While most of us are confined to small spaces (specially in the UK), having WiFi problems within your home is not really that uncommon. You may be lucky enough to live in a house big enough to give you the problem naturally, but generally a lot of our houses simply feature building materials that get in the way of RF. Not only does WiFi struggle, but so do things like cellular services, but hey, that is a problem for another article and review.
A few solutions already exist, but Devolo seem to have created a product they can be proud of. A set of WiFi extenders that not only lets you expand your network, but gives you full control over it via software or even apps.
Quick look at the specifications and features
- Lightning-fast 1200 Mbps powerline connection paired with Wi-Fi AC access point and two integrated Gigabit LAN ports
- Simultaneous use of 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi frequencies for maximum WiFi speed
- Integrated pass-thru sockets ensure no power outlet is wasted
- Simultaneously connect Internet-compatible devices at any time via network cables to the Internet (e.g. game console or Smart TV) with the Gigabit LAN connections
- Box contains: 1 x dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac adapter, 1 x dLAN 1200+ adapter, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet cable, 1 x Installation CD, 1 x Quick installation guide
The setup is reasonably easy. You plug the main connector in somewhere near your router, and wait for the status LED to go white. A boot up time of around 45 seconds is required. You do the same for the other one, wherever you want it at home/work. Once they have both booted up, a little button on the side of the main connector enters the system in encryption mode. Hit the connect button on the other plug and you should be good to go.
To add more connection points, just keep repeating the above.
Oh, and make sure you read the key on the back of the plug before you plug it in.
Ideally it is recommended not to plug it into a power strip, rather directly at the wall.
Once you have set it up, the system is pretty much plug and forget. You should be able to access your network via WiFi as well as via the two LAN cable connection points on the bottom from your secondary connection.
All connections, main or secondary ones have a plug socket built into them as well, so none of your power points should go to waste.
While I haven’t tried plugging in heavy motors or fridges/air conditioners etc, I imagine that may affect some of the reliability of the system.
Generally, it just worked. Speeds were pretty consistent with what was seen through the main router, and all in all it worked in a way that it wasn’t noticed, which as far as I am concerned, is the best you can hope for.
Unlike most such solutions, this actually comes with a software that not only allows you to diagnose any issues, and check the stays, but also configure and fix any problems. In fact, there is the ability to create a problem report directly within the software. The software also helps you do any firmware updates, meaning that your system should always be up to date.
The software runs on PC, but is also available in the form of apps.
More information on the product can be found at the solutions already exist.
It retails for £159 as a starter kit, and extra modules can be bought for £99 each. They are available from various online retailers, including Amazon.
A bit on the expensive side, but gives you way more usage options than any of the competitors. A must have for anybody who knows their WiFi and their 2.4GHz from their 5GHz.Google+