This mesh router looks like a manta ray

June 19, 2024
3 mins read


D-Link’s Aquila Pro AI AX6000 M60 Mesh Router

With its ease of set-up, striking design and canny way at dealing with Wi-Fi dead spots, the Aquila Pro is right up there with the best of its kind, writes PAT PILCHER.

From $329

If you’re cursed with Wi-Fi dead spots in your home, I’ve got some good news for you. A while ago, I wrote about the wonders of Mesh Wi-Fi and how it can provide seamless, full-strength Wi-Fi to every corner of your home. The good news is that mesh networking gear is much more widely available and affordable now. A case in point is D-Link’s Aquila Pro AI AX6000 M60.

Essentially a Wi-Fi 6 dual-band Wi-Fi Mesh system, each Mesh Node sports eight internal antennas plus four gigabit LAN ports. Perhaps the most striking thing about the M60 is its design. Crafted out of white and light blue plastic, it resembles a manta ray thanks to the two fins on either side that curve upwards and inwards.  Unlike many other routers, it uses eight internal antennas, which means its organic and curvaceous form isn’t marred by ugly antennas. The design is subtle and elegant, allowing the M60 to blend seamlessly into most homes.

D-Link’s blurb says the M60 can provide up to 280 square metres of coverage. This will vary depending on what the walls of your home are crafted out of – brick and masonry tend to absorb significantly more of the wireless signal compared to wood-framed walls. On the rear panel, there’s a 2.5Gb WAN port (which is great news for Hyperfibre users) and four gigabit LAN ports. There are no USB ports, so if networking printers and other doodads are a requirement, you might need to seek alternatives.

Where many routers are laden with distracting LEDs, the M60 has just a single LED that illuminates white when the router is internet-connected, and everything is tickety-boo. Personally, I prefer this distraction-free approach and can get all the status info I need using the rather excellent D-Link app on my phone instead of having my router impersonate a Christmas tree year-round.

As a mesh router, the M60 connects to Aquila M60s you’ve placed around your home, effectively banishing Wi-Fi dead zones. Each M60 Mesh node is kitted out with a 2GHz quad-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, and 128MB of RAM. This means that the network outages experienced in most single-router smart home setups are less likely, as the networking and processing load is distributed and shared across mesh nodes.

Stability aside, the M60 also supports 160MHz channel bandwidth, 1024 QAM, WPA3 encryption, MU-MIMO, and Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA). Acronym soup aside, all the Wi-Fi 6 goodies you’d expect are there, with the only exception being support for super-fast 6Ghz 802.11axe, which is a bit of an omission.

That said, you do get decent parental controls. Still, network security software is absent from the mobile app (You can manage some security settings via the web console). The mobile app is tidily set up and an excellent way to access all the bits and bobs you’d expect, such as the number of connected devices, the status of Mesh nodes, your network’s name, DHCP settings, firmware updates, etc.

Another nice touch is the Wi-Fi AI Assistant, which can automatically generate weekly network health reports. Guest networks and Wi-Fi schedules are also supported along with parental controls, which allow you to create user profiles, manage specific devices, and block specific websites. You can also link the M60 to Alexa or Google Assistant, which you can ask to enable guest networks or even reboot the router. Video streamers and gamers are also well catered for thanks to QoS controls, which allow you to prioritise specific types of internet traffic for stutter-free streaming and gaming.

All these bells and whistles are nice but count for little if installing the M60 isn’t easy. Thankfully, it was a complete doddle to get going with. Using the mobile app, I tapped Install New Device and scanned the QR code on the bottom of the router with my phone’s camera. As I was installing the fibre-connected node, I selected ‘set up as router’ (for later mesh node installs, I used the ‘set this up as a component in a mesh network’ option). After giving my new network and the router a name and a password, I updated the M60’s firmware and was good to go. Suffice it to say, even most non-techie people should be able to get up and running with the M60 fairly quickly with minimal fuss.

The M60 acquitted itself well in performance tests. I clocked 185Mbps on 2.4GHz in the same room as the M60, which isn’t too shabby at all. It also delivered a zippy 797Mbps using the 5GHz band.

By spreading the mesh nodes throughout my home, I got strong and stable 2.4 and 5GHz Wi-Fi throughout my large house, with the only exception being upstairs. Still, the beauty of a mesh setup is that more nodes can be bought and added if needed to fill in and cover blind spots.

D-Link’s Aquila Pro AI AX6000 M60 router sports a quirky design. It offers mesh capabilities that will give you consistent Wi-Fi 6 coverage throughout your home. It was not only dead easy to set up but also turned in a decent performance. While I’d have liked a USB port and support for 802.11ax, the M60 still offers a solid bang for buck value.

Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Give a little to support Witchdoctor's quest to save high quality independent journalism. It's easy and painless! Just donate $5 or $10 to our PressPatron account by clicking on the button below.

Witchdoctor straight to your inbox every 2nd week


Advance Paris - Designed with French flair. Amplifiers, Streamers, CD players and more
Previous Story

This way cool French amp is a genuine hi-fi bargain

Next Story

The long-delayed release of a legendary 1968 performance by Zappa/The Mothers

Latest from Gear

Go toTop