Top critical review
39 people found this helpful
Update: Great Product! Provided Significant Increase In Speed To Corner Bedroom!
on January 9, 2014
***Update 4-24-14: The Sabrent Range Extender worked great for a few months then I noticed the internet increasing lagging on the computer that was connected to the range extender. I also experienced a steep drop in the file transfer rate when uploading and downloading with my Time Capsule. When I first started using the range extender it was transferring files at 5mbps but as of late it is transferring files at 20kbps and sometimes I get an error that no connection is available. I began connecting wirelessly from the computer to the Time Capsule, without using the range extender, and my file transfer rates to the Time Capsule immediately increased to 1.2mbps which is exactly what it was before I started using the range extender. Because of the problem I experienced, I'm lowering my rating to 3 stars. I've read reviews which other people had a similar experience that the Sabrent worked great for a short time and then became almost unusable because of slow internet speeds.***
The Sabrent Wi-Fi Range Extender is an outstanding repeater and home network product. It provided a significant increase in internet and home network speed for my office computer and Roku which is located in a guest bedroom about 40 feet from my Apple Time Capsule. The Sabrent also allowed me to set up a Brother HL-2270DW laser printer wirelessly on my network by connecting it to the range extender via an ethernet cable. That is something I wasn't able to do through the Time Capsule because of driver/software conflicts.
The Sabrent Wi-Fi Range Extender can be used as a wireless router, access point, repeater, and has a WISP mode. For my network I was only interested in using it as a repeater. It also has a WAN/LAN connection port and a LAN connection port. I use one of the ports for my printer and the other for my office computer. Connecting the office computer to the range extender via an ethernet cable offers superior speed compared to connecting to the range extender wirelessly and far superior speed compared to connecting wirelessly to the Time Capsule.
The Sabrent Wi-Fi Range Extender comes with a manual which was very helpful in setting up the device as a repeater but the manual wasn't nearly detailed as I would have preferred. If you are knowledgeable in network setup the manual is probably fine but if you are not as knowledgeable, as I was, it may take some trial and error and resetting of the range extender until everything is setup the way you want it.
The biggest problem with setting up the Sabrent as a repeater is once you finalize the setup and restart the device you can not get back into the range extender's configuration menu. If you need to make changes you have to reset the device and start over. Once you have the process down it is very quick to setup the range extender as a repeater but it is still a hassle to have to reset the device. This isn't a problem if setting up the range extender as a wireless router as you can still get into the configuration menu.
Here is my advice for setting up the Sabrent as a repeater:
1. As of this posting there are no firmware updates so you can skip this. Otherwise, the first thing you will need to do is download the firmware update onto the computer which you are using to setup the range extender and update the firmware since you are unable to get into the configuration menu after the range extender is setup as a repeater.
2. Since you are unable to get into the configuration menu once the range extender is setup as a repeater, it is pointless to create a personal login and password for the configuration menu. If you are setting the device up as a wireless router you will want to create a personal login and password though.
3. After you select the "Repeater" button in the configuration menu, a screen pops up with all the wireless networks in the repeater's range and you select the wireless network you want the range extender to connect to. Along with the list of networks in range is the signal strength in % of each network. I advise moving the range extender from outlet to outlet until you achieve the strongest signal. Doing so you will have to reenter the configuration menu each time but it will be worth it. Strange as it was, the signal strength when plugged into an outlet inches from my office computer was 95%. 4' away was an outlet that only provided 75% signal strength.
4. On the next screen you can rename the repeater on the SSID line. This will be the wireless network name you connect to from your computer or device. Finally, you enter the password of the primary router which the repeater is connecting to. After that the range extender reboots and you are good to go. Just connect to the new wireless network.
COMPARING SIGNAL STRENGTH:
Before using the range extender my wireless connection typically had 3 or 4 bars. It may not sound bad but loading pages was sluggish and my antivirus software rarely could get a good enough connection to check for and install updates. My Roku in the same room usually had a "Good" signal but at times didn't have a good enough connection to load videos. Connecting to the repeater wirelessly from the office computer my signal strength improved to 5 bars and pages loaded noticeably quicker. The Roku's signal improved to "Excellent" and didn't have any issues loading videos. The most noticeable boost in speed occurred when I connected my office computer to the range extender via an ethernet cable. Pages loaded blazing fast, as quickly as they do for my other computer which is connected to the Time Capsule via an ethernet cable.
COMPARING FILE TRANSFER RATES:
The Time Capsule (TC) has a shared drive which I depend on for my home network. The office computer was previously in a room next to the Time Capsule (TC). I had excellent wireless signal strength during that time. Files transferred from the PC to the TC and from the TC to the PC at an average of 1.7 mbps. Being on the other end of the house and 40 feet away from the TC files transfer from the PC to the TC at 1.2 mbps and from the TC to the PC at 320 kbps which is painfully slow when transferring a gigabyte or more of files. With the office computer connected to the repeater via an ethernet cable files transfer from the PC to the TC at 5 mbps which is 4x faster than before and from the TC to the PC at 2.25 mbps which is 7x faster than before! Both transfer rates when connected to the repeater via an ethernet cable are significantly faster than the 1.7 mbps rate I was achieving with excellent wireless signal strength in close proximity to the TC!
1. Significantly improves internet and network speed. Best results when connected to range extender via ethernet cable.
2. Extends Wi-Fi range.
3. 2 LAN ports.
4. Can connect printer to range extender for wireless network printing.
5. The range extender is inches from my office computer yet has significantly better wireless signal strength.
6. Setup is quick once you have the process down.
1. Manual could be more in depth.
2. Can't access configuration menu without resetting the range extender once it is set up as a repeater.
The Sabrent Wi-Fi Range Extender was the perfect solution to my home network needs and far exceeded my expectations. I can't believe it provided such a significant boost in internet and network speed for my office computer and Roku which is 40 feet from the Time Capsule! Transferring folders over a gigabyte to and from my Time Capsule was like watching paint dry it took so long. With the range extender the transfer speeds increased by as much as seven fold! Above that I finally have a wireless printing option for my network. The Sabrent Wi-Fi Range Extender is an extremely useful product which I highly recommend to those who are looking to extend the range of their Wi-Fi or significantly improve their internet and network speed to a computer located in a room far from the wireless router.
Note: A product sample was provided by the seller in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.