Grandparent-Friendly Mesh Wi-Fi with D-Link COVR-1103

The bond between a child and their grandparents is something extremely special. We have been fortunate enough to have both sets of grandparents close by, to be active participants in all aspects of our children’s upbringing so far. However, like just about everyone on the planet, Covid-19 has greatly impacted that relationship this year. It will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Disclosure: This post contains the D-Link COVR-1103, which was sent to Blog of Dad free of charge for the purpose of this article. All thoughts expressed in this article are based on my experiences with the product.

With those over 70 at most risk of severe illness or worse, we have played it safe when it comes to time spent physically with grandparents. While this limitation is necessary, we are doing everything we can to ensure that regular contact via video calls somewhat fills the void.

If there is a positive to come out of 2020, it is the pandemic has coincided with a time in human history where we are well equipped to counteract the isolation with technology-based solutions.

Video calling is a bandwidth-intensive task. For all it’s problems, the NBN has delivered fast and reasonably reliable speeds to many Australian households. However, inadequate Wi-Fi performance from bog-standard ISP modem/routers still tethers many users to spaces close to the incoming connection in their home. Blackspots take away the freedom to seamlessly move around the house while enjoying consistent Wi-Fi.

When my parents are enjoying a video call with their grandkids, I want them to enjoy it from a comfortable location in their own home. I also want them to be able to take advantage of the mobile nature of their device, and move around the house throughout the conversation. My mother has spent many years hand-building the most impressive dolls house and our 4yo daughter loves “playing” in the dolls house with her over a video call. Grandad loves showing off his amazing garden full of roses, tomatoes, citrus trees and chilies.

The answer to this is a Wi-Fi mesh setup, and few come close to the user-friendliness and cost-effectiveness of the D-Link COVR EasyMesh system. When I wanted to improve the quality of the Wi-Fi throughout my parent’s house, a D-Link COVR system was my first thought.

 

D-link COVR-1103
As I wasn’t there to photograph the D-Link COVR-1103, so I took some photos while on a DUO call with my parents

 

I knew from personal experience that the D-Link app offered an extremely easy method of setup via a mobile device. When I installed the COVR-1102 in my own home, I appreciated the way the app walked me through every step of the installation process.

My parents are septuagenarians, and while definitely not technophobes, asking them to become familiar with the inner workings of a router through a web-based interface seemed like a bridge too far. The ease of the D-Link app left me confident that they could work through the setup process, with possibly a little phone support from me.

 

D-link COVR-1103
“Playing” in the doll house with Grandma

 

D-Link COVR-1103 Setup

I wasn’t wrong. The D-Link setup app was just as easy to use this time as it was when I first set up the COVR-1102 in my house.

The app makes everything clear and simple, with step-by-step, clearly-illustrated instructions.

Once the first access point has been connected to the NBN ( this will vary slightly depending on connection type), configuring the new network is very easy. I suggested that my parents set a network name they could easily identify, then set a strong network password for enhanced security. After a few simple configuration questions, the first D-Link COVR access point was up and running!

 

Exploring Grandad’s garden

 

Adding the two additional points of the D-Link COVR-1103 was even easier. The best bet is to plug them in, one at a time, to a power outlet close to the original point.

Again, activating each additional point is a simple matter of following the guided, step-by-step process built into the app. Once the second point is activated, simply unplug it and move it to a location in the house that is close enough to the original point to properly communicate with it. The distance separating the two points will vary depending on the construction of your house, but in my parents house they were able to establish a good connection through two tiled bathroom walls.

Once the second point is set up, repeat the same process for the third.

The D-Link COVR-1103 Wi-Fi Mesh system is the ideal setup for my parent’s house. It has greatly increased the Wi-Fi range throughout the house to enable internet use in all bedrooms, living areas and even the garden. The three-point setup dealt with some particularly problematic Wi-Fi blackspots on far side of the kitchen – right where the dolls house sits! Better yet, my parents can move seamlessly around the house while the COVR mesh network takes care of pointing their device to the best COVR access point.

 

The Benefits of D-Link COVR 1103 Mesh Wi-Fi

Now that both homes have excellent mesh Wi-Fi coverage, we can all move freely around and “play” or show different things. Our kids often take their grandparents into their bedroom to show toys or drawings, while the grandparents can show all the wonders of their home. It makes for longer, more engaged calls that help to build deeper relationships in this challenging environment.

Beyond better interaction with grand children, a Wi-Fi mesh system (obviously) enables an overall better internet experience throughout the home.  For many older people who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19, the reality right now is a life in which they are essentially housebound for the foreseeable future. Quality internet then becomes the gateway to “freedom”. It enables (virtual) world travel in a time when traveling any further than the State border is all but impossible.

 

D-Link COVR-1103

 

Wi-F Internet can take us to the movies, the library, the theatre, a concert, a friend’s house… All from the safety of home. The D-Link COVR Wi-Fi Mesh systems enable anyone to enjoy these experiences from their bedrooms to the living room and even whilst sitting on the back veranda sipping a beer in the warm spring sun. And thankfully, it couldn’t be easier to use!

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