Nighthawk range extender worth the cost.
I live in the country and am really lucky to have broadband at all. It is really generous to call it broadband as it is 4G cellular Internet from Verizon Home Fusion. It is roughly equivalent to entry level DSL and sometimes the limitations drive me crazy. However, this is the price a pay for living in the country with my horses.
Of course, I control the WIFI setup inside my home and as of late, it consists of three strategically placed Apple Time Capsules all connected by Cat 5e cable back to my Verizon home fusion router. This setup works well and one of the Apple Time Capsules is inside my entertainment center in the living room which allows me to plug in other network cables from streaming devices, my DVR, etc.
Having taken the Netgear Nighthawk X4 for a test drive today, I wish I would have had one of these available when I planned my home network because it would have made things a lot easier.
First of all, this was the easiest access point I have ever setup. I used the WPS button method with my router and was up and running in under five minutes. There is a setup assistant method that is available if you don’t have WPS, but most modern routers should be good to go for simple and fast configuration.
The Netgear Nighthawk X4 can be a stand-alone access point or an extender, but most people will likely use it to extend an existing WIFI network, which is what I did. The extender is brand independent, so you can extend the WIFI network of any access point. All you need is your credentials or WPS.
For purposes of this test I turned off all of my Apple access points and used only the Netgear Nighthawk X4. I placed it in my living room which is a considerable distance from my Internet router which lives in my basement. My home is around 2000 square feet and most access points I have tried barely cover half of it. When I turned off the Apple AP’s and relied only on the router and X4, I had complete coverage from two devices that normally takes three. On top of that, I got the added bonus of the signal reaching outside of my home as well.
Another need feature is the available gigabit ethernet port which I plugged into my Apple TV for testing. The video streaming was excellent and I experienced no issues. This feature alone would make this device a logical choice to create a simple bridge between a wireless and wired network.
WIFI Analytics App
Netgear has a WIFI Analytics App which is available in the Google Play store, but not for Apple’s App Store it seems. At the moment, my home is 100% Apple so I could not test it. However, based on screenshots and other reviews, it seems to be useful and well made. I’m not sure why it is not available for iOS and this would really be the only negative thing I have to say about the Netgear Nighthawk X4.
I’m not going to lie, I was a bit put off at first by the price tag on the Netgear Nighthawk X4. However, after using it I can honestly say it is worth the money. I am already contemplating using several of these to extend my WIFI to my workshop, with the bonus of the physical ethernet connection. This device would make a great choice for anyone looking to extend their WIFI simply.
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