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Regain your wireless freedom - with WiFi Extenders

Home WiFi hot spots, may have dead zones where you can't work -- till  you install a range extender.
Bangalore, September 22 2014: You just bought a WiFi router for your home -- or  your broadband service provider installed one. Your family looks forward  to  surf the Internet  on multiple devices, using this single connection: on your home PC, your laptop,  your  spouse's or kid's tablet -- and on all your phones. Then you realize  your home is not that  the seamless WiFi hotspot you were led to believe: the network is fine in the drawing room but in your bedroom, or out on the balcony, the signal is so week you can even open  the browser without waiting for ages.
This is a common problem even in fairly small apartments, because  the modern home is about the worst environment  for wireless communication:   steel rods inside the concrete, steel almirahs  and steel furniture all over the place,  the kitchen a  source of spiky  electrical disturbances from  mixers,  grinders, washing machines...  Any one of these is enough to severely    curtail the strength and quality of your WiFi network. Most of us just live with the problem, sacrificing the ability to  surf anywhere, anytime -- which was the whole point of going wireless!
But technology and help is at hand which will  restore broadband wireless  all over the house,  driving away the dark zones and the dead spots.
First, check if the  main  wireless router  that your broadband provider installed,  is  a  contemporary model. There was a time when WiFi speeds were characterized by  the letters a,b or g placed at the end of the WiFi standard  802.11. Those are all history. Today, a router rated for  anything less than 802.11n is obsolete. Even this  has been superseded by  802.11ac standard  that is three times faster than the 'n'. If you are buying your own router,  go for  an 'ac'. Remember, though, that if you are using a PC, the Wireless Network Adaptor you plug into the USB port must match the speed of the router -- 'n' for 'n;, 'ac' for 'ac', otherwise the connection speed  will fall to the lower of the two.
Any dead zone or  low  signal strength you encounter  may well  vanish by the simple solution of upgrading the primary router. But if it persists, it is time for Plan B: Go in for   a WiFi Extender.
Some models have been launched in India recently
 -  Savera Marketing has launched  the Edimax  N300, touted as the world's  smallest  device in this class. It works fine if your network is already of the a/b/g/n type and you want to extend it rather than invest in a costlier type 'ac' router.  It costs Rs 3999. 
-  Netgear has launched  the AC750 Gigabit Wifi Extender  and as its name indicates, it is made for 'ac' routers though it will also work with slower 'n' routers.  It is a dual band device supporting both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. The advantage is, one band can connect to the router, while the other connects to the PC or laptop, resulting in a faster to-and-fro of data. The AC 750 is priced at Rs 6999 but we saw it being offered for Rs 5000 up by online sites. Avoid Netgear's earlier  'n' models -- WN2500RP and 3500RP  --  unless seriously strapped for cash.
 -  D-Link has a number of models, of which the  N300  is easily available in India for around Rs 3000. They launched  an AC 750 model  globally in January, but we could not find it with India pricing.
All the models listed here  plug directly into a power socket and should be placed half way between your router and your 'dead zone'.   They will work with other makes of routers as well. The set up  is  very easy.  The improvement  will be immediate.
Banish those dark zones and surf  easy!  -- Anand Parthasarathy

We have a representative  video in our Home page  Tech Video spot ( from Netgear). You can search and find specific  YouTube videos  for any model you prefer.




    


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