D-Link Eagle Pro AI AX3200 M32 Mesh router system – low cost, great coverage (Dlink network review)
The D-Link Eagle Pro AI AX3200 M32 Mesh router system expands to cover larger homes, and with a three-pack at $599.95, it is great value.
We recently gained exposure to the D-Link Eagle Pro AI AX1500 Mesh system M15, E15 and R15 (DLink network review) and D-Link G415 4G Eagle Pro AI AX1500 mesh capable router (DLink network review) and were pleasantly surprised at the Eagle Pro AI smarts.
This is the next iteration – an Eagle Pro AI AX3200 M32, 3-pack (or 2-pack), whole-of-home system, and you can add even more satellites for more coverage. In fact, it is compatible with any Eagle Pro AI Wi-Fi 6 AX router/Satellite, so you can mix and match.
EAGLE PRO AI technology identifies your Wi-Fi needs and fixes your Wi-Fi issues. It can prioritise e High Network Traffic, Wi-Fi Interference, and Website Filtering.
Australian review: D-Link Eagle Pro AI AX3200 M32 Mesh system
|Product page and PDF Manual
|$599 for the three pack and $449 for the two pack
|D-Link online, JB Hi-Fi, Good Guys, Officeworks. Myer, Big W, and reputable IT retailers
|Country of Origin
|D-Link, est. 1986 is a Taiwanese multinational networking company headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan. You can trust D-Link and your privacy.
|Cybershack D-Link news and reviews
We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass(able) rating that is not as good as it should be and a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed.
You can click on most images for an enlargement.
First Impression – Pass+
The typical D-Link grey and white design should fit into any décor. On the back are a WAN and 2 x LAN ports, a WPA button and a power switch. A large X LED indicates the router’s state on the top. Size – 164.61 x 71.07 x 185.65mm x 486g plus plug pack.
All three devices are the same – the one connected to the internet via Ethernet WAN is the router.
Satellites can connect via Wi-Fi 5GHz or Gigabit Ethernet backhaul.
Setup – D-Link Eagle AI app or via a browser – Pass+
Download the D-Link Eagle AI app for iOS and Android, create an account (and elect or not to receive marketing information). Scan the router 2D code. Give it a name, and that is it. Once done, power up the two satellites and the App will add them.
Or you can go via the web-interface 192.168.0.1 (I suggest you change this to avoid clashes with gateways etc.). There is a Wizard that will guide you through setup. The nice thing about D-Link is that the simple App does not remove the underlying customisability.
My only issue (and it grows less as we get new IoT devices) is that it transmits a single 2.4Ghz and 5GHz SSID, and older IoT sometimes have problems with that.
The web interface has free, basic, profile-based parental controls, including bedtime access, full access and website filters.
QoS (quality of service) has been simplified and now shows all connected devices and allows you to allocate priority.
Brief specs – D-Link Eagle Pro AI AX3200 M32-3PKMesh system
- Wi-Fi 6 AX3200 Dual-band
- 2.4GHz 800Mbps – this is huge for IoT traffic
- 5GHz 2400Mbps – maximum connect speed HE80 1200Mbps, and the other 1200 is for backhaul
- 2×2 Antenna for 4-stream and a fifth for network channel monitoring (AI)
- Ethernet connection to FTTP / FTTC/ HFC / Satellite / Fixed Wireless gateways
- WPA2/3 security
- Gigabit WAN and 2 LAN ports
- 12V/2A/24W plug pack but maximum power at 15W (negligible)
-dBM – lower is better. Mbps – higher is better. Ms – lower is better. Maximum NBN speed is nominally 100/20.
|Distance from router – metres
|5GHz DL/UL Mbps/Ms
|5m through 2 walls and cupboards
Conclusions: The 5GHz band becomes unusable past 10m (as expected). The distance affects data throughput and resultant NBN drop-off. The 5m through wall test proves that the Satellite is best in line-of-sight. Still, these results are enough to stream 4K video (25Mbps) or games traffic.
5m away through two walls/cupboards with Wi-Fi 6 backhaul
|Distance from Satellite – metres
Note that the satellites are identical to the router, so speeds are similar.
7m line-of-sight Wi-Fi 6 backhaul
|Distance from Satellite – metres
We retested a satellite 10m from the router, and the results were about 30% lower in Mbps and far longer ping times.
Gigabit Ethernet backhaul
|Distance from Satellite – metres
Ethernet backhaul gives each Satellite the same transmit speeds and internet speeds.
We tested Wi-Fi 6GHz backhaul for a Satellite>7m to Satellite>7m to the router. While the satellite transmission speeds to the smartphone were identical, throughput on the furthermost away (14m) from the router dropped by about 70%.
Conclusions: The satellites perform well using Wi-Fi 6 backhaul, but we recommend no more than 7 metres line-of-sight or 5m through walls, built-in cupboards etc. When you use Wi-Fi 6 backhaul, it dedicates approx. 1200Mbps of the 5GHz bandwidth hence the difference between 5GHz 1200 maximum connect and 5GHz 24004Mbps overall bandwidth.
Ethernet backhaul gives the same speeds as at the router.
These are smaller routers and accordingly have lesser signal strength meaning 7-10 metres distance between routers and the satellites is about maximum. There is a signal strength indicator in the App.
Effective distance/coverage 3-pack
Each device has an effective range of 10 metres – less through doors, windows, walls and cupboards. Wi-Fi transmits in a circle, so each device can cover 10m out (20m diameter) or about 300m2.
But if using Wi-Fi backhaul, the area is <10m>satellite<7m>router<7m> Satellite <10m> or total coverage of about 680m2 less any wasted outside the 34x20m area. It is a tad less than D-Link’s theoretical 740m2.
These are not powerhouse routers, so limit your IoT use to 30 devices.
Hand-off from one Satellite to another – Pass
Hand-off (when you walk from one room to another with a Satellite) can take 15-20 seconds to connect to the nearest Satellite.
Voice Assistants – Pass
It works with Google Assistant and Alexa. As with all routers, the voice commands are limited.
- Check Wi-Fi status
- Update Router firmware (but the App does this automatically)
- Reboot Router
- Guest network enable/SSID/password
CyberShack’s view – D-Link Eagle Pro AI AX3200 M32 is a great Mesh router system
Since Wi-Fi 6 AX emerged, we have not seen any ‘bad’ routers because it is superior to Wi-Fi 5 AC.
Smaller Mesh systems like this can effectively use dual-band and Wi-Fi 6 backhaul. We recommend it for a smaller home where you can place the satellites up to 7m line-of-sight or larger multi-story homes where you can Ethernet backhaul them.
These performed very well; if you need more, a 2-pack of Eagle Pro AX1500 Mesh is $249.95.
It is not in the same class as flagship mesh systems with greater transmit/receive signal strengths, but it is Wi-Fi 6 AX, and all that means.
This is one of the lowest-cost-per-node, offering good performance and expandability.
It performs as a Wi-Fi 6 AX router should but remember the fasted 5Ghz speed you will get is 1200Mbps full-duplex.
Ease of Use 80
The App is super simple and has a full set of commands in the web interface.
It is understated and will blend in well.
D-Link Eagle Pro AI AX3200 M32 Mesh router system2-Pack $449, 3-Pack $599
- The cost per node is very good
- Expandable with other Eagle Pro AI Mesh products
- Wi-Fi 5GHz 1200Mbps full-duplex to about 10m from the router/satellite
- All the usual D-Link router features
- Wi-Fi 6 speeds and advantages like OFDMA etc., are only for Wi-Fi 6 devices
- None, if you understand that you need to spend 2-3 times to get more coverage and speed
- Only transmits a single merged SSID which can affect IoT devices
- The range is really 5-7m line-of-sight from the Router to the satellite