Weak WiFi connections are something that most, if not all of us have come across at some point in our lives. Normally we give our provider a call and moan down the phone for a while, but in the end nothing really changes. Enter the NETGEAR Nighthawk Range Extender.
You’re probably more used to seeing extenders that plug straight into a plug socket but the EX7000 is much bulkier and looks more like a router. You can use it in either its horizontal orientation, or place it vertically on the supplied stand depending where you’ll be placing the extender.
The angular design keeps the EX7000 looking stylish and modern while hosting a whole load of functions and features. The front and side panel house a single USB 3.0 port as well as numerous LEDs to indicate different connections. On the rear you’ll find the 3 wireless antennas, 5 ethernet ports, a reset, WPS and power button along with the power port.
Setting up the extender is straightforward process and a well-designed wizard helps you through it. You’ll first have to discover your existing network and then go on to setup the individual 2.4GHz and 5GHz bandwidths. NETGEAR do make you register and set 2 security questions during the initial setup which seemed a little unnecessary, but this was my only moan.
The next step is to find the optimal positioning for the extender. On the front panel you’ll find a separate LED for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz network. When both of these LEDs are a solid green colour then it means you’ve found the optimal position. Solid amber indicates a good connection, solid red indicates a poor connection and off indicates no connection.
During my tests the performance was excellent. On the 5GHz network, mid-range, we averaged speeds of 22.3Mbps, while on the 2.4GHz band we averaged 14Mbps. As expected these speeds decreased as the range was extended however they were still impressive and something which I expected with the Nighthawk, putting it way ahead of any rival extenders.
I decided to test how far the Nighthawk could actually broadcast the signal, so once connected to I decided to head into my back garden. Amazingly I managed to reach end of the garden (I had to stop at the end fence – about 34 metres away) and still had a decent signal and internet speed from the extender.
With the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 WiFi Range Extender (EX7000) you can wave goodbye to any dead zones in your house. At £130 the extender isn’t a cheap option to increase your WiFi coverage and for most people it’ll probably be over kill. However if you have a large multi-story house then the EX7000 may be a decent option offering you blazing quick speeds even at longer ranges.
If you want unrivalled speeds and great range then the Nighthawk AC1900 is definitely worth a look!