1 April 2013

REVIEW: TRENDnet N300 Easy-N-Range Extender

Easy like Sunday morning.

Is it that far corner of the attic? Maybe the spare bedroom? What about the bathroom – ever had trouble there? For us, our WiFi deadspot is the upstairs toilet, and although you're probably wondering why we're bothered about getting a fast internet connection while sitting on the loo, the most important thing to know is that the most annoying of First World Problems has finally been solved – by the TRENDnet N300 Easy-N-Range Extender. Now wash your hands.

It is a common problem; one we've had in every house our fetid sink has previously occupied. Sometimes, no matter how expensive and well positioned your WiFi router is, there’s always a spot in the house that gets poor reception. Be it due to thick walls, solid floors, concrete blast shelters or gremlins that eat internet signal, there is just no escaping the fact that WiFi coverage is never complete. Instead of moving your router into every room you want to go online in (or indeed set up camp next to the router by the draughty front door) get this.

By far the best black thing with two antenna
we've ever seen
Straight out of the box the Easy-N-Range Extender looks solid, sleek and well built – well done, our dear colonial cousins. TRENDnet make a plethora of routers and servers in the States so they should know a thing or two about getting you surfing; certainly they know a thing or two about simplicity. Simply plug in the device (which is much smaller than an actual router, despite having a similar look), hit the WPS button on your router, and hey presto you're in business. The Easy-N-Range Extender will pick up your WiFi signal in its strong and rugged American hands, cup it gently as if embracing a tender lover, then chuck it out to the rest of your house with added vim and vigour.

It really did add a noticeable boost. We placed it at the furthest point in the house from the router (which, weirdly, wasn't actually the location of the weakest signal) and the Easy-N-Range still picked it up and added strength and speed. Basically no more deadspots. We dashed to the toilet, laptops in hand.

We were very satisfied with the extender and happily got on with our amazingly exciting lives, safe in the knowledge that there was a strong Wifi signal in all areas of the house. But then one day disaster struck and stone age era internet returned in abundance. For some reason we've yet to discern, the Easy-N-Range Extender lost connection to the router and the WiFi coverage retuned to being patchy. We tried to establish the same easy connection we had straight out of the box, but the device refused to find the router. After much switching on and off again of both pieces of tech, the Easy-N-Range finally found the mark and returned to former glory. It was a little disconcerting incident, one we'd prefer not to have to deal with again, but definitely thought it best to mention. It seems that many of the online reviews of the extender had a similar tale to tell, but thankfully ours was a simple fix.

At the end of the day (which is usually when you want to go online) we were very impressed by the Easy-N-Range Extender from TRENDnet. Nice and discreet, we could imagine it being especially useful for people with larger houses, or those wanting to extend the range of their network to outhouses, sheds or into the garden, but are unable to wire up a router. Its something that has had mixed reviews so far -and this review itself isn't 100% certified 'Yay!' - but at that price we couldn't quibble.

Perverts please note: this will only extend your WiFi network.

Around £29.99 depending where you buy.

© The Test Pit

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