Wireless internet (Wi-Fi) has fast become a regular feature in our homes and offices and with that we have seen a rapid increase in the number and type of devices that connect to internet wirelessly via Wi-Fi, be it your stereo systems streaming live internet radio, or your TV downloading latest firmware off the web, or your DLNA server streaming pictures and videos on to your TV. With this exponential rise of wireless connectivity, Wi-Fi dead spots too have become a major annoyance factor.
The set-up at my home consists of at least 3 computers connecting to internet via Wi-Fi on the second floor of the house, the router sits here as well. While the main floor of the house has a TV and a gaming console, which were until now not connected to the internet. For some time now, I’ve been trying find a solution for extending Wi-Fi signals of my router to the main floor of the house. This is where the Diamond WR300N Wireless Range Extender helped me out.
I have been using this device for close to about 3 weeks now, and have used it in almost all suggested case scenarios. So here is what I think about it.
The box carries the device; WR300N, an ethernet cable, a CD preloaded with a comprehensive product manual and a short product manual on paper.
- IEEE 802.11 b/g/n compatible (upto 300Mbps)
- Supports 2.412 Ghz ~ 2.742 Ghz frequency band [CH1-CH13]
- Supports 64/128-bit WEP, WPA, WPA2 Wireless Security modes
- Supports WPS setup
- MIMO tech compatible
- OS independent
WR300N has a very small foot-print. And for the most part, it looks like a power jack for your laptop. The front of the device carries 4 LED lights for Power, Ethernet connection, Wireless ON/OFF and a WPS setup button cum LED.
The bottom carries an ethernet port.
WR300N comes with a very easy to operate web-based configuration interface. I turned my laptop’s Wi-Fi modem off and connected WR300N via an ethernet cable to my computer, while it was jacked into the power socket. After this, I entered the default IP address [10.0.10.254] of the device in the browser in order to access the configuration menu.
Once in, I chose to ‘automatically setup’ the device to act like a wireless signal repeater for my home router. It scanned for all the Wi-Fi SSIDs available. Here, I chose for it to connect to my home network, entered the relevant security mode and key and clicked connect. After a few seconds of the device connecting to my home network, it prompted me to disconnect the device from the computer ethernet port and to restart it. Once the lights came back on, the device was good to go.
Then, I used my laptop to measure the Wi-Fi signals from my router, and plugged WR300N where I believe they were still strong enough to provide good enough coverage to the signal repeater. The signal repeater from thereon provided excellent signal coverage on the main floor of the house. I was now able to use one of my laptops on the first floor as a DLNA server connected with the TV on the main floor.
In addition to being a wireless signal repeater, the WR300N also acts like a wireless bridge. In order to check out the wireless bridge capability, I plugged an ethernet cable into the WR300n and connected it to my TV directly. And established connection via the ethernet port. It works as advertised. And I was able to get my TV online without using its native WiFi modem. This feature would work just fine for people who have devices that do not come with built-in Wi-Fi modems are only wired for ethernet use.
The WR300N can also used as a wireless Access Point. The set up for that is similar to that of the signal repeater, with the only difference being that the user will define the SSID and encryption type. Once setup, it can be connected to an available port on the modem-router.
WR300N worked for me, as advertised. It has increased the wireless footprint of my home network and has a negligible physical foot-print. This along with a justifiable price-tag makes it a very attractive buy.
The WR300N can be purchased from Amazon for US$ 50.
When using WR300N as a wireless signal repeater, please make sure that you are running your main Wi-Fi set up on a channel that is not overcrowded. What this means is that you will need to make sure that there are as few other wireless connections operating on the same frequency as your own setup as possible. Otherwise, given my personal experience, it will hamper the wireless signal repeater’s performance by a huge margin.