AVM Fritz!WLAN Repeater 300E review
The Repeater 300E is designed to increase the range of your 802.11n wireless network. It has a claimed maximum transfer rate of 300Mbit/s, a single Gigabit Ethernet port for non-wireless devices and a WPS button that also toggles the wireless connection on and off.
AVM’s Fritz!WLAN Repeater has never had an official UK release. As a result, the Repeater 300E has a European two-pronged plug - as the Repeater is designed to plug straight into a wall socket, using a UK to European adaptor makes it stick out of the wall awkwardly.
We were impressed by the Repeater 300E’s user interface and setup screen, which is as user-friendly and informative as those on AVM’s other Fritz! Products, such as the Fritz!Box WLAN 7390. You set up the Repeater 300E by connecting to it wirelessly or via Ethernet. From there, you simply have to select the Wi-Fi signal you want to repeat, enter the network's wireless password and click OK. Alternatively, you can use WPS or a downloadable application to configure it, although the application's only available in German. The Repeater 300E’s built-in interface is so good, however, that there’s little need to use anything else.
To test the Repeater 300E, we connected it to our test desktop via Gigabit Ethernet, tasked it to repeat the signal of a Trendnet TEW-692GR router, and connected our test Centrino 2 laptop to the network via Wi-Fi. The data transfer rate remained pretty consistent when repeating the router on the 2.4GHz band, providing 19.7Mbit/s at a range of one metre, 20Mbit/s at 10 metres and 15Mbit/s at 25 metres. The results were less impressive when we switched the router to the 5GHz band, where the scores were 12.6Mbit/s at one metre, 15.6Mbit/s at 10 metres and 9Mbit/s at 25 metres.
We then connected the Centrino laptop to the TEW-692GR router via Gigabit Ethernet and moved them 10 metres away from the repeater. This gave much faster data transfer rates of 29.6Mbit/s on the 2.4GHz band and a massive 74.1Mbit/s on the 5GHz band - to get the best speeds from the repeater you should make sure it's not too close to your router, but this is the most likely home setup anyway.
The Repeater 300E is very easy to set up and has strong transfer speeds at medium and long ranges, so is an effective way to increase the wireless reach of your router. It's a shame is doesn't come with a UK plug and at £85 it certainly isn’t cheap, but this is still a great way to plug troublesome wireless blackspots.
I thought it was a requirement that mains electrical domestic products sold in the UK had to be supplied with an approved (BS1363) UK plug fitted, or have a suitable 'conversion plug' fitted over an existing non-UK plug (i.e. not simply a separate travel adaptor).
By dalerm on 18 Mar 2012
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