Continuing my recent review of the Anker product line up, they continue to send me products to get my take on them and share my experience with my readers. The latest product they sent me is the Anker Compact Wireless Networking Wi-Fi Repeater, they could have used a shorter name, so I am just referring to it as the Anker Compact Wi-Fi Repeater.
What is a Wi-Fi Repeater
For those who don’t know, a Wi-Fi repeater is a device that repeats your existing wireless routers signal which allows you to extend it’s range. The main purpose of this devices is to expand the square footage area of your wireless router range. This is ideal if you have large ranch style homes where you don’t have multi-stories and want to cover your full house with strong wireless symbol. In the case of my house which has brick walls, and several walls between my home office where the router is located, this allows me to have stronger signal as I had severe signal loss in just 15-20 feet from my Netgear router as a result of the walls and density of the material.
When you get the Anker Compact Wi-Fi Repeater it will include an Ethernet cable and a disc, neither of which are actually needed, but both can be used to setup the application and configure the driver. It is easier however to just switch the Wi-Fi Repeater into Repeater mode, plug it into the wall and connect to it as you would join any Wi-Fi network.
First, I used a program called inSSIDer which scans all Wi-Fi networks in your area and shows you the signal strength, channel…etc. The Anker repeater defaults to having the network broadcast name of “Anker Repeater”.
Click Image to See how Strong the Repeater Signal is.
Note, this repeater is in the same room as my router, it’s signal strength is stronger than the Netgear router that is much more expensive and even when the Wi-Fi repeater was 3 rooms away had a stronger signal than the router in the same room as the laptop.
Setting up the Anker Wi-Fi Repeater
The first thing you want to do is connect to it’s network, then access the Anker Wi-Fi Repeater configuration screen, go to the default IP of 192.168.100.253 and login with admin/admin and you will see the repeater configuration screen.
Here you configure it’s mode, select Wireless Universal Repeater
You would then tell the Wi-Fi repeater which network it will repeat or join to, you will connect the Wi-Fi repeater as a client to that network.
Now you can just use the Anker device as a repeater, but it works even better as an access point which makes it function like it’s own SSID yet it still transmits information to your original router like a repeater. So you set the SSID of this Repeater (this is the network other laptops will connect to, it should be different than your router SSID since if you make it the same then guest roaming will be enabled which is a disadvantage of it being just a repeater). Set the passphrase which should be different as well.
Now, you can plug the Anker Wi-Fi Repeater into any room in your house, I recommend one that is fairly distant from your router so that coverage is spread better. You can then make the devices closest to the Anker Repeater connect to it’s SSID and it will just simply transmit and connect it’s information to your main router.
In my setup I put my Anker Wi-Fi Repeater in the wall in my living room which is the furthest room from my home office, I connected the Samsung Smart TV, Wii U and alternated between laptops, Roku 2 and Kindle Fires to the Anker Wi-Fi repeater. It flawlessly accepted the connections and I had fantastic transfer rates when downloading files. The Anker Wi-Fi repeater had a stronger signal a few rooms away and extended my network range all the way to the end of my backyard and front yard.
I found that when my devices had intermittent connection issues to the Netgear router directly, they did not experience the same issue when connecting to the Wi-Fi repeater, the Wi-Fi connection was more stable.
My overall experience is that the Anker Wi-Fi Repeater is a fantastic product and will greatly help expand the Wi-Fi range for any household and help even add a more stable Wi-Fi network than your main router in some cases.
All this from a device that costs only $39.99 on Amazon.com, I was pleasantly surprised how great this device is and now it sits full time in my living room wall. Even my new Dish Network DVR 922 with Slingbox is connected to the Anker Wi-Fi Repeater and using it to stream my DVR and live TV to my iPad on the other side of the house!
Disclaimer: Anker provided me with a copy of the Compact Wireless Networking Wi-Fi Repeater so that I can do a thorough review. The words and opinions are mine and mine alone.