Ever wondered why none of us are happy with our internet connections?
Here’s a little secret. Most routers you get in the market are designed for office spaces. Office spaces are large and open and this makes it easy for the router to reach your computers.
But within your homes, you have walls separating the different rooms. You may also have furniture that comes in the way of your signal and all this makes your WiFi very weak.
The average router can reach a distance of 20-30 feet. But this is further reduced in a home setting.
What do WiFi Extenders do
WiFi extenders are meant to solve this connectivity problem. They capture the signal from a router and distribute it further over a 20-30 feet radius. So when you place an extender around 15-20 feet from the router, you now are able to access its signal from even 40-50 feet away.
Our previous experience with NetGear
NetGear is one of the most popular names in the WiFi extender market. We have been using a NetGear product for over a year now and are not very happy customers. Here are some issues we have faced.
We had trouble in getting the extender to detect our router’s signal. Even when it did, it frequently lost connectivity and this meant we had to do the setup all over again.
We set up the extender just 15 feet away from the router and could detect full signal. Yet, the speed we got from the extender was significantly lower than what we observed when connected to the router directly.
Poor customer support
There is simply no customer support to speak of. There is, of course, a message board you can post to, but speaking to an agent is not possible unless you pay for it.
Our SuperBoost WiFi Extender Review
We purchased a SuperBoost WiFi Extender in the last week of September and got the product delivered within three days . Here has been our experience so far.
Compact and nifty
First off, we are really impressed with how compact the device is. It is roughly the size of a credit card with no antennas hanging out. This, we realized, is important because it makes it easy to fit the device in any power socket. With NetGear, the device didn’t fit a couple of places in our house that would have been ideal to place an extender otherwise.
Setup & Installation
One problem we had with our previous NetGear extender was that it was a little too technical for the average internet user. I would consider myself a tech nerd, and even I had to fumble around with the manual to figure the installation.
The SuperBoost WiFi extender is designed specifically keeping the home internet user in mind . This is evident as soon as you press the ‘reset’ button to initiate the setup process. The entire setup takes less than two minutes and can be done by anyone without help.
Data Transfer Speed
This is something I had a problem with on NetGear. The advertised speed on my device was 300 Mbps. This means that if your ISP provides internet at 100 Mbps, you should have no trouble seeing the same speed over your WiFi extender as well. Unfortunately for me (and as I can see on other customer reviews on Amazon), this does not seem to be the case. The internet speed falls considerably over the extender.
With SuperBoost however, I did not notice any discrepancy whatsoever. Any time I experienced a fall in speed, I connected directly over my router to check if the issue was with the extender or my Internet Service Provider. Almost every time, it was the ISP’s problem.
I have faced no issues whatsoever with SuperBoost in this regard.
According to the manual that you receive with the SuperBoost WiFi extender, the working range for this device is 100 meters indoors and 300 meters outdoors. That’s a bold claim given that most WiFi extenders in the market only have an average range of 30-40 feet indoors (that’s like 12 meters).
To test this claim, I set up a WiFi extender in our front yard and tried to reach for the signal from as far as possible. I could comfortably see the full signal on my phone for up to 30 meters away. The signal started dropping after that and we could not see any signal from SuperBoost beyond 200 meters.
That is still a lot of coverage area and after testing it at a friend’s massive bungalow, I can safely say that this device can adequately reach any nook and corner of your house at full signal . Unless perhaps, if you live in the White House! Bad luck Mr. Trump 😉
Most WiFi extenders that I have tested in the past start to deteriorate once multiple devices connect to it. This is because each of these devices send internet data requests simultaneously. The extender puts all these requests in a queue and sends it one-by-one to the router.
SuperBoost WiFi Extender works in very much the same way. But we were able to test with nine simultaneous connections without any drop in performance . You can however expect a slight drop in internet speeds as more and more devices connect. Let me explain. SuperBoost WiFi has a speed of 300 Mbps. Let’s assume that your router too has the same speed. My ISP however serves their internet at 100 Mbps. This means that both the router and the WiFi extender have larger capacities than what my ISP provides.
Let’s say we have 3 devices connected to it at once. Since the offered internet speed is only 100 Mbps and the capacity is three times that, we will still manage to see top speed over each of these devices. However, if you have 6 devices connected to it, there is simply not enough capacity to handle all these connections at the ISP’s speed. So in this case, the speed on each device will fall to 50 Mbps.
This is at no fault of either the router, your ISP or the SuperBoost WiFi extender. This is how internet connectivity works everywhere.
During the initial setup of your WiFi extender, you are asked to set up a password for your connection (just like you have one for your router). There are different “protocols” that you can choose from like WPA, WEP, etc.
To put it simply, these are different forms of encryption with which you can store your password. One thing that differentiates SuperBoost WiFi Extender from the other devices I have tested is that it comes with a WPS button. WPS stands for WiFi Protected Setup and this allows users to connect to their WiFi in an equally secure but an easy-to-use way. If you are in a secure home setup, there is no reason why you should not use WPS. SuperBoost WiFi Extender makes this possible for you.
Interesting Features On SuperBoost WiFi Extender
Other than the features and specs that I have reviewed above, the SuperBoost WiFi Extender has a few other interesting features that sets it apart from other WiFi extenders available in the market today. Here is a brief note on what you get.
Dual Modes – SuperBoost WiFi Extender comes with two different modes that you can choose from – coverage mode and performance mode. When you pick the coverage mode, you are going to experience maximum spread of the signal. This is ideal when you are organizing an event and want to make WiFi available for as many people as possible.
However, when you are at home, you can pick the performance mode that will bring down the signal coverage area, but can provide you with an extremely strong WiFi signal. Your internet is going to be blazing fast no matter which corner of the house you access from.
Extra WiFi Access Point – Do you have guests at home ask for your WiFi password? It’s an awkward spot to be in, right? SuperBoost WiFi Extender comes with a mode that creates an extra WiFi access point when required. This way, you can create a new access point for your guests without having to give away your WiFi password.
We purchased the SuperBoost WiFi Extender for $79 back in September last year. However, at the moment, SuperBoost WiFi is available on a discount. If you are purchasing one unit, the product is priced at $49.99 . However, there are bigger discounts on offer for customers who buy multiple units. For instance, if you buy four of these WiFi Extenders, you should save as much as $180 from the selling price.