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Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 3000 review: Give your router extra range

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 90
inc VAT

A great, easy-to-install extender, but not significantly faster than some rivals with a lower spec and price

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Good speeds at medium and long range

Cons

  • Not significantly faster than AX1500 and AX1600 rivals
  • Relatively pricey

Wi-Fi 6 was supposed to be the technology that would send high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity to the more distant corners of your house and, to some extent, that’s exactly what it does. There’s no doubt that Wi-Fi 6 routers can give you more bandwidth at a distance, or that some of the more powerful models can cover many homes without the need for extenders or a mesh system.

And yet there are still areas in some buildings – including my own home – where a Wi-Fi 6 signal isn’t quite good enough to make the grade. Hence a steady trickle of new Wi-Fi 6 extenders, including the WiFi 6 Repeater 3000 from Devolo.

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Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 3000 review: What do you get for the money?

The Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 3000 is one of two new repeaters from Devolo, the other being the WiFi Repeater 5400. You can probably guess that this one supports AX3000 speeds, which breaks down as a 574Mbits/sec rating on the 2.4GHz band and a 2,400Mbits/sec rating on the 5GHz band.

It’s a compact unit that plugs directly into a mains socket, and has a sole Gigabit Ethernet port where you can connect a PC, smart TV, games console or media streamer. It has a 2×2 MIMO antenna setup and supports all the major features of Wi-Fi 6, including access point steering to keep connected devices on the fastest connection and OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access) for optimised speeds across all your mobile devices, laptops, consoles and miscellaneous gadgets.

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Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 3000 review: How easy is it to set up?

Devolo promises stronger Wi-Fi in five minutes and, while that’s a best case scenario, it’s not far wrong. Just plug the extender in and wait until the indicator on the front goes from red to green, and you can connect with Devolo’s Home Network app, pick your network, enter your credentials and get hooked up within that kind of timeframe.

Alternatively, you can take a shortcut by using WPS to handle the last part of the setup. Testing both the Repeater 3000 and the Repeater 5400, I had no issues or delays with setup whatsoever.

You can use the LED signal gauge on the front of the unit to find the best spot for your repeater, but it’s relatively slow to start and fix the connection, making this process fairly tedious. That said, once you find the best mains socket, the repeater does a fine job of maintaining consistent speeds.

The app is also pretty useful after connection. You can check on which devices are connected and their connection speeds, turn the LED indicators on or off and restart or even reset the extender.

I’ve seen more user-friendly interfaces, but Devolo’s is slick and gives you easy access to the crucial settings. The only thing missing is an at-a-glance display to show if any client devices are hogging all the available internet bandwidth while you’re trying to stream a 4K TV show.

Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 3000 review: How well does it work?

I tested the WiFi 6 Repeater 3000 using the same setup I used to test the Netgear EAX12 extender (£60), running it with both the AX1800 router from a Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6 system (£1,699) and a faster Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 (£260) router running at AX5400 speeds.

To gauge performance, I connected a NAS drive to each router via Gigabit Ethernet and then transferred a series of test files from it to my Wi-Fi 6-enabled laptop over Wi-Fi.

With the Orbi router, I achieved a download speed of 8.08MB/sec and an upload speed of 7.54MB/sec in the kitchen diner at the opposite end of my 1950s house. With the Repeater 3000 at a point midway, those figures rose to 14.4MB/sec and 12.9MB/sec; an improvement, but not actually as big an improvement as the 22.04MB/sec and 16.16MB/sec I saw with the Netgear extender.

However, the tables were turned for the house’s other trouble zone – the upstairs office above the kitchen. Here, I hit speeds of 22MB/sec and 11MB/sec, just beating the 21.5MB/sec and 7.54MB/sec returned by the Netgear EAX12.

Of course, the Netgear extender is limited to AX1600 speeds, while the WiFi 6 Repeater 3000 can go higher, so with the Netgear Nighthawk RAX50 router the Devolo fared better.

I saw speeds of 24MB/sec and 16.4MB/sec in the kitchen, slightly faster than the Netgear EAX12, while in the office, speeds rose to 29MB/sec and 17.3MB/sec, again ahead of the Netgear extender. It’s worth noting, however, that using the other repeater actually slows speeds down in this location compared with using the router on its own; in this situation I recorded 32.6MB/sec download and 26.7MB/sec upload speeds.

In short, if you have an AX3000 or AX5400 router, the WiFi Repeater 6 3000 is going to be slightly faster than the EAX12. However, we’re not talking about a massive margin and there is a chance you might still get better results from a decent Wi-Fi 6 router on its own.

And, while the AX3000 proved reliable in extended testing, even with more advanced scenarios like game streaming with GeForce Now, there wasn’t any evidence that it was any more reliable than the slower Netgear extender.

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Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 3000 review: Should you buy it?

It depends. If you have an entry-level AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 router, then you could save some money by going for the Netgear option or the equally good TP-Link RE505x (£45). However, the Wi-Fi 6 Repeater 3000 justifies its extra cost by being easier to setup and configure than either, and by supporting the faster AX3000 speeds, even if the difference probably won’t be night and day inside most homes.

It’s a well-designed and speedy extender, then, but it doesn’t give as big a speed bump over rivals as you might expect given the speed rating.

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