If the WiFi is struggling at home, a new router can help, but it can also be a rather expensive change. Fortunately, a smaller addition may help, and it might not even take up one of your in-demand power plugs.
Belkin’s networking acquisition that is Linksys may well have the answer, and it arrives in the form of two little wireless extension boxes that the company is adding to its “RE” range extender family.
These are the RE6300 Boost Range Extender and RE6700 Boost EX Range Extender, two little white boxes each with a pair of antennas and support for simultaneous dual band 802.11ac extension, which means they will connect to an existing 802.11n or 802.11ac network and improve the range, basically acting as an extension to the mid-point to a network that isn’t doing too well.
Usually, these are added to improve network range somewhere throughout the home, like in an upstairs room to extend the downstairs network, or out towards another room that isn’t getting reception, and that’s kind of the idea Linksys is pushing with these two boxes.
Specifically, they’re small, with the RE6300 relying on the AC750 chipset while the bigger RE6700 grabs the AC1200 chipset, meaning the bigger one should be faster.
More importantly, each has a single Gigabit Ethernet connection, but the RE6700 wins points for featuring a plug port on the unit, meaning if you plug it into the wall, you don’t lose out on a plug because it sits on the unit anyway. Easy.
From what we can tell, these are additions to the Linksys range extender family based on the technology of the RE6500, a model we checked out earlier in the year that performed well, but mostly extended the range, not so much the speed, however the smaller sizes of these units definitely grab us.
One feature that is holding our attention will be used to tell you where to put the range extender, one of the questions people always have when it comes to setting up these gadgets.
Called “Spot Find”, it’s part of the setup procedure of the two Linksys range extenders, informing you where dead zones are based on where you plug it in and run through the setup procedure.
Basically, after linking to your network, Spot Finder will look at the location it has between the router and the device you’re connecting to and tell you where it should be roughly. Using this as a guide, you’ll want to find a nearby power port to maximise the distance.
“With the summer holidays rapidly approaching, which will only create more demand on your home WiFi, a Linksys range extender will help ‘supercharge’ your home’s existing router and extend the reach of your Wi-Fi signal to all the areas that you want to access the Internet,” said Greg Morrison, Business Manager for Australia and New Zealand at Linksys.
You’ll find both of these range extenders in stores shortly, with the technology compatible with Beamforming Technology, too, able to focus the signals transmitted by the device to other mobiles and tablets resulting in more stable connections.
Pricing on these start at $139.95, where the RE6300 sits (the model with a plug pass-thru), while the RE6700 (the model with a plug pass-thru) will retail for $189.95, with stores receiving them shortly.