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This review is from: NETGEAR EX7000 AC1900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender
Pros: This range extender has a lot more flexibility than I am used to seeing in a range extender, and has proven to be very useful in my setup. I live in an area which has a fairly dense population, enough that I have neighbors on every 2.4GHz channel. My previous 2.4GHz range extender did a decent job, but degraded a lot under heavy load probably due to interference, and the fact that it had to repeat 2.4GHz on the same channel as my router.
A lot of range extenders on the market do not support 5GHz, so massive points from me for that!
With this range extender, I have been able to connect to my router only on the 5GHz band (by my choice) and extend on to 5GHz and a new 2.4GHz channel as well. This has done wonders for reducing interference related performance loss on my network.
This has done wonders for improving my network capacity, and I no longer even notice whether I'm connected to the extender or the main access point. Before, when connected to the extender, it was pretty obvious that I couldn't take full advantage of my 20Mbps of Internet bandwidth, but on this new extender I am seeing no loss of performance whatsoever when I'm connected to it.
Cons: The range extender takes up a lot of space, it's actually bigger than my router. However, it is not relatively sleek looking, so I don't mind it too much.
The process of creating an account and logging in to the device is really weird. It's like I'm creating some kind of Netgear website cloud account and logging in with that. I would prefer a normal\changeable username like "admin". Typing an email address to login to a local network device is awkward. Regardless, the authentication does seem to work without an Internet connection.
Firmware seems a little bit limited. It's obviously designed for someone non-technical, which is fine, but I'd like to see some more advanced options. For example if I wanted to change my SSID or wireless password for my main network, I don't see any way to update that on the range extender other than running the "setup wizard" again.
Other Thoughts: For raw capabilities, this is an awesome device.
If the firmware had more advanced settings, the device would have gained more respect from me, I felt like I was mostly relearning how to do things I already know how to do "the Netgear way" to get this device working for me, but all in all I got everything up and working how I wanted it.
The extra capabilities like the USB port for printer sharing or networked drives is an interesting touch, but seems like overkill for a device like this. Mine is thrown in a corner of a room with no other technology in it, because this is a range extender. If I already had a bunch of technology sitting there, I would have installed wired infrastructure and I could have just put in another access point.
Pros: The switch is inexpensive and seems to be reliable so far. I am using it as a switch on my test bench where I work on computers regularly, and it is working great so far.
The switch is also very aesthetically appealing with its sleek white case.
Pretty much the best thing a switch can do is stay out of your way and not obstruct traffic flow through your network, this switch works just great.
Cons: It’s only a 100Mbps switch, in this day and age with some Internet connections exceeding that speed, I do believe 1Gbps should be a standard on everyone’s network.
As the switch is very lightweight, sometimes it seems like pull on the cables tends to move the switch around on the desk. Maybe not the best switch for some desk locations where it might get pulled off on to the floor easily.
Other Thoughts: If you are in need of a very cheap switch to extend your network and your network is not extremely high traffic, this is ideal.
In some areas of my network at home I would never consider putting this switch there because of the 100Mb bottleneck.
Pros: I have a WPA2 secured network, and this was not difficult for me to set up at all. You simply plug it in, find the TP-Link SSID on your available networks as suggested in the setup guide, and follow the instructions to get it set up for your network. This part was not difficult at all, but I wasn’t using WPS or anything.
The range is about as good as I expected and comparable with other wireless range extenders I have used.
Of all the range extenders I’ve used this one is the most visually appealing and well designed from an aesthetic standpoint. It is designed very well so if you plug it into a wall socket it will only consume that outlet, it doesn’t block outlets next to it (although it might on a power strip, your mileage may vary).
The case is a sleek modern curvy white with a bright blue LED. Probably not something you want to install in your bedroom, but in the hallway outside your bedroom would be fine and maybe it could double as a night light.
Cons: Only supports 2.4GHz, which is very unfortunate since a lot of routers now are dual band, and 5GHz has more range problems than 2.4GHz does generally.
When you repeat a WiFi network you will always be sacrificing some speed, and that is of course still true with this range extender.
If you have slow Internet it won’t make a difference, but if you have Internet which is pushing the limits of your WiFi already, you may notice a decrease in performance when connected to the range extender.
Other Thoughts: Remember that this is a range extender and so the idea should be to put it somewhere with good signal on the edge of an area that you want to cover. Don’t put it too far away from your router or the range extender itself will have poor signal, and that will be performance impacting. If you’re installing it in your bedroom because your laptop only gets 1 bar in there, you’re doing it wrong, installing it in the hallway outside would probably result in better speeds and still decent coverage.
Remember that the 300Mbps advertised speed is not likely to be reached. If you have an 802.11g network that is only able to do 54Mbps, this range extender won’t suddenly speed that up.
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