This gadget plugs directly into an electrical outlet and extends the local network's Wi-Fi broadcast.
Netgear announced on Monday the upcoming release of the WiFi Booster for Mobile (WN1000RP) network access point, a device that extends and strengthens an existing local 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signal (b/g/n) in a home or office. The device is slated to arrive at major retailers in summer 2012, starting at $39.99.
"Consumers today want the best connected experience, complete with the ability to enjoy online entertainment on their Wi-Fi connected mobile devices throughout the home," said Damir Skripic, product line manager for connected entertainment at Netgear. "The Netgear WiFi Booster for Mobile enables this experience by significantly increasing Wi-Fi coverage in the home, which is ideal for roaming iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, Kindle e-readers, smartphones or any other mobile WiFi devices."
Featuring a small form factor that plugs directly into an electrical socket, it provides dynamic LEDs which give users a visual guide in real time for placing the device where it can receive optimal coverage from a router or gateway. It also works with all security standards including WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, mixed mode an WEP. Even more, it's compatible with non-Netgear equipment including Belkin, Linksys, D-Link, AT&T, 2Wire, Verizon and EarthLink.
"The Netgear WiFi Booster for Mobile helps consumers reduce the risk of unforeseen mobile data plan charges by easily accessing their home WiFi networks instead of the carrier's mobile networks," the company said. "In a March 2012 report by Chetan Sharma, researchers found that 90-percent of tablet owners prefer to use WiFi, not mobile data plans, to get online at home. The Netgear WiFi Booster for Mobile enables users to surf the Internet and stream content using WiFi, unconstrained by mobile data plan usage limits."
The system requirements are minimal: Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0, Firefox 2.0, Google Chrome, or Safari 1.4 or higher, and a 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz wireless router or gateway. It's a simple install for all devices using a browser, the company claims -- no installation CD is needed. Netgear's Push ‘N’ Connect feature using Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) also allows for a quick and secure connection.
For more information about the upcoming network extender, head here.