20 February 2015

REVIEW: Netgear EX6200 WiFi Range Extender


WiFi is great, allowing you to do all the things you need, and want, to do online, without being tied down. But even the most powerful and impressive WiFi router can sometimes come a cropper, with many homes and buildings suffering from WiFi dead spots and slower speeds. What we all need is a mighty WiFi range extender, one that looks like it would cut you if you touched it. Oh wait, we do... it's the Netgear EX6200 WiFi Range Extender.

First up, you might be wondering if you even need a range extender for your home WiFi network. We thought we didn't, to be honest, as we used to put the occasional lags in Netflix, or the annoying pause while streaming from YouTube, down to slow internet speeds at peak times. But we were wrong. It seems that Test Pit Towers was actually suffering from WiFi dead spots in certain rooms, which by a fluke in architectural design (and the positioning of the router) find themselves several walls, floors and (and we think this is a biggie) a bath tub away from the WiFi router.

As most people are limited as to where to place their WiFi router (due to older BT phone sockets usually being situated by the front door) it can sometimes be a bit of a chore to supply good internet coverage to the back of the house; and that was the issue at our gaff. Enter the Netgear EX6200 WiFi Range Extender, which not only picked up the WiFi signal and extended the coverage (as the name suggests it should) but also strengthened that signal no end.

The unit itself is as straight-lined and minimal as we've come to expect from Netgear these days. Designed to stand upright, the EX6200 Extender features two positionable antenna, a USB port for file sharing, and one of the easiest set-ups of any extender we've ever reviewed. Seriously, this thing took about two minutes to get up and running, thanks to a quick press of the WPS buttons on both the unit and our WiFi router, then a quick check at the simplified instructions to make sure everything is okay. And it was, immediately.

What you then do is log onto a WiFi network that has the same name as your existing network, but with _2NEXT after it, indicating it is the signal issuing from the Netgear EX6200. After logging on with your existing password... you're all set. And that was the last we had to do with it. We do like easy-to-use tech. Coz wee not velly clevarr.

Next up we positioned it a good distance from the WiFi router, but not so far as to place it right into one of the dead spots. We moved it upstairs (the router is downstairs) but kept them only a wall or so apart. After that the whole house received full WiFi coverage and at a greater strength than before. We even have signal at the bottom of the garden, in the dirty shed where our damaged RC helicopters go to die and slowly rust. So at least we can now check our emails while gazing at results or our ineptitude.

The Netgear EX6200 WiFi Range Extender can accommodate internet speeds of up to 1200Mbps (making it future proof), features Beamforming+ to focus a direct WiFi signal at certain wireless gadgets, and also five gigabit Ethernet ports for physical connections to game consoles and Smart TVs should you want to. All that, in a razor-sharp package that actually looks pretty good on a shelf.

By far the most powerful and user friendly WiFi extender we've ever seen, the Netgear EX6200 WiFi Range Extender is a must have for anyone that is serious about their wireless network, even in a smaller house. Check it out.


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