SuperBoost WiFi Reviews

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. 

Frequent disconnection

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. 

Inconsistent speed

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.

SuperBoost WiFi Extender

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.

Absolutely impressed.

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. 

Coverage Area

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 😉

Multi-Device Connectivity

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. 

Security

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.

Price

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. 

Please Read This Before You Buy
Here’s a nifty trick to get more value for the money you pay. When you click on this link, you will be taken to the Checkout page on the SuperBoost website. While you are here, move your mouse cursor quickly towards the close button on your browser window (but do not close it). When you do this, you become eligible to claim a microSD memory card worth $30-$50 for free. Do not miss this when you buy the SuperBoost WiFi Extender. 

 

New Update To Enable Android Wi-Fi Calling For T-Mobile G2

If you own a T-Mobile G2, you may have been left wondering why you still do not have the much touted Wi-Fi calling functionality on your Android phone when lesser priced models like the Optimus T come with the facility. News is now in that T-Mobile is now rolling out this new functionality to G2 users starting November 3 through an Over-The-Air update. The update is expected to reach all users between the 3rd and 8th of this month.

The OTA for Wi-Fi calling would also bring another much anticipated feature – the ability to set up your G2 as a mobile hotspot and tether other computers. That is significant because the carrier had only recently introduced its new data plans that will bring tethering available to smartphone users. If you are looking for one such plan, you should be ready to shell out $30 a month for the Web Unlimited plan that can be expanded to include tethering services at a cost of $14.99 a month. Details here.

Wi-Fi Calling And Tethering On T-Mobile G2 Coming Via OTA Update

Looks like these are happy times for the T-Mobile G2 fans. We just reported about the new phone getting a massive discount in selling price on Amazon. Following upon this news, we are hearing rumors that T-Mobile could soon be sending an Over-The-Air update to the newly launched phone that could bring two important features – the ability to call over Wi-Fi as well as the ability to connect your G2 to a PC to surf the internet – what is commonly known as tethering.

Well, while this is still a rumor at this point, do note that the T-Mobile G2 runs on Android 2.2 which natively supports internet tethering. However this functionality was left unsupported to start with. Also, the Wi-Fi calling functionality is not exclusive. T-Mobile has in fact indicated that this functionality will be made available on all of their future Android handsets. Nevertheless, this new update should get features that are pretty popular to the G2 users. One may however be left wondering if the rumored introduction of these features have got anything to do with what is seen as a modest sale numbers. Isn’t that also the reported reason why Amazon too has chosen to slash the prices?

Wi-Fi Calling On T-Mobile Android Phones Coming Soon

T-Mobile has announced that their full line up of Android handsets, including the recently announced Motorola Defy will soon get the ability to natively make Wi-Fi-based voice calls. The functionality should help users save a lot of calling minutes as they can alternately call over Wi-Fi. T-Mobile has said that the carrier’s solution would be based on the Kineto’s Smart Wi-Fi Application and on devices that come pre-installed with the Wi-Fi calling system, the service will work out of the box. T-Mobile is expected to offer complete tutorial to users who are not aware about the Wi-Fi calling functionality.

This is a pretty interesting move considering that T-Mobile could be shooting itself in the foot by trading paid calling minutes for free Wi-Fi calls. However, what T-Mobile could be betting on is the fact that this option could push a lot of new subscribers to migrate from their feature phones to a more sophisticated Android phone that could also bring in greater moolah on a monthly basis. Also, since Wi-Fi calling is not possible under all circumstances, T-Mobile should not be expecting a very significant drop in ARPU either.

What do you think?

Verizon Fivespot Global Mobile Hotspot Pricing And Details Announced

Verizon Wireless has announced the launch of a new Fivespot internationally compatible mobile hotspot device that will let users to incorporate a Wi-Fi system on-the-move from anywhere in the world. The Fivespot system is compatible with the CDMA EVDO 800/1900 MHz, WCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA 850/1900/2100 MHz and GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz frequencies and shall be available for purchase beginning the 7th of October at a price of $99.99. This includes a 2-year service contract that will provide users a $100 mail-in rebate. This will help the user access the mobile hotspot in over 200 countries with 3G-speeds in over 120 of these countries.

Verizon has also announced the data plans for domestic as well as international travelers and this is how the pricing will work out

Domestic

  • $39.99 monthly access for 250 MB monthly allowance and $0.10/MB overage
  • $59.99 monthly access for 5 GB monthly allowance and $0.05/MB overage
  • Prepaid Mobile Broadband plans are also available:
  • $15 for 100 MB (one day of use)
  • $30 for 300 MB (one week of use)
  • $50 for 1 GB (30 days of use)
  • $80 for 5 GB (30 days of use)

International

  • $129.99 monthly access (5 GB allowance for the United States and Canada, $0.05/MB overage), 100 MB allowance in select countries ($0.005/KB after allowance)
  • $219.99 monthly access (5 GB allowance for the United States and Canada, $0.05/MB overage), 200 MB allowance in select countries ($0.005/KB after allowance)
  • GlobalAccess Pay Per Use for occasional use must be purchased with a $59.99 Mobile Broadband service plan in the United States. The Pay Per Use rate is $0.002/KB in Canada, $0.005/KB in Mexico, and $0.02/KB in more than 200 other destinations.

What do you think?

Free Wi-Fi Calling On T-Mobile G2?

An internal training slide from T-Mobile has provided us some interesting information on a Wi-Fi calling option that could be made available on future T-Mobile Android handsets, including the T-Mobile G2. According to the document, the free Wi-Fi calling application on T-Mobile Android phones will allow users to make VoIP calls, in much the same way as they do from Skype, to friends and family members. The document notes that not all Android phones will have this option and the functionality shall be restricted to work with only a few phones. The VoIP client is reportedly named “Wi-Fi calling without hand-off“.

While this is an interesting addition, it is no good than other free alternatives available. From what we hear, the Wi-Fi calling shall not make a seamless transition to plain voice calling when the users moves out of a Wi-Fi zone. That is definitely not the ideal choice but given that this is going to come pre-installed, expect a lot of users to adopt to this new application soon.

Is Your Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Wi-Fi Turning Off Automatically?

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 users recently had a firmware update issued to them and if you are among those who tried to update to the latest firmware, then you are likely to be hit by this latest bug. The latest firmware does more harm than good and not only do Xperia 10 users have to suffer the ignominy of having to stay with the outdated Android 1.6 OS, but now also have to suffer from frequent network disconnection.

So, this is how it works. If you are in an area of low cellular signal, it is observed that the new bug will automatically turn your Wi-Fi off when the cellular signal drops to zero and when when it bounces back, the Wi-Fi will restart. That’s a torture considering that users are such low signal areas are particularly needful of a consistent Wi-Fi connection.

Nevertheless, if you are noticing this bug on your Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, then hold on, another update to undo the bug in this latest update may soon be on the way.

iPad Wi-Fi Issues : Apple Support Offers Solutions

Soon after the iPad launched earlier this month, we had heard an overwhelming number of new iPad users complain about problems that their device had with detecting Wi-Fi connections in the network. The problem, it was presumed, was because of the back casing that prevented proper signal transfer. Later that week, Apple issued a two step resolution procedure:

  • Create separate Wi-Fi network names to identify each band. This can be done easily by appending one or more characters to the current network name. Example: Add a G to the 802.11b/g network name and an N to the 802.11n network name.
  • Ensure that both networks use the same security type (WEP, WPA, WPA2, and so on)

Now, users who have spoken to the Apple support team have reported additional resolution suggestions offered. Here are a few

  • Turn off Wi-Fi, turn off the device and reboot.
  • There are increased likelihoods of problems being noted on secure networks. If you have a secure network, try working on open networks like from McDonald’s.
  • Confirm if other devices work properly from the location. If so, then try a system restore. Apple Support apparently claims that 30%-40% of Wi-Fi issues are resolved by this step.
[via Apple Support]

iPad Wi-Fi Connectivity Problems Reported

Ok, all’s not well with the iPad. Yesterday, quite a few blogs had reported about the way the iPad refused to charge from USB ports of Windows powered computers. As if that was not enough, today, we are also getting to hear about the iPad’s problems in connecting via Wi-Fi.

Several early-bird iPad buyers have been complaining on the Apple support website that their tablet reports a ‘low signal‘ even from places where other devices including the iPhone work without any issue. A user writes on the Apple website,

“I have also noticed very weak wifi signal in my 16GB iPad. Even when standing in front of the wlan router the signal fluctuates from strong to very weak. The router has very strong signals as every other computer here has full signal strength, even 20-30 meters from the router. So there is definitely a wifi signal issue here with the iPad. “

That does not abode too well for a device that is being touted as THE device for casual web surfers. In the absence of proper internet connectivity, the iPad is just a brick.

Are you noticing issues on your iPad (if you have one, that is)? Let us know.

[via Apple Support]

Verizon MiFi Plan For iPad To Take On AT&T 3G

A leaked memo from Verizon has revealed the company’s plans to target customers looking to buy Apple iPad’s 3G version which comes with an exclusive AT&T data plan. The memo apparently is to convince customers to sign up for Verizon’s MiFi device that comes with a Verizon data plan.

Considering that a good chunk of iPad customers are likely to go for the Wi-Fi only version of the device, Verizon is apparently looking to communicate the message that the Wi-Fi only version of the device is not AT&T exclusive and can be used to access hotspots from Verizon as well.

Taking a potshot at AT&T, the memo reads

“Why pay more for the 3G version and get 3G service on an overloaded network with limited coverage?”

[via Engadget]