Linksys WET610N Entertainment Bridge And RE1000 Range Extender

I’ve been testing Cisco’s latest Wi-Fi products for a few weeks now, and they’ve really helped me get uniform wireless coverage all throughout my house. The two things I’ve checked out are the WET610N Dual-Band N Entertainment Bridge and the RE1000 Wireless-N Range Extender.

The entertainment bridge is a Wi-Fi receiver, which connects to your Wi-Fi router and offers four Ethernet teats for your non-Ethernet-enabled devices to suck on. Rather than buying an Xbox 360 Wi-Fi dongle, a TiVo Wi-Fi adaptor and a USB Wi-Fi adaptor for your nettop, one $US99 Entertainment bridge will get everything in your media centre online.

From my test, it works really well. I was able to get an Ethernet-only desktop online and playing Team Fortress 2 with just about as much latency as if it were physically hooked up to my router. Because the bridge only has 10/100 and not Gigabit Ethernet, it’s not really meant for transferring a lot of large files. But, it does have both 2.4GHz and 5GHz and works on 802.11n. If you’ve been holding out for a wireless adaptor for any of your entertainment items, this seems like a better fit than buying them individually.

The wireless N range extender on the other hand, is a little bit more finicky. It’s meant to extend the range of your existing wireless router, which means that it reproduces the signal using the same access point name. Unlike just hooking up a standard wireless router and configuring the settings to be on access point mode (which gives you two different access points), this requires almost zero configuration and acts like a third arm for your network.

In theory this is great, but even when testing with a Linksys E4200, its higher-end router, I noticed some weirdness when connecting and maintaining a connection. Occasionally my MacBook Pro would lose a connection, but still be able to see the signal just fine at maximum strength. I would have to power off and power on the Wi-Fi in order for it to connect again. It might be due to confusion about which network the laptop wants to join––the original router or the repeater––but it is quite annoying. The repeater does work and extends the range of the router to places where it couldn’t reach before, but it didn’t work perfectly for every scenario.

Linksys RE1000 [Linksys WAP610N]

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