Late last week D-Link announced a new Wi-Fi 6 dongle designed for Quest 2 that provides a dedicated wireless connection to your PC, letting you play PC VR games without the hassle of long cables or needing an exceptionally good router. Now the company has listed the dongle for sale, priced at $99.

Update (October 4th, 2022): D-Link has officially released its VR Air Bridge dongle for $99, available in the US only. The unit comes with the dongle, cabled dock that connects to your PC via USB 3.2 gen 1 port, and quick start guide.

If you’re looking for an alternative to plonking down a full Benjamin for wireless PC VR gaming on Quest, definitely check first whether Air Link already works well on your Wi-Fi router. You may also want to see if Virtual Desktop is right for you, since it contains a lot more settings to mess around with to fit your specific PC hardware.

The original article announcing VR Air Bridge follows below:

Original Article (September 30th, 2022): VR Air Bridge (DWA-F18) is said to include D-Link’s Wi-Fi 6 firmware and Meta’s proprietary VR algorithms for low latency wireless connectivity and improved Wi-Fi efficiency, essentially serving up a plug-and-play solution that’s both compact and simple to install.

It also doesn’t tie up bandwidth on your home network, letting you connect to your PC more directly than you might otherwise when using Meta’s wireless Air Link function.

Both the wired Link and wireless Air Link function on Quest lets you play PC VR games from the official Meta PC Store, Steam, and Viveport. Granted, you’ll need a PC capable of playing VR games to make use of D-Link’s new VR Air Bridge.

SEE ALSO
Meta to Resume Quest Sales in Germany Following 2-year Antitrust Case

Other requirements include a Windows 10 PC with a USB 3.2 gen 1 port and Meta’s PC VR software. Find out here if your PC is VR-ready.

There’s no pricing or ship date yet on D-Link’s VR Air Bridge; D-Link says it will be available in North America “soon” (see update). We’ll be keeping our eye out nearing Connect 2022, Meta’s XR developer conference which takes place October 11th.

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  • Sven Viking

    Allowing access to your “Meta Quest Rift library” according to the official website.

  • kontis

    There are rumours this won’t work with VIrtual Desktop.
    That would be absurd, but if it’s true then it’s a sad joke.

    (It would be justified if it was a specialized dedicated hardware for custom low latency compression with wifi 6E, like Nofio, but a normal wifi dongle for standard video streaming it would be unacceptable to be air link exclusive.)

    VR media should investigate if it’s true. Maybe ask D-Link or Meta?

    • Gabe Zuckerwell

      Should be also compatible with other streaming solutions? VD is not the only one. Why he don’t partner with router manufacturer? The guy single handely made terms of millions of dollars. I wonder if PC app finally got the video update that has been “coming soon” for couple of years?

      • Sven Viking

        Yeah there doesn’t seem to be any reason not to allow any streaming solution to make use of it like other WiFi hardware. If it has tweaks to improve streaming in some way they can release the relevant API or similar.

    • digitaldeity

      How in the world is that absurd? Meta and Virtural Desktop make code changes all the time and their tech isn’t the same which is why some people prefer VD over airlink and some prefer airlink over VD

    • Andrew Jakobs

      If it doesn’t support Virtual Desktop, it’s up to VD to add support for it, not Meta.

      • Sven Viking

        If it allows him to that’s fine.

      • Przemo-c

        Not necessarily. Currently both air link and vd use regular network connection for transport layer. But if meta makes the dongle not be seen as a regular network by the system then virtual desktop might not be able to utilize it unless meta exposes that functionality. And for now we don’t know how hard is it integrated. On either side of meta software.

  • wheeler

    Check Guy Godin’s twitter (can’t share a link, otherwise it ends up in disqus’s “pending approval” purgatory). They really want to cut him out of the picture

    • Przemo-c

      And it’s not without precedent given how long they’ve blocked him from being able to include VR streaming functionality in store distributed VD

      • Gabe Zuckerwell

        It’s funny how he sneaked this functionality without approval, resulting in a ban for his own choice.

  • NL_VR

    Lol meta just dont know were to focus.

  • If your PC is already on an ethernet network, then you can get a gigabit network switch + Wifi 6 access point (Wax202) and diy your own version, but without the fancy algorithms.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      But that’s probably more expensive than just buying this thing, if you have the PC (USB 3.2) for it ofcourse.

      • Don’t know the price of this device, but the WAX202 is about $52 and a switch can be found for about $15. And it has the added benefit of adding more Wi-Fi access points in your area since it has 3 Wi-Fi slots. Might be able to skip the switch and just plug the PC into the back of the router in Access Point mode.

        • Sven Viking

          Based on firmware leaks from five months ago the hardware seems to be a repurposed D-Link DWA-X1850 which had a US$60 RRP. I’d guess they may raise the price for this though.

          • Wait a second, are you related to that old Half-Life 2 mod?

          • Sven Viking

            Half-Life 1 actually (SC2 for HL2 was planned at one point but cancelled). It’s standalone now (still free).

          • Didn’t we work together on something a really long time ago, Half-Life 2D Art Creator

          • Sven Viking

            If you’re saying you were a 2D art creator, were you using your real name at the time? If it was a project named “Half-Life 2D Art Creator” it must have been someone else.

          • I went back through the wayback machine since everything from that time is gone and I was actually thinking of the Friendly Garg

          • Sven Viking

            Ah, it’s very possible that you made a Friendly Garg skin for us. I’m sorry but I can’t currently remember the details, and it’s quite likely I knew you under a different name.

          • Sven Viking

            Seems I was right about the price increase :/. I wonder if you could just flash the Air Bridge firmware onto the original hardware?

          • Just bought the DWA-X1850 due to this.. Got it for $40.

          • Sven Viking

            Hopefully there’ll be a way to flash the Air Bridge firmware to it for whatever advantages it might have. For all I know they could even be using the same old firmware in the box on both versions of the product and the Oculus software might just update them on first use.

          • ahvingsing

            Can i ask where you got it for $40?

    • And of course use the superior Virtual Desktop buy Guy Godin instead of relying on Meta….just saying.

      • Gabe Zuckerwell

        Nah he never finished the pc version of the app, he stole ALVR functionality, and stole virtual desktop name and claims it’s his own invention on every occasion

        • NexusP

          Yeah a Virtual Desktop was already thing created by VMware in 2009. There’s still Azure Virtual Desktop.

      • MeowMix

        they’ve actually benefited from one another. VD essentially copied the sliced encoding technique created and used by wired Link when it was revealed (AADT – Axis-Aligned Distortion Transmission). This helped VD improve on its latency (early days of VD were pretty rough).

        • ViRGiN

          Yet godin is acting like he was personally targeted by meta, yet it was him who sneaked a pc vr streaming capability in an update, without even seeking approval from meta. That’s why he got banned.
          On top of that, he was years late, as ALVR existed way way before that.

          Dude made his millions. He should stop getting butthurt about things that benefit customers. If he had the power to, he would deligitimize AirLink.

          • MeowMix

            yet it was him who sneaked a pc vr streaming capability in an update, without even seeking approval from meta. That’s why he got banned.

            100% ! I still remember when this whole event transpired.

            For those that are unfamiliar with the early days. During that time (Quest1 early days before VR was a for sure thing), the Quest store was HEAVILY curated; so much so they limited not only based on quality, but genre of the game. The idea from Oculus was Quest was being used by VR newcomers, and they didn’t want the first experience to be janky and thus ‘poison the well’ for users. This was during the early days of Sidequest and before AppLab.

            I remember Jason Rubin sending out a few tweets at the time (perhaps even Carmack but don’t remember), but the idea was ‘Virtual Desktop’ was approved as a high quality Quest1-to-PC desktop viewer (hence the name). Thus, like you said, when he released an update (Oculus was not given any kind warning) that totally changed the program, and it featuring a janky alpha PCVR streaming function (remember the whole ‘poisoning the well’ tid bit above), the program was temporarily suspended by the store. After a few days, and the social media circuits going crazy, it was agreed VD would be allowed back on the store, but the PCVR streaming feature would have to be a sideloaded update (not supplied by the official store).

            Once ppl know the context behind the VD and Oculus drama, they can see there are no innocent parties.

  • Sven Viking

    I hope this really does have some form of custom advantages for VR streaming, but D-Link’s “PC VR Gaming Performance Comparison” chart seems a bit comical. Provides 66% more “Access to PC VR Libraries” than other WiFi hardware? 250% WiFi Signal Strength compared to a WiFi router?

    • Sven Viking
      • MeowMix

        Dots don’t lie :P

      • Alexander Sears

        For clarity’s sake, this is a ‘comparison’ between the D-link and what I presume is intended to represent the same router one uses in their home network. If these dots translate to real numbers, and assuming that the devices being compared are of equal specification, then one could reasonably expect a dedicated router, that is to say one that is not being used for any other purpose than VR streaming, to be comparable in many of these metrics.

        • Sven Viking

          Even the switch to a dedicated router isn’t going to double “signal strength”, but mostly I’m just interested in how it increases access to PC VR Libraries.

          • Sven Viking

            Looks like they’re now replaced the chart with something less ridiculous. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/27744e1c69e431ac96c466ef95f2fae9e785a01a84c50bde5bea17765ae6904d.jpg

          • Alexander Sears

            XD Until D-Link appeared we’ve only had access to 60% of our steam library.

            For those who already stream games with a dedicated router of a transfer speed of 1200mpbs using CAT5e or CAT6 ethernet, then the improvements are probably going to be small. Assuming it can bypass the ‘Windows Network Layer’, something I’m sure exists but is unfamiliar to me, then the improvements in latency over one’s existing setup, if it’s like the one above, will not be worth the squeeze if you’re on a budget like yours truly.

  • poltevo

    There really should be more excitement for this product. It would be sad if VD is locked out, but a product like this also makes PCVR more accessible then before. Arguably this product will make it the easiest its ever been to play PCVR.

    I’d like to know what, if anything, custom is provided here. Low latency compression is much more dependent on hardware acceleration on GPUs/CPUs, so I suspect Meta are not going to beat VD on that front. They could, however, work with Qualcomm and D-Link to optimise the wifi latency. I’m just speculating here as I’m no expert on latency.

    My best guess is that performance wise this solution will be about the same as the best diy setup.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      Or… it could be a non-exceptional router albeit with wifi6 and a bit of Meta link software plus a lot of marketing Hocus Pocus, like a router that will show “better colors on Netflix streaming for HDR TVs”… better wait for the reviews to see if this works better at all…

    • Sarkazem

      if they weren’t charging the same price as it is to just buy an AC or AX router, and have it run as a second network, maybe i’d get more excited. I mean, you could even just use your exsisting wifi 6 router if you got one, manually setup a port and everything for ONLY the quest, and lock it down. Then , yes. Dedicated, and being ran by a arm 64 processor, not the equivolent of a usb memory stick controller.

  • Jeremiah Tothenations

    If it’s affordable, then count me in, the tether to my PC is getting annoying and I have no way of connecting my PC to the router…

  • They didn’t mention anything about latency.

  • Tommy

    This might be something I may look into. I can’t get AirLink to work with my mesh network. I usually just play with a wire. No big deal either way.

  • Sven Viking

    Come to think of it, I wonder whether the release of this product could spur Meta into processing submissions to the Rift store within timeframes lesser than the average human lifespan?

  • david vincent

    What a scam, just get a good wifi router for half the price…

  • Max-Dmg

    Is this waterproof? I have a leak in my tap and its getting pretty bad.

  • Marek Naharnowicz

    Laugh in direct wifi.

  • aasdasdasd

    this better be compatible with pico4 and future products, otherwise they missing out big time. espicially wireless is definitely the future.

  • My buddy was having nothing but problems getting airlink to work for him because of a weird home network set-up. It works AWESOMELY. Very low latency, great range and easy set-up. If Airlink didn’t work so well for me, I’d definitely grab one.

  • V

    Will it create a low latency environment for the Quest Pro and Pimax Crystal or will it only work with Quest 2?