Its safe to say that having wireless in the home is mandatory these days, but for a large number of people, getting decent signal right through their property can be a nightmare. Take my setup at home for example. Naturally knowing networking as I do, I’ve got everything setup to offer the best reception as possible, however there is one factor in my home that I cannot avoid and that is the walls and floors. A lot of newer properties (such as eTeknix HQ) are built with walls that are hollow with plasterboard coverings, which for a radio signal is great news and on the whole we get a very good coverage; my home on the other hand is a lot different and being an older property, has what I refer to as properly built walls with bricks and mortar. Whilst this is good for hanging a heavy shelf on for example without the fear of the wall coming down under the weight, a wireless signal just can’t penetrate though it as well an consequently a drop in signal and consequently speed is something that I have to deal with in some points in the house.
Naturally this gets frustrating and is a story that can be told for many people, but thankfully there is a solution that is on hand. Wireless signal boosters are by no means a new concept and I’ve been using them for a number of years, either as dedicated boosters, or additional access points dotted about to repeat the signal from the main router. With internet speeds quickly picking up, having a strong wireless connection is becoming more and more important as you quickly start to notice the difference that those solid walls start to make.
Netgear’s latest offering is a simple plug and play WiFi booster that is set to do exactly as it says on the tin, with the idea to place it at the point where the signal is still satisfactory, so that it can take that and rebroadcast it to points where were once either a black spot or a region with poor reception. Question is though, with high speed connections becoming the standard, can this step up to the mark?