Tag Archives: Networking

My review: Belkin N300 wireless WiFi range extender

Hi guys, in this post I’m going to be reviewing a new product I
have obtained. This is the

WiFi extender.

Background

I’d been noticing for a while that in our house the WiFi signal
never quite reaches the back of the house, where my bedroom was,
so much so that if I turned over in bed, my phone would switch on
to 3G as it had lost signal completely. I had been wanting to buy
a WiFi extender for a while, but hadn’t really done any research
in to it. It only really crossed my mind when I acquired an old

router from about 6 years ago. I thought to myself, why don’t I
try and turn this in to an extender. I googled it, and it looked
like it could be done when you rebranded the router and flashed
it back to the net gear default firmware instead of sky’s custom
one.

Cut a long story and about 2 hours of work short, I couldn’t do
it. I have no idea why, but a lot of files I needed weren’t
around anymore and once I had acquired them, they just wouldn’t
work. So I gave up. Oh well, I got a couple of ethernet cables
out of it if nothing else.

So it was a day or so after doing this
that I was browsing through twitter and I spotted a review from Geekanoids (who doesn’t seem to want to link here for some reason)

I thought I’d look for myself on
amazon, so I clicked the link in his video description, and
thought I’d do a bit more research so I looked at the amazon
reviews, and people seemed to be satisfied with it, so I thought
I’d do a bit more looking around to see if this was actually a
good one, turns out it’s one of the best for its price (£25). So
I thought well it’s 25 quid, may as well give it a go.

Setup

A few days passed, and it arrived. I opened it up, and the first
thing I noticed was the size of it. It was smaller than I thought
it would be. It’s a small square with a UK plug on the end of it.
There’s one button on the top, which is a WPS button. There’s an
LED light, and a small reset button, and that’s it. The product
documentation said it was very easy to set up, and it could even
be done from a smart phone or tablet, so I grabbed the trusty
iPhone and got to work.

I plugged it in, and started searching for the device in my WiFI
settings. Eventually, I found it, connected, and opened Safari. I
was presented with a screen asking me which language I wanted. I
chose english, and clicked next. It then started searching for
broadcasting SSID’s, and eventually pulled up a list of networks.
I chose our BTHub 3, and clicked next again. It attempted to
connect, which I knew it wouldn’t be able to, but it then popped
up asking for the key. I gave it the key, pressed next and hoped
for succession.

Now this is the bit that confused me. It asked me to enter a
password for its interface, and told me to leave blank if I
hadn’t chosen one yet and it was the first time I was being
asked. I did as it said, and clicked continue. I didn’t know
this, but my phone had switched back to the BTHub, and the Belkin
network had disappeared, so I just got rerouted to my DNS page
telling me that it couldn’t find that address. I logged in to the
hub, and sure enough there was the Belkin device in the connected
section. I noted its IP, browsed to it, and sure enough there was
a status page telling me the device was functioning correctly and
some general info about it; serial number, firmware version, etc.

I then decided to move it to another socket in the house to one
that wasn’t used as often, (well basically not at all because
it’s in a cupboard), so it was more on the edge of the signal.
According to the documentation, this would make it function
better.

Thoughts?

I’ve been using it for around 2 days now, and what a difference
it’s made. I now see 3 bars of WiFi in my room instead of 1, or
3G. I haven’t seen a dramatic speed decrease, but then again I haven’t tried FaceTime or Skype on it yet, so that will be
something I shall update on once I’ve tried it; I just wanted to
get this post out there.

If you find yourself in need of a WiFi
extender, I would highly recommend this one. We’ll see if it
holds out but for now, it seems to be happy. One thing I will
note, it gets rather hot, but a good thing is it can be moved
around without losing its settings, so if ever I need the WiFi to
be extended outside, I can just move it closer to the outside. If
you’d like to pick one up, you can get one for 25 quid in the UK
from
,
or $39 if you’re in the US on

If you’d like to contact me, please do via the

page, or tweet me

Thanks for reading, and see you next time!