Netgear Nighthawk x4 AC2200

Access to home WIFI has become almost a necessity with the growing market of portable devices. Achieving strong WIFI in large homes has also become important. Gamers and video streamers are faced with poor speeds, unreliable signals, dropped connections, or lengthy buffer times. This is all a thing of the past with Wireless AC and high-speed connections. Having a much better connection makes content more enjoyable, and the way it should be. The AC2200 can take your existing WIFI and increase coverage up to 100ft, or be used as its own access point. This will allow you to boost your WIFI to the extreme. Lets take a look at how well the AC2200 stand out against the competition.

The specifications are as follows:

Product Number
EX7300
WiFi Technology
  • 802.11ac
WiFi Tech and Range
WiFi Performance
  • AC2200 (450 Mbps+ 1733Mbps)†
WiFi Band
  • Dual Band 2.4 & 5GHz
Number of Ethernet Ports
  • One (1) 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet port with auto-sensing technology
Number of USB Ports
  • N/A
Key Features
  • Extends 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi signals from existing WiFi routers for better range
  • Dual band WiFi up to 2.2Gbps
  • Up to 10,000 ft² of coverage
  • MU-MIMO for simultaneously streaming to multiple devices
  • High power amplifiers and internal antenna array increase range
  • FastLane technology improves performance using both WiFi bands
  • Convenient wall plug design for easy, discreet placement
  • Works with any WiFi router
Ease of Use
  • CD-less setup—great for mobile devices
  • Push ‘N’ Connect using Wi-Fi Protected Setup®(WPS)1
  • Power on/off button
Security
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access® (WPA/WPA2–PSK) and WEP
Physical Specifications
  • Dimensions: 6.34 x 3.2 x 1.75 in (161 x 81.4 x 44.5 mm)
  • Weight: 0.66 lb (0.3 kg)
Standards
  • IEEE® 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz
  • IEEE 802.11 a/n/ac 5GHz
  • One (1) 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet port with auto-sensing technology
System Requirements
  • 2.4 and/or 5GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wireless router or gateway
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer 8.0, Firefox® 20, Safari® 5.1, Google Chrome 25.0 browsers or higher
Works with devices supporting Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). Data throughput, signal range, and wireless coverage per sq. ft. are not guaranteed and may vary due to differences in operating environments of wireless networks, including without limitation building materials and wireless interference. Specifications are subject to change without notice. The product may not be compatible with routers or gateways with firmware that has been altered, is based on open source programs, or is non-standard or outdated.

 

Packaging

IMG_0257  IMG_0260

The product is small but packaged very well. The box does a fantastic job showcasing why this extender is important, and whats great about it.

IMG_0262

The AC2200 does not come with any extra accessories. The product only comes with the manual and the EX7300 (exact model number) itself. The quick start guide was actually useful in helping setup the AC2200, and provided good images and descriptions. Lets take a look at how well the Ac2200 was designed and how it performs.

Design

IMG_0272

The AC2200 is perfect for whole-home connectivity. This includes all your smart devices, computers, and gaming systems. You will have WIFI in every corner of your home with maximum performance. The AC2200 will help with range despite walls, dead spots, or interference.

The AC2200 features:

  • Dual band WiFi up to 2.2Gbps
  • Up to 930 m² of coverage
  • MU-MIMO for simultaneously streaming to multiple devices
  • Works with any WiFi router

You will be able to extend your router to the extreme for range and performance.

  • Extreme dual band WiFi speed — up to 2.2Gbps
  • High-power amplifiers and internal antenna array increase range
  • Beamforming+ improves wireless range and reliability
  • Access Point mode creates a WiFi hotspot using a wired Ethernet connection

Connection_Diagram

The AC2200 uses MU-MIMO which allows you to go faster while streaming devices at the same time. There is also a custom low-noise amplifier that improves incoming transmission from mobile devices. This device has a set of high performance antennas that broadcast in multiple directions.

unnamed

There is an Android app called WIFI Analytics that will help optimize your WIFI network. Mobile devices will be 100% faster.

IMG_0268  IMG_0270

The AC2200 has LEDs, buttons, and ports:

  • The Router arrow LED lets us know the indication of your connection to your router
  • The client arrow LED lets us know if were connected
  • Power/WPS LEDs
  • Factory reset button
  • Power On/Off button
  • WPS button
  • Access Point/ Extender switch
  • Ethernet port on the bottom

IMG_0267

The Ethernet on the bottom is useful for connecting a wired device and still have access to your existing network. You can connect game consoles, Blue-ray players, or other computers to have a wired connection. It’s also important to note that while you can use this device as another access point, it would be required to be hooked into your existing router before this happens.

Testing

IMG_0271  IMG_0281

Setting up the AC2200 couldn’t be easier. It’s so fast that it’s not even worth taking pictures for. The extender connects to your existing 2.4GHz, 5GHz, or both networks. For inital setup I did have to plug the device into my PC to acces the extender setup page. The only thing next to do was plug the device into the wall, access the setup page, and your done.

To access the extenders setup page enter http://www.mywifiext.net in the address field of your browser, and click NEW EXTENDER SETUP. It couldn’t be simpler than that. The Only thing next is to select your WIFI from your router, enter your passwords for your networks, and the Netgear setup does the rest. You then plug-in the AC200 to an outlet as far as you can take it. The unit will let you know if your too far by having a red indicator on the connection LED. Amber means still in range but a bit outside the zone, and green is a good connection.

wifi-analyzer

I was able to get about 150ft extension for this device, even though they advertise about 100ft. WIFI isn’t perfect, and there are alot of variables when testing. Not everyone will have the same experiences with WIFI due to several variable interferes or obstacles. As you can see above the WIFI analyzer was able to still have a great connection to the extender while outside. I also still had about 90% bandwidth. I ran a speed test with my Time Warner connection and got about 21Mbps, when my connection is 30Mbps.

Conclusion

The only drawback I could find about the AC2200 would be no extra accessories like an Ethernet cable. The quick start guide was very helpful compared to what most guides give you, and the product is extremely solid, and well built.

There is alot to love about the AC2200:

  • The product offers the industries first extender with MU-MIMO
  • Speeds reaching 2.2 Gbps on extended range
  • Mobile devices are 100% faster

I especially love the way this unit was designed. The white will go with almost any room, and the shape is elegant. It’s also important to note how sturdy it is, and how well it stays in the outlet. Some items that get plugged in with weight don’t always stay up, and become top-heavy. The AC2200 has a thick 3 prong plug system that keep the unit balanced and strong. I would highly recommend the Netgear AC2200 Nighthawk x4 for anyone looking for extreme speeds for a wireless extender. The MU-MIMO makes it extremely beneficial for wireless signal, and performance. The unit can be bought right now on Amazon for $170.00.

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Netgear Nighthawk x4 AC2200

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