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Review: Netgear Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender

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Is your existing wireless network big enough to cover you entire home or office? Are there some areas that could use a boost?

If the answer is yes, Netgear’s new WN3000RP Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender could be just the answer.

The device plugs directly into a power point and can extend the reach of your existing network literally at the press of a button.  

The Netgear Wi-Fi Extender has a wall plug design and two wi-fi antennas and is easy as finding a vacant power point in the area where you’d like the extend or boost your wi-fi network.

It can come in handy if you live in a long or multi-storey home or want to take your coverage to the front and back yards of your property.

Installation and set up is remarkably simple. There is no need to install any software or plug in any cables.

For our testing we wanted to extend the reach of the network created by our Cisco DPQ3925 modem/router.

We found a spot in our home on the edge of our network where the wi-fi signal wasn’t at its strongest and plugged in the WN3000RP Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender.

Back at the Cisco modem we had to look for our WPS (Wi-fi Protected Set-up) button – a wireless setup button which can add wireless devices to the wireless gateway.

How the Netgear Universal Wi-Fi Extender works in the home

Most routers have a physical WPS button or this feature within the router’s set-up menu which can be accessed though the browser.

All Netgear routers have WPS buttons and so did our Cisco DPQ3925 and we pressed it.

Back at the Netgear Wi-Fi Extender we hit the device’s WPS button – located on the right edge of the device.

Within two minutes the router and wi-fi extender found each other and a new network was created – the same name as our current network but with _EXT at the end of it to easily identify it.

Now wi-fi devices like iPads, iPhones, smartphones, laptops, tablets, smartphones can connect through our extended network.

After this connection the first device we connected to the Netgear extension automatically opened a browser and stepped us through a set-up wizard.

The main task of the wizard is applying the same password from your existing network to the newly created extension.

The Netgear Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender fits directly into a power point Now the “dead zone” in our home has a full wi-fi signal.

The Link Rate LED and PC to Exender LED on the Netgear Wi-Fi Range Extender indicate the strength of your extended network.

Both of our LEDs were green which means the signal is strong. These LED indicators can be used to find the ideal spot in your home for optimal coverage.

Netgear states in the Wi-Fi Extender installation guide that traffic routed through the device is slower than that of device connected directly to the router.

But we found the performance to be more than adequate when surfing the web on a laptop, an iPad and an iPhone. It was also fast enough to handle wi-fi connections to gaming consoles and smart TVs.

Our only fault with the device was the size of the plug which can be a power point hog. It can only be used on a single power point.

Trying to fit a plug next to the Netgear extender on a double power point is near impossible unless it’s a very small plug.

The Netgear WN3000RP Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender is an excellent way to extend or enhance the coverage of your wireless network with a set-up so simple anyone could do it.

Netgear WN3000RP Universal Wi-FI Range Extender

Price: $129

Four and a half stars (out of five)

www.netgear.com.au

About Stephen Fenech

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