If the Internet access around your home or office is slower or weaker than you’d like: pay attention. The AC1200 WiFi Range Extender from NETGEAR can extend your WiFi range to the max while also ensuring fast connection speeds. It’s safe to say you don’t have an ultimate gaming, movie or network setup in general if you don’t have a device like this.
Before we get into how it works, here’s the specs. This is a dual band WiFi extender that can get you speeds of up to 1,200 Mbps. The range extension itself is powered by 700mW and the device itself runs off of a dual core processor.
You’ll also get push to connect WPS for an easy setup if your router also has a WPS button, 5 Gigabit ethernet ports for connecting devices like gaming consoles and Bluray players and beamforming for creating stronger signals where you need them most.
But two standout features are the ReadyShare USB port which lets you share any USB-connected files across your network and Fastlane technology which creates the fastest connections to the devices you select by better utilizing dual-band connections.
Cool. So how does it work? Let’s start with the setup.
Setup will probably take the average person under 40 about 5-10 minutes. In the box you’ll find the extender, a power adapter, an optional stand and two antennas along with some instructions. Just screw the antennas on, snap the base together, plug it in and make sure it’s powered on. Then use a phone, tablet or computer to connect to the device’s internal network and follow the instructions to complete setup.
For me setup went pretty smoothly but I did run into one speed bump along the way when I couldn’t press the skip button on one of the setup screens. After a few minutes I figured out how to bypass the issue and finished the setup with no other problems.
When the green light turns on you now you’re good to go.
So what you end up with is your original network and two additional networks that your devices can connect with (one for each band).
As advertised I could pick up the new networks much further away from my router than before. So that’s great.
I like the design of the AC1200 a lot. And judging by it’s colors so would MKBHD! The cutout triangle pattern is pretty dope. Nothing bad to say about the design and I really like the versatility of being able to use the device upright or sitting flat on a desk.
And now we get to the build quality which is arguably the AC1200’s worst aspect. The device feels cheap and plasticky if I’m honest. It’s wobbly in it’s base and since the antennas are tricky to screw in tightly due to their positioning they can easily come loose.
None of these issues would stop me from recommending this unit though. It does it’s job while looking good and that’s what matters most. Especially since you probably won’t mess with it much once it’s all setup.
One final note before we wrap it up is that the app promised on the box appears to be nonexistent in the App Store. There’s supposed to be a NETGEAR WiFi Analytics app which can help you optimize your signal strength and sure enough there’s an app with the same logo in the app store but it’s some sort of remote control. So not sure what’s going on there.