Linksys Wi-Fi extender RE6700
The body of the extender is roughly 120 x 67 x 50mm deep and white in colour. There are two antennas, one on either side. They are hinged and are rotated downwards when in use lengthening the extender by a further 60mm. While this is perfectly satisfactory in modern homes, or recently rewired ones where the power points are well away from the floor, it may be a problem with older homes where power sockets are frequently mounted low down on the skirting boards. There is also a Gigabit Ethernet port and a 3.5mm audio socket.
The 13A mains plug is near the top on the rear surface with the feed-through mains socket being similarly placed on the unit’s face. The status LED is also on the face while the gigabit Ethernet port and 3.5mm audio socket are on the underside of the unit. The on/off switch (which only relates to the extender functions and not the power feed through), the WPA button and the reset button are on the right-hand side.
Having plugged in the extender to a power socket about halfway between one’s router and the area where Wi-Fi is lacking one waits for the LED to stop blinking and settle. If one did not get a steady green, one would need to move to a power outlet nearer the router in order to obtain an adequate signal. Then, having opened the Setup (which can be on one’s PC, tablet or smartphone) the Spotfinder provides a bar graph presentation of the strength of the signal from the router that is being seen by the extender -- too strong, too weak or just right. The aim being to locate the extender in a power socket which will provide best overall reliable coverage in one’s target area. If, however, you intend to use the Gigabit Ethernet and/or audio connections on the extender in a particular location in addition to the Wi-Fi, in reality, you may not have a choice. Nevertheless, the Spotfinder will give you a warning of what to expect in the way of extended Wi-Fi performance.
With my first attempt, I was warned that the signal was not very good but that, if I wanted to, I could continue with the installation. In reality, I moved to another socket where the signal to the extender was not in a partial dead zone with the signal being blocked by a metal filing cabinet. The extender uses beam forming technology and operates on both 2.4 and 5GHz bands and so is able to choose the band which offers better performance.
The setting up was then straightforward with the user being able to choose network security keys for both 2.4 and 5GHz operation , Its ease of installation and use, together with the feed-through power socket which avoids the need for an additional power socket, means that one can be up and running quite rapidly. Available on Amazon for £69.95 it offers a convenient way of getting improved coverage around the house.
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