Netis Wireless Adapters and Portable Router
Sometimes built in is not good enough, sometimes you need more flexibility, range, and options in your wireless solution. At times when your present wireless solution is just not working for you what is the solution? Do you buy an aftermarket adapter from one of the big box names? Most of us would prefer to save a few dollars given the choice but then do you trust the alternative adapter to work reliably? In some cases these third party adapters cost more, what benefit are you gaining then? Today we have two adapters; WF2505 and WF2190 and a mobile portable wireless N router, WF2416, on the test bench from Netis Systems.
Netis 150Mbps Wireless N Portable Router
The WF2416 Wireless N Portable Router has wireless N speed at 150Mbps and excellent signal range to create a highly efficient mobile office or entertainment network in no time. Small design suited to providing robust wireless networking to travelers, students, or anyone else for work or play. With a Wi-Fi Extender/APR slide switch allows users to get wireless Internet access easily in different environment. Under Wi-Fi Extender mode, it’s so easy to setup the wireless extender by pushing the WPS button.
The WF2416 comes in awesomely handy when traveling. It gives you the freedom to connect more than one device to the internet at locations where only a single connection is available. The WF2416 can act in any one of several modes from AP to Router to WISP mode. All of these modes carry with them benefits and utility to the traveling professional, businessman, and even a family on vacation. First thing we notice about any product is the design which in this case is idea for a travel router. The WF2416 is small, with an indicator light right on the side, foldable power plug which is removable and replaceable for different power plugs, has a single LAN port at the bottom, and an easy to use mode selector switch as well as WPS button. I like easy to use as I suspect many of you do as well. No one wants a router that requires a doctorate in programming to use or take with them. From all initial observations the WF2416 seems tailor built to plug and go, providing you with what you need with a minimum number of steps. We tested the range and usability of the WF2416. In our tests the WF2416 did indeed provide a plug and go experience. It is best suited to hotel rooms and small areas and wouldn’t work well as a primary router for a house. It would however serve well as an extender or AP for the same house. Setting up the WF2416 for use is as simple as selecting router mode, plugging the device in and customizing it for your use. Unlike many other routers the WF2416 showed up and was able to be connected to within seconds of plugging it in. We connected and configured the router for initial use in a grand total of 3 minutes. All in all the WF2416 will be a device that finds a permanent place in my luggage during any business trips we plan in the future. Simply put it works and takes the work out of getting to work.
Netis AC1200 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter
The netis WF2190 is designed to connect a desktop or notebook computer to a wireless network and access high-speed Internet connection. It’s compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac devices and provides the wireless transfer speed up to 2.4GHz 300Mbps or 5GHz 867Mbps, offering a better performance on online gaming,HD video streaming, and VoIP phone calling. With the 802.11n MIMO and 802.11ac technology, it ensures a strong and stable wireless connection and allows you to enjoy the wireless freedom around your home. Moreover, it features with a WPS button which helps you easily setup a secure wireless connection in a snap.
The WF2190 is a high speed adapter for users who don’t want to sit and wait while their web pages load or their movies buffer. It is capable of delivering up to 867Mbps at 5GHz or 300Mbps at 2.4GHz and while the box lists it as an AC mode adapter it does indeed work with a/b/g/n as well. Of course all OS’s are supported and much like the next adapter we will talk about the WF2190 sports a Soft AP mode which allows you to share your connection with other devices when a true router is not handy. A larger adapter with twin 5dBi detachable antenna’s the WF2190 comes with a cradle and extension USB 3.0 cord. The device runs off a single USB 3.0 port though it can run in a USB 2.0 port at reduced speeds. We should note that we were unable to test AC mode as we do not yet have an AC router or AP to connect to. When used in N mode the adapter functioned flawlessly and provided better range than our built in Atheros network adapter in our test laptop.
Netis 150Mbps Wireless N High Power USB Adapter
The netis WF2505 150Mbps Wireless N High Power USB Adapter is a high power wireless adapter up to 2X wireless range than the normal one. With 5dBi detachable antenna design, it allows for better alignment and stronger antenna upgrade. Coupled with a 1.8m USB extension cable, it’s convenient for the installation and deployment.
The WF2505 is a really exciting product. The high power nature of this product really shines through in many situations and drives home the value and usability. When onboard just wont cut it the WF2505 will see you functioning when you otherwise wouldn’t be. In our tests using several laptops with onboard Wireless N adapters the WF2505 provided a stronger signal in each situation. In several tests the laptop adapter would find the the wireless network but be unable to connect due to its relatively weak transmission capability. The WF2505 not only discovered the network and showed a greater signal strength but it was able to connect and provide a reliable connection due to its ≤500mW transmission power. For this adapter Netis employs the rt3070L IC which is a RALINK chip. The WF2505 comes with a 1.8m USB extension cable with two USB plugs which allows you to connect one or optionally connect both for full power. As a side note in our testing when we used a single connector the Netis adapter still outperformed the onboard wireless in all tests. The adapter can be set into soft AP mode which would allow you to share the internet with additional devices when a router is not handy. If you forgot to bring along your WF2416 then I surely hope you have the Netis WF2505 along for the ride or your tablet, phone, and other devices aren’t going to connect. Or in the case when your aboard an airplane or in a hotel with a single connection you will find yourself ponying up additional cash if you want those devices connected. Moving along we popped open the shell of the WF2505 to show you just how this badboy is constructed. At one end you can see the USB 2.0 connector and at the other you can see where the single detachable high gain 5dBi antenna is mounted. Right in the center is the RALINK chip and below that is an indicator light which shows transmissions and incoming traffic. The best definition of a useful, successful product in my personal opinion is one in which after testing I find that I not only use the product but would pay for a replacement if I needed another. The WF2505 fits the bill and works when others don’t. At the end of the day we judge a product based on usability and functionality and the WF2505 comes in a winner in both columns.
After testing all three of these wireless products from Netis I really find myself drawn to the high power WF2505 and the portable router. AC is still not a commonly used standard yet and until it becomes so the benefits of using it aren’t easily demonstrated. Once the standard matures and gains market saturation I see the WF2190 becoming much more relevant. Until then you are better served with a good wireless N adapter like the WF2505. I am a true believer in the functionality of this product and it will be coming with me on business trips and travel. Likewise the WF2416 will also find a spot in my luggage as the convenience of using it and gaining internet access on multiple device far far outweighs the amazingly small footprint of this device. I can’t think of a better reason for adding another ~1/8 pound to my luggage. For the WF2505 150Mbps Wireless N High Power USB adapter we find it worthy of our TechwareLabs Gold Award and the WF 2416 150Mbps Wireless N Portable Router receives our TechwareLabs Silver award.