On Monday during CES 2014, Netgear introduced two new Wireless AC network range extenders, the AC750 (EX6100) and the AC1200 High Power model (EX6200). The AC750 model is actually the first wall-plug extender that delivers dual-band Wireless AC performance, providing up to 750 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. The AC1200 model is reportedly the first to utilize a dual-core processor.
For the uninitiated, a range extender does not replace the home or office router. Instead, this device lights up an area of a house or building that falls out of the router's reach. Like any other Wi-Fi capable device, the extender logs into the router, but the extender takes that signal and throws it into the previously unreachable areas. Yet like the router, the extender requires connecting users to provide a password if needed.
According to Netgear, the AC1200 model provides Wireless AC speeds up to 1200 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. The range extender is equipped with dual high gain 5dBi external antennas and 10 amplifiers that boost output power to 700mW. This extender also provides five Gigabit ports, allowing users to connect Ethernet-limited devices like consoles, Smart TVs and streaming players. There's also a USB 3.0 port for sharing a printer or files across the local network.
The AC750 model is more about being discreet and out of the way than taking the high performance route like the AC1200 model. As previously indicated, the device plugs directly into an electrical socket and resides there, flushed against the wall and looking stylish. Wireless AC connections are up to 750 Mbps via the 5 GHz band thanks to two external antennas.
The AC750 model features Smart LED indicators that show how strong the router's Wi-Fi connection is. This allows the user to place the range extender in the ideal location once located. Users can also download Netgear's Wi-Fi analytics apps to get a visual on where the strong signals reside.
In addition to the LED indicators, the AC750 provides one Gigabit port and a switch on the back. This combo lets the consumer use the device as a range extender or as an access point.
"You can also use the extender as an access point by creating a new Wi-Fi hotspot when you plug in a wired Internet connection," reads the company's press release. "The available Gigabit port on the Netgear AC750 Wi-Fi Range Extender can be used as a Wi-Fi bridge, ideal for connecting a device like a Blu-ray player, game console, or smart TV to the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, at a fraction of the cost of proprietary Wi-Fi adapters."
This range extender, along with the AC1200 model, supports Netgear FastLane technology that uses both Wi-Fi bands simultaneously to establish one super-fast wireless connection.
Netgear's AC750 and AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extenders are available worldwide from major retailers in stores and online. The AC750 model retails for $89.99 USD and the AC1200 model retails for a meatier $129.99 USD.