Gadget review: Netgear AC750 EX6100 Wifi Range Extender
DESPITE improvements to the nation’s broadband infrastructure and ever increasing - or so it is claimed - speeds, establishing a strong, reliable connection in your home or office can still be a frustratingly hit and miss affair. Much depends on the fabric of the building in question; if you are in a modern, open plan environment, then dandy, but problems often arise in structures dating back to the early 20th century and beyond, where layouts and materials mean that router with a supposedly lengthy range fall short.
Netgear’s EX6100 is a cost effective solution to this annoying clash of the old and new, extending your signal to hard to reach areas. Compatible with any WiFi router, it boosts both the range and speed of the signal, delivering dual band WiFi with up to 750 Mbp, a boon at a time when the living room is no longer the central hub for tech, with increasing numbers of people using smartphones and tablets in the likes of upstairs bedrooms and kitchens.
This is technology that doesn’t catch the eye but serves its purpose
There are some gadgets that place too great an emphasis on form over function. They can be elegant examples of the best in design that would happily take pride of place in any home, acting almost as art as opposed to a device intended for practical use. The EX6100, it is fair to say, occupies the opposite end of the spectrum, resembling a clunky AC plug. This is technology that may not catch the eye, but it connects discreetly into an electrical socket to stay out of sight, and more importantly - it serves its purpose excellently.
While tinkering around with routers and wifi signals is usually a process that will eat up the majority of your afternoon and have you grinding your teeth, setting up the extender is a refreshingly straightforward process. Beginning in the living room - or wherever your router is located - the wall-plug design device connects to your network via WPS. Your laptop, tablet and any other wifi-ready kit will momentarily become disconnected but after a few moments, the new, extended network is in place. With the same name and passwords as you used before, your tech automatically hooks back up to the signal.
Connection speeds are brisk with only occasional jitters during intensive use
Tested in a century old building with thick, sandstone walls that are no friend to a WiFi signal, the difference was immediately clear once the extender was up and running. The speed of the connection using the extender is brisk and vastly improves web browsing from areas of your home that struggled by on one or two bar WiFi signals using a router alone.
Viewing YouTube videos also proved a much more reliable affair, although when we tried some intensive applications - such as online gaming - there were occasional jitters in the connection, demonstrating that although the extender makes a big difference for ordinary tasks that use little bandwith, it can struggle when hardier demands are made of it. Overall, however, the EX6100 is a fine solution for households that struggle to maintain a strong, consistent WiFi connection.
The Netgear AC750 EX6100 is available from eBuyer