Thursday, 10 January 2013

Belkin N300 Dual Band Wifi Extender

Have you ever wonder whether your Home Broadband could be improved?

From my personal point of view, it is vital for a person's survival that he/she has a good and stable Home broadband in this present day. One could obtain Home Broadband from a variety of companies eg: O2, Virgin, Tiscali, BT and many more. Most of the companies will promise to provide a fast and stable connection to everyone's house. I wonder how many people will be frustrated with their Home Broadband by now.

In essence, there are mainly three types of broadband which one could apply for. They are Cable broadband a.k.a. Fibre optics, ADSL 2+ and Mobile Home Broadband. If a person is living within the cable catchment area, he/she will be able to utilise Fibre Optics which theoretically could allow him or her to experience a download speed of up to 100Mbps and an upload speed of at least 10Mbps in the UK. 

For those who are not so lucky, there is always an alternative to a cable broadband by utilising the existing copper telephone line via ADSL 2+. This is rather a conventional method of obtaining Home Broadband but the download speed of ADSL 2+ is way much slower than cable broadband. The fastest ADSL2+ download speed which I have seen is around 9Mbps at this very moment unless  one purchase the Infinity 2 from BT where a maximum download speed of 16Mbps could be achieved.

For those of you who are not living within the Fibre Optics catchment area and not prepared to pay for a telephone line, there is always the third method of obtaining a Home Broadband by going Mobile all the way. What is required is a mobile dongle which consist of a valid 3G SIM Card utilising the radio frequency of mobile phone companies. 3UK has been the forerunner in mobile broadband. They have started the revolution of utilising mobile broadband where a user could connect to the internet wirelessly wherever they are via a device called MiFi which cost around £80 and it is locked to 3UK. One could also obtain an unlocked device of the similar nature from the internet such as Amazon and ebay.

There is an advantage of using Home Broadband via Fibre optics and ADSL2+ because there is an option of having an unlimited download and upload by the providers. Mobile Broadband is quite expensive these day as it will cost around £15 for a 15GB download per month on a 24 months contract from 3UK. This is nothing as compared to companies like Virgin and O2 which offers unlimited download for around £15 a month on the lowest unlimited tariff. Obviously it will be crucial that consumers shop around for the best deal.

If you have finally signed up to a particular Home Broadband, you might still find that there are certain areas in your house where you could never possibly receive any wifi signal from your house. In such circumstance, it will be vital that you should get a wifi extender or a Wireless Access Point to boost your house' wifi signal.

In doing so, I have looked at various makers of wifi extenders and I have come to a conclusion that I should get hold of a Belkin N300 Dual Band Wifi Extender. One could make a purchase online but I've made a purchase from a John Lewis store for £49.99. Certainly it is cheaper than some other online retailer who are selling the same product for £65. 

From my very first look at the device, I found it to be relatively easy to install provided you have patience. I did not use the WPS button to connect to my existing wifi network but instead used the configuration via a browser to connect the device to my existing wifi network.

What is important is that you need to place the N300 Dual Band wifi extender on a wall socket which is not too far away from your existing wireless router. This is important because the wifi extender will not work if there is no existing signal at the area. Once you have switched on the device, you will see a blue/orange light blinking on the N300. It shows that the device is now waiting for pairing. Following this, you need to search for the wifi network called 'setup.belkin' and click on it. Once you have done so, you will be prompt to start the pairing of your existing wireless network to the N300. Just follow the prompts and you will be fine.

The N300 is compatible with both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz and I am really pleased with the performance of the N300. In order for someone to decide whether the device is working, one should find a weak wifi spot and then conduct a benchmark via Once this is done, repeat the process with the N300 wifi extender. 

Overall, I find that the N300 is useful as I have full bar when I am in the house. It is so convenient as I used to have dropped calls (VOIP) whenever I am trying to make a Skype call in the house. The two antenna design of the N300 is pretty and it has served its purpose. 

Although I have no problem in using the N300, I wish that it has three antennas instead of two. It is well worth paying for the device.

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