The test router we used in this roundup costs a mere $370 or so, while this extender costs two thirds of that, at a whopping $222. However, it’s aimed more at small office environments spread over a larger area than your general home environment, as witnessed by its exceptional benchmark speeds. Netgear claims it has the power to cover an area of 930 square metres, which is more than enough for most home users. It also has some of the most advanced networking features of the lot, so is really aimed at those who know what they’re doing. Having said that, even at default settings we doubled the speed of our Wi-Fi network at range, so you don’t need to be a pro to figure out how to set it up.
That jump in price is evidence of the huge bandwidth increase. This is an AC2200 product, delivering a total of 2200Mbps of theoretical speed over both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums. It also supports MU-MIMO technology, one of the first extenders on the market to do so. We should point out that this thing is rather huge. Despite its excellent performance, there’s not a single external antenna in sight; Netgear has managed to keep them all tucked away for a sleeker look.
It has some of the most comprehensive diagnostic LEDs we’ve seen, allowing you to see at a glance which networks are performing best, and where to place the extender. That level of customisation extends to the settings available, which are designed to make this one of the most tweakable extenders on the market.
If you want the ultimate in coverage, this extender comes a close second to the TP-Link… but not quite close enough to beat it.