 2400Mbps Wi-Fi frequencies.
The M32 3-pack will give you Wi-Fi coverage in a larger area up to 710 square metres for a small business or a home.
Suppose you have lots of devices that will share your mesh system. In that case, the M32 can support up to 8 simultaneous data streams with its antenna configuration. This is double what was previously supported on their M15 model. Think of it as if you had 20 people in a room 8 conversations could be happening at once, whereas once only 4 could occur. You could have more than 100 devices connected to the mesh system; they would all have to take their turn but unlikely need to communicate all at once.
The latest Wi-Fi 6 standard is supported, which means any devices supporting Wi-Fi 6 will benefit from better security, improved coverage and faster throughput.
The Eagle Pro uses artificial intelligence. This is clever software that automatically makes things work better by adjusting the signals to improve your individual situation. Let’s say your business is in a busy industrial or retail complex where each other business has a Wi-Fi network. This will mean everyone is competing for radio frequencies or channels. The Eagle Pro will work out which channels others are not using and automatically use the least congested channels.
The M32 automatically moves your connected devices between the Wi-Fi bands to maximise performance. It will also recognise some applications need more bandwidth. The software ensures that devices needing lots of internet bandwidth get what it needs to work properly, like video conferencing.
What is in the Box?
The M32, also called Eagle Pro AI AX3200 Mesh system, is available in a 3-pack for $600 and a 2-pack for $449. Having the 3rd satellite will increase your coverage from up to 510 square meters to up to 710 square metres. Range depends on environmental factors such as electrical or radio interference and physical barriers like furniture, walls, floors, or windows.
The tested 3 pack has 3 satellites with power packs, an Ethernet cable and a simple start-up sheet.
Extending your coverage further is simply a matter of adding an additional satellite. D-Link makes this simple by offering a whole range of Eagle Pro products which will all work together to expand your mesh solution.
The M32 has a 2 Gigabit LAN (local area network) port on each satellite so devices like a printer or shared storage device can easily be connected. This is useful if the device you want to connect does not support Wi-Fi. Alternatively, network traffic for the connected device is expected to be very high. Meaning it does not have to wait for its turn to communicate via Wi-Fi.
Using the D-Link Eagle Pro AI M32
All the Eagle Pro products from D-Link use the same smartphone App to set up your new router. Unlike previous mesh multipacks from D-Link, any of the 2 or 3 included 16 x 7 x 19cm satellites can be used as the box you connect to the internet. This is done with a supplied Ethernet cable that connects to your NBN modem and the yellow Ethernet port on the rear of your M32 box. Plug in the router and press the power switch next to the cable input.
After installing and opening the Eagle Pro AI app, you must scan a QR code on your phone located at the bottom of the device. The app then asks if you are setting up a new network or extending an existing one. Now simply follow the instruction on your smartphone screen, and the default answers will work well.
Once your first satellite is activated, the app will prompt you to set up additional units. You will know if the additional satellite is in Wi-Fi range when you power it up, and a solid white LED is displayed on the top of the new satellite.
You can set up a guest network to keep guests separate from your business devices and information. For example, allow cafe customers to access the internet. You can also limit customers’ speed to keep the best performance for the business. The guest’s access setup is as simple as scanning a QR code.
The Eagle Pro-AI app for your smartphone will allow you to customise your setup, receive notifications & usage reports, and set up schedules and block certain sites.
Your small business, whether on dedicated premises or in a home, needs fast, reliable internet access. To achieve this, you want a reliable, simple to set up and run Wi-Fi router that will provide fast internet to allow all users to do their job.
The Eagle Pro AI M32 from D-Link is such a device using the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard, Mesh technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to ensure everything in the background runs well. This Mesh solution will ensure devices do not suffer from congestion and are usable throughout your entire office area.
The M32 is cost-effective, is part of an excellent ecosystem that gives you expansion options and is easy to set up.