Netgear Universal WiFi Range Extender (WN3000RP) Review
AVForums looks at a way of ensuring your wireless network covers your entire home
Styling and Design
On the front of the unit there are four LED lights, the first of which indicates a wireless connection. The second LED lights up when the extender is connected to a PC, the third LED illuminates when the unit is on and the fourth LED indicates the link rate. The link rate indicates the quality of the connection between the extender and the router with green indicating the best connection, amber a workable one and red a poor one. If the light is off then there is no connection at all between the extender and router.
This easiest way is using Netgear’s Push ‘N’ Connect feature which connects the extender to any router that supports WPS (WiFi Protected Setup). You just press the WPS button on the extender and, within two minutes, press the WPS button on your wireless router. The extender should automatically connect to your router and the link rate LED on the extender will light up. The extender’s wireless network name (SSID) will change to that of your router but with ‘_EXT’ at the end of the name. To connect additional WiFi devices to your new extender network you just use the same network security password as you use with your existing router.
If you can’t use WPS then you will need to use the wireless network manager on your computer, tablet or smartphone to find and connect to the NETGEAR_EXT (SSID) wireless network. After a connection is established, the computer to extender LED turns green and you can now connect the extender to your existing wireless network. To do this, open a web browser window on your computer and the browser should take you to Netgear’s excellent on-screen setup guide - SmartWizard. This guide will take you through selecting the WiFi network, entering the security password, choosing the name of your new extender network and connecting your wireless devices to your new extender network. There are also pages that show you the status of your device, the attached devices, the wireless settings and some advanced settings.
We setup the extender using both methods and whilst the WPS approach is clearly faster, neither was difficult and we quite liked the SmartWizard status pages. Netgear’s claims that the WN3000RP is universal appear to be valid because we had no problems connecting it to our equipment, none of which is made by Netgear. In terms of it specifications, the WN3000RP will repeat 2.4 GHz signals from 802.11 b/g/n routers or gateways and connect to devices with 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz wireless adapters or Ethernet adapters. The WN3000RP includes a 10/100 Ethernet ports as well as WiFi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2-PSK) and WEP. It is also compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux operating systems and the SmartWizard web-based user interface is compatible with Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. We had no problems connecting any of our WiFi devices to the extended wireless network, nor did we have any problems connecting an Ethernet device to the Ethernet port on the WN3000RP. We found the network to be effective and robust, with connection speeds in excess of 150 Mbps, although if you use the Ethernet port, you will be limited to 100 Mbps.
- Easy to setup
- Effective performance
- Good features
- Plug position could be problematic
Netgear Universal WiFi Range Extender (WN3000RP) Review
The WN3000RP Range Extender is one of those useful products that does exactly what it claims to and allows you to extend the range of your existing router to cover areas of your home where the reception is poor or non-existent. The unit is made of solid white plastic and the design is reasonably attractive, with the extender being small enough to appear relatively discrete. However the position of the plug near the top of the unit is a strange choice as it precludes using the extender with wall sockets that are close to the floor.
The positioning of the extender is important because it needs to cover an area of poor or no signal but it also needs to be able to receive the signal from your router in order to boost it. The WN3000RP doesn’t really offer much help in this regard so it is largely a matter of trial and error. However, once you have found a suitable location and a convenient wall socket, the actual setup is very straightforward. If your router supports WPS, then you can use Netgear’s Push ‘N’ Connect feature and just press the WPS button on the extender and the WPS button on the router and the two devices will automatically connect. If this isn’t an option there is Netgear’s web-based SmartWizard, which takes a little longer but does offer some useful status pages and firmware upgrade options.
The WN3000RP will repeat 2.4 GHz signals from 802.11 b/g/n routers or gateways and Netgear’s claims that the WN3000RP is universal appear to be valid because we had no problems connecting it to our equipment, none of which is made by Netgear. We also had no issues connecting any of our WiFi devices to the extended wireless network, nor did we have any problems connecting an Ethernet device to the Ethernet port on the WN3000RP. We found the network to be reasonably fast and robust, with connection speeds in excess of 150 Mbps, although if you use the Ethernet port, you will be limited to 100 Mbps. Ultimately, the WN3000RP Range Extender is simple to setup and easy to use, delivering an effective wireless network to even the most inaccessible parts of your house.
Ease of Use9
Value for Money7
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Wireless Data Transfer Yes Wireless Standard(s) IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz. IEEE 802.11 a/n 5.0 GHz Data Encryption Features Yes
Width 112 mm Depth 74 mm Height 45 mm Weight 0.245 Kg
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