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Wireless Reviews

Introduction

NETGEAR WN2000RPT Universal WiFi Range Extender

At a Glance
Product NETGEAR Universal WiFi Range Extender (WN2000RPT)
Summary Easy-to-use dual-stream 802.11n wireless repeater / bridge with built-in four-port switch
Pros • Supports 300 Mbps maximum link rate
• Good setup wizard
• Can be used as repeater or bridge
• Doesn't require WDS
Cons • 2.4 GHz only
• Can't be used as access point
• Might not help much

Many products designed to stretch your wireless network's range have passed across the SNB test bench. Most don't deliver anywhere near what they promise, or require a router supporting WDS, or are near impossible to set up, or all the above.

So I cast a skeptical eye upon NETGEAR's WN2000RPT (not to be confused with its WNR2000 Wireless-N Router) as I unboxed it and prepared to be unimpressed. Little did I know that I'd be pleasantly surprised instead.

Inside

Figure 1 shows the inside of the WN2000RPT. Most of the good stuff is covered by RF shielding and heatsinks. But the FCC ID photos include a detail showing an Atheros AR9103 2.4 GHz 3X3 MIMO 802.11n radio, which is typically paired with an Atheros AR9132 3X3 Wireless Network Processor.

WN2000PT board

Figure 1: WN2000PT board

Note that this is a full dual-stream N extender, not single stream like the Innoband HomePlug AV Wireless N Kit. So you have more bandwidth to work with (or throw away due to repeating).

The design includes a four-port 10/100 switch, which I think is supported via an Atheros AR8236. So the WN2000RPT can also be used as a wireless bridge to wired clients, which will not suffer the 50% throughput reduction that wireless clients associated with it receive. 32 MB of RAM and 4 MB of flash finish up the design.

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