Price (RRP): $129.95
Obviously many of your internet-enabled devices can’t plug into a network: your phone, tablet, handheld gaming device, for example. They rely on WiFi access points, but what if there are WiFi dead spots in your house? The Wireless N Extender is the solution.
This is essentially the base PowerLine adaptor with a WiFi transceiver attached. For it to work you either need a PowerLine router or another PowerLine adaptor attached to your existing router via Ethernet.
The Extender then establishes a direct network link with your router over your home’s electrical system, then re-broadcasts that as an 802.11n wireless signal (with b/g compatibility for devices without the n specification).
Like all PowerLine products, you can set this up by simply plugging it into a wall socket. It finds the PowerLine network, then starts a default WiFi network called ‘DLink’ with WPA security already enabled. You connect your WiFi devices to it either by pressing the button on the top of the Extender, or typing in its PIN on your device – the PIN is written on a sticker on the back of the Extender.
If you want to configure the WiFi network more, you can install software on a PC or visit the Extender’s default IP address and login to change the name of the network, the password to access it, and other settings – in other words, exactly like a normal WiFi router.
This is an incredibly simple way to ‘fix’ a WiFi dead spot in your home. Dual antennas give a strong signal and with 200mbps on the PowerLine network and 108mbps via 802.11n it’s not going to impact on your internet speeds at all.
The only disappointing thing is that it creates a ‘new’ network instead of merely boosting your existing network. That means your device has to ‘find’ itself a new network as you move around the house, but on the flip side, most devices are designed to do that without bothering you.
From arcane and tricky setups in the dawn of the WiFi age to this: a true plug-and-play device. The DHP-W306AV really shows how far we’ve come. It even has an aesthetic design that helps it blend in with your power points!