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Expand your network with D-Link’s wireless range extender

- January 20th, 2013
D-Link’s Wireless N300 Range Extender

D-Link’s Wireless N300 Range Extender. (Supplied)

I had been putting off reviewing D-Link’s Wireless N300 Range Extender (DAP-1320) because I wasn’t sure what to say about it.  The product allows you to  share your Wireless N Internet signal across your entire home so you can easily jump online even in difficult areas, such as the basement, attic and the like. And it delivers a connection speed of up to 300 Mbps.

But despite living in a multi-floor townhouse condo, I generally don’t have any signal problems with my Rogers service. I could already access the Internet from anywhere in my house. That being said, it does seem to work – as far as I can tell.

Looking like a plug, the DAP-1320 is relatively easy to set up. You just plug the device in and wait for the light on the back to change from red to a flashing amber. If your router has a Wi-Fi protected setup (WPS) button, as most do today, it’s very simple. You just press the button on the router and then the press the similar button on the D-Link device until its light starts blinking green. Then you just wait. Eventually, the light becomes a solid green and the range extender is connected to your router – theoretically.

If that doesn’t seem to work for you, or your router doesn’t have the WPS button, you will have to login to the router through a web browser and set it up that way. It’s still not difficult as a connection wizard guides you through the process. This way, you can choose to either name the network the same as your current one or something different so you’d be able connect to your modem through either the range extender or your router, depending on where you are.  But it may take a couple of tries to get the two devices to sync properly. But once you’re done here, it’s all set up.

Like I said above, my main issue was I don’t have connection issues in my place, so it was hard for me to determine whether the range extender did anything to improve my online experience. The range extender’s network didn’t appear to extend any farther outside my condo than my original network did.

Ideally, you are supposed to place the device at an equal distance between your router and the wireless device you are using. This is easy enough if you are dealing with a desktop computer or a laptop that you keep in one place. But it’s problematic, if you want to hook up a wireless device that you move around, or you want to hook up multiple devices, as you would theoretically have to keep moving the range extender around – and most likely set it up again.

Available for $49.99 at various electronic retailers, the DAP-1320 might seem a little pricey to try on a whim. But if you are hampered with a poor Internet connection, it could be worth it. And you can always return it if it doesn’t help.

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3 comments

  1. Matt | January 21, 2013 at 4:51 am

    It’s an absolute ripoff, you can easily extend the range of your router with some homemade crafting by making the Ez-12 Parabolic Reflector. All you need is some aluminum foil, cardboard and paper and you’ll be boosting your signals for free.

    Only if you want to believe me lol.
    http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/template2/index.html

  2. NAC eye drops | January 23, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Now onto the device performance, by day I am a wireless network engineer for a major retailer. I have been doing wireless for over 10 years now, from the beginning before 802.11B was even a finalized standard and when both 2.4ghz and 900mhz systems were competing against each other. I have worked in various industries starting out with wireless internet service providers, to the airline industry and now in the retail industry. While wireless is used differently in each industry the one common factor is wireless. So coming into this I was very familiar with how wireless extenders like these work, and how 802.11 B/G/N chipsets work and how they modulate and communicate. Because this device is only a 2.4ghz repeater, the same chipset has to communicate to both your wireless router and your wireless client device at the same time it introduces a performance hit. What I mean by this is network throughput, the speeds as which your wireless client will be able to transfer data across your wireless network. WiFi by its nature is only half duplex, it can not transmit and receive at the same time, if the range extender is sending or receive a wireless packet from the access point, the extender can not send or receive a wireless packet to the router at the same time and visa verse. This is the unfortunate nature of wireless and how it communicates with other devices. Do you have an 802.11N router and an 802.11N client device and is not living up to the advertised speeds? Do you have older 802.11B clients also on your network? If so, the reason you won’t get the advertised 802.11N data speeds is that your B only clients are preventing seamless wireless packet transfers to your N only clients. Your N clients have to fall back to lower data rates while the B only clients transmit packets.

  3. TinFoilHatWearingFreak | February 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Hey Matt, Love to see a picture of you wearing your tin foil hat!

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