The NETGEAR WiFi Booster for Mobile is a small and compact device which allows you to boost and improve your existing WiFi signal for smartphones, iPad’s and other devices. The WiFi Booster will help eliminate dead zones within your house and reduce your 3G/4G mobile data usage. With a very simple installation, you’ll be up and running in no time. Check out our review after the break.
8.5 / 10
Very easy setup, small and compact, cheap
Issues when moving to and from the booster
A great device to quickly and cheaply extended WiFi coverage
For smartphone and tablet users, the need for a WiFi connection is great because of Australia’s small, expensive data plans and with the popularity of 4G rising, we are using our mobile data plans faster than ever. The NETGEAR WiFi Booster for Mobile is a great solution to extend and strengthen your existing wireless coverage to those areas where it doesn’t quite reach. The WiFi Booster will improve WiFi connectivity around your home meaning you won’t use that precious mobile data which is needed when you’re out and about.
Design and Specifications
The WiFi Booster is very small in size and weights at just under 0.2kgs. NETGEAR have designed the WiFi Booster in mind of easy installation and anywhere placement. The WiFi Booster will happily fit in a powerboard or next to another plugged in cable on a power outlet. The WiFi booster can repeat any 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz WiFi signal from a NETGEAR router or any other router you may have.
There are three LED lights on the front that show link activity, extender status and signal strength making it easy to position the WiFi Booster for optimal performance. On left side you’ll find a power button and the WPS/Secure button. Additonally on the bottom is a factory reset button.
The WiFi Booster has a very sturdy and solid design, you won’t see it breaking anytime soon unless you do some serious damage to it.
Setting up the WiFi Booster is extremely easy and painless. If you have a WPS compatible router, all you have to do is plug the WiFi Booster into a power outlet, push the “Secure” button on the left side of the device, push the WPS (or similar) button on your router and within a few minutes, both devices should be paired and ready to go. Unfortunately, I don’t have WPS compatible router, so I was unable to test this. If you’re like me and don’t have WPS – then there is another way.
If you don’t have a WPS compatible router, the setup is slightly longer but it’s almost as easy. Simply plug the WiFi Booster into a power outlet and switch it on. On your smartphone, tablet or laptop, connect to the “NETGEAR_EXT” network and it will guide you through the steps of connecting to your existing wireless network which involves selecting the SSID of your existing network, typing in your security key and then waiting for it to configure itself!
Once you have setup the WiFi Booster, all you have to do is connect to the wireless network it creates. In our tests, it’s simply your existing WiFi SSID with _EXT on the end. We have found a downside to this – each new device will need to be connected to both your existing WiFi router and the WiFi booster connection. Additionally, when roaming around the house going between your router and the booster, we found that streaming videos or downloads would pause for a few short seconds while switching – this may not be a big issue for you.
Speed and Range
The WiFi Booster can easily extend coverage into another room or a small house. During our testing, we found that the WiFi Booster easily provided extended coverage for a large room and even a backyard depending on how you position the WiFi booster. During our testing we found the speed and reliability of the internet connection wasn’t affected at all depending on the position of the WiFi Booster. We had the booster half way between the router and our test phone. Streaming content and downloading items was just as fast as being connected to the router itself.
In conclusion, we found the NETGEAR WiFi Booster for Mobile to be a fantastic way to easily and quickly extend your WiFi coverage to ensure you don’t get hit with those overage charges on your mobile plan. Thanks to it’s quick and easy installation, you could be surfing the net within 5 minutes.