If your Wi-Fi is slow – or even non existent – in the further flung places of your home then you are likely to need a ‘Point’ which duplicates the signal once linked to the ‘Router’. The ‘Router’ sits beside your modem, and the ‘Point’ at a place where it pumps up the signal to reach those places that otherwise will not get a sufficient signal.
Like so many things today it is controlled by an App. There are two sides of instructions on 12x12cm card that consists of three items on the left side, Plug in your Router, Get the Google Home App and Set up your devices. The right pane has illustrations in order that a total novice can identify the supplied parts. These are the Router, the Point, a couple of Power Adapters and an Ethernet Cable.
If you need to extend the range of the WiFi signal used by your network then there is a choice of products including the NETGEAR Nighthawk™ X4.
That old chestnut of a question that asks “How long is a piece of string?” could well be adapted to apply to the WiFi signal in your WLAN. “How wide is the range of your WiFi?” The answer will depend on the circumstances regarding the layout of your home and the surrounding environment. Distances and signal strengths could be affected by the number, thickness and constitution of walls and other blockages plus household applications.
As part of its Wireless Smart Home portfolio, Smanos has developed its IP6 HD WiFi camera product. Offering 720HD video of a targeted location, this camera unit can either be used as a free-standing or wall-mounted device. Live video content can be viewed with a free iOS or Android app as you check what is going on in your home when you are away.
This Smanos product consists of the camera unit attached to a circular stand; a packet containing screws. Rawl plugs and a reset pin; a power lead with a 3-pin plug; and a Quick Guide booklet covering the English, German, French and Dutch languages. The supplied power plug has a diamond shape which does require slightly more room that a standard unit. The camera stand has a mounting template which can be removed for attaching the camera to a wall if that is the way you decide to go.
When you are out and about with your Tablet or Notebook there are many times when you want Internet access. The vast majority of such devices do not have mobile SIM slots so up until now you have to rely on café and other places open Internet, not any more.
At a recent Christmas In July event by the Dixons Store Group this was the stand out device that I saw on the day and I got the chance to test it. It is an EE device that provides a mobile hot spot for I am told up to ten devices, I tried it with three. The device is 7.5x7.5x1.3cm and weights 92grams with band attached. Three different coloured bands are supplied which could be used to identify the network or just for fashion purposes.
This is very like the Roku Stick, somewhat like Chromecast, but as it is far cheaper than either it would be better, however it also has a lot more features and has another huge plus it is from Amazon so how can it be anything but a big hit.
Of course Amazon are not a benevolent organization and once you have the fireTV Stick the front screen will offer you the chance to download lots of videos and even some ‘Amazon Only’ series, a lot of which are free if you take out a Prime Video subscription, they even offer you a free month to check it out. The stick is 8.5cm long with the last centimetre being the HDMI connection so will not be visible when connected. It is 2.5cm wide and 1cm thick.
Adding extra power to your Wi-Fi signal can help remove dead spots and widen your networks sphere of influence. One such product comes from BT.
Wi-Fi continues to make serious inroads into the home environment. According to the latest research, carried out by ABI Research (February 2015), more than 90 million Wi-Fi devices were sold in the UK during last year alone. This was a 17% increase over the previous year as users set out to create a situation enabling the streaming of data between computers, tablets, smartphones and other entertainment devices no matter where they are situated around the home.
While Bluetooth allows you to stream music to speakers supporting the technology, this next product offers to bring non-Bluetooth speakers into the mix.
As part of the mydlink Home series of offerings, D-Link has released its DCH-M225 product. This particular device combines Wi-Fi extender capabilities with Music Everywhere technology whereby you can stream music from a smartphone, tablet or computer to various speakers via a connection to an AUX socket. There is support for Windows and Mac computers plus Android and iOS mobile devices.
Over the last twenty years or so, since its inception in 1996, Edifier has built up a reputation for producing speaker systems whose appearance tended to set them apart from the pack while delivering reasonable audio quality. As well as these various innovative designs combining satellite speakers and a subwoofer, the company has also developed a number of portable speakers including this latest offering, the MP211, which is the subject matter of this next review.
Available in a choice of blue, red, white, black and yellow, with my review sample being of the latter hue, the MP211 has a lozenge appearance with rounded ends adding a touch of style. With dimensions of 15 x 6 x 3cm (W x H x D) and weighing 180g, the MP211 is eminently portable and it should slip into a pocket or bag without causing too much inconvenience when on your travels. A wrist lanyard, 3.
This unit is the size of a 13amp three way adapter. It does have a 13amp plug but few things can be plugged into it. The main task is as a Wi-Fi extender it can also be used to play music via its one connection a 3.5mm socket.
Setting it up to extend your Wi-Fi is simple and if you have an area that is just about covered like maybe an attic room then this will help. It is 4.5x5x6.5cm when plug is inserted. The right side has a button to enter the required modes. The front has an LED to slow what is happening. The third connection is a 3.5mm socket on the underside and this allows you to connect a headset or a set of speakers so you can play music from anywhere else on your network.
Like skimming stones on water, Wi-Fi Range Extender technology can expand the reach of your local Wi-Fi network.
While ideal for open plan environments, Wi-Fi technology can struggle when faced with structural layouts found in many homes. Walls and other obstructions can create dead spots within a local home Wi-Fi network structure. Offering to help with this type of situation is a product such as the TL-WA860RE. This particular offering is a 300Mbps Wi-Fi Range Extender with AC Passthrough functionality from TP-Link.
This time last year I checked out the Kingston MobileLite Wireless product. This device allowed you to stream content wirelessly to various mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. The content being streamed was stored on SD memory cards and USB flash sticks. Since my original review Kingston has been busy developing the next generation of this product which, appropriately enough, is entitled MobileLite Wireless G2.
Predominately black in colour with a white trim around the sides, the MobileLite Wireless G2 is similar in general size to most of the smartphones it has been designed to work alongside. It has dimensions of 129.14 x 79.09 x 19.28mm (H x W x D) and weighs 171g which means it is eminently portable. Connections for standard USB and SD memory card are located on the top of the unit.
The TP-Link 300Mbps Universal Wireless N Range Extender model TL-WA850RE provides the means of improving the coverage of your 2.4GHzWi-Fi network. It is a stepping stone to extend the reach of the network, or fill in dead-spots where there isnt a really useful signal as well as improving existing data throughput where signal strength is weak.
The underlying issue is that, all too often, we find that thick walls, ceilings and metal objects can impede wireless connectivity around the house. A suitably located wireless extender can often bypass dead spots so as to provide more reliable connectivity by picking up the available signal and re-radiating it so that, effectively, it becomes a satellite source of the necessary signal while at the same time maintaining the same level of security.
A lot of my time recently has involved showing screens of one device on another device (Mirroring) this is a young task and the solutions sometimes do and sometimes dont work. This tiny device from Kingston is rather better at transferring data between two incompatible devices.
A few Android devices had a simple cable that connected a micro USB port to one that allowed you to insert a standard memory stick into it as if it was a standard USB port; this was a great feature that for some reason did not work with all devices. If you can persuade your Android device to show USB storage then this will normally work. To do this I found that a free App from the Play Store ES File Explorer is the most likely to give you this functionality.
This is a simple box to do a simple job. However probably through no fault of the box it has been a VERY FRUSTRATING and time consuming review which involved three separate phone calls with Netgears technical support, one lasting well over an hour.
The aim of the box is via an HDMI cable to display the contents of your mobile phone or tablet on your TV screen. It is called Mirror Casting. The box is 10.2x5x1cm. It has two connections on the back one for HDMI (not supplied) and the other for a mini USB lead that goes into a mains plug. A single button lies flush on the right side. As sometimes happens this arrived without instructions and I was sent a PDF version which I knew the salient parts of by the time I started to get results.
Like so many things you have not got, you manage, often until you have it you do not realise what sort of problems you were overcoming. Here I am referring to the Wi-FI ability of a device, where Ethernet just is too difficult.
I found two uses for this USB stick Wi-Fi device immediately. First I have a Tower PC that does not have Wi-Fi it works but to be honest you do not move a Tower PC too often and it sits only a few feet from my router so not an immediate requirement. Second the notebook I upgraded to Windows 8, even when this was Windows 7 the Wi-Fi never worked correctly/at all.
Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and cable now offer faster broadband speeds even though they are still lower than can be achieved over the LAN. Despite this users are demanding higher wired and wireless LAN data rates. TRENDnets TEW-692GR 802.11n router has Gigabit wired ports as well as 450Mbps concurrent dual band wireless and so is targeted at those who want the highest possible level of performance for gaming and video streaming around the house.
TEW-692GR is black in colour, roughly 6 inches square with the three external antennas permanently attached but because they can be swivelled the unit can be used horizontally or, using the provided clip-on stand, mounted vertically. In this case the total height is about 11 inches. On the rear of the unit there are five Ethernet ports: four Gigabit LAN ports and a separate one, coloured differently.
This sometimes called Mi-Fi - allows you to create a wireless network with up to five devices all using the same mobile signal so if your broadband dies or maybe you live in an area where dial up is your only solution providing you have mobile this could be the answer.
If you run a small business what do you do in a power cut, unless you have a standard BT type phone that will be down, Broadband will be down as your modem requires power, unless you keep your notebook charged you will not even have that. So what do you do, sweep the floor – you certainly can’t Hoover it – as you have no power. This then can keep you going for the - hopefully short - time without power providing you have charge in your notebook or Smartphone.
Whatever device you want to transmit the signal from it can be transmitted by around 15-20metres to an output device providing both devices have an HDMI port; my home has a lot of solid walls and it works end to end.
I tried this with a Blu-ray player, a video recorder, a Freeview recorder and two different PC one with only a Display Port the latter using a plug adapter also from Lindy part number 41018 that converts DisplayPort to HDMI. The kit consists of a transmitter, a receiver, two DC power bricks, one HDMI cable and an IR extender as well as a user manual.
The original version of this review was completed a while ago. I held it back to allow AirTies to check out a possible compatibility problem with an item of equipment I was using. As yet I am still waiting for the results of this investigation and so heave decided to release the review.
As its initial launch product in theUK, AirTies, a company set up by a management and technical team from Silicon Valley and with its headquarters based inTurkey, has released its Wireless Kit for Internet TV. This kit consists of two small wireless access point devices (90 x 70 x 20mm) plus two 12v power adapters, two Ethernet cables and a software CD.
The connection between these items is of course no cable as they are both wireless. The first to give a non wireless PC that capability, and the second to enable devices such as a PDA or phone without a keyboard simular.
The vast majority of modern laptops have wireless. But there are still many PC’s that don’t. Here a USB adapter that updates them. It is small at 3.3x1.5x.5cm, in fact once inserted in a USB port only 2cm of it sticks out. The makers Conceptronic say ‘it is 3x faster and has 6x better range than an 802.11g device’.