Diamond Dual-Band 2.4GHz/5.0GHz Wireless 802.11n Range Extender Review

BluePanda - 2014-07-03 08:32:25 in Networking
Category: Networking
Reviewed by: BluePanda   
Reviewed on: July 31, 2014
Price: $59.99

Diamond Dual-Band 2.4GHz/5.0GHz Wireless 802.11n Range Extender Introduction:

Diamond is best known as a video card manufacturer, going all the way back to the ATI days, but today we have something entirely different: the Diamond Dual-Band 2.4GHz/5.0GHz Wireless 802.11n Range Extender. Even if you don’t live in the biggest house or apartment, you have likely dealt with weaker wireless signals at the farthest points from your router. Perhaps you've been working on the car in the garage and could really use Google to look something up, but you just don't have the best signal. Maybe you simply can't place your router in the ideal central location due to some restriction of outlets or plug locations.

The Diamond Wireless Extender allows you to eliminate these dead spots in your home and provide a larger wireless range to let you live comfortably. With Wireless Bridge support, you can even convert this new wireless signal to a wired Ethernet connection to support those devices you still have around that don't support wireless without having to run long Ethernet cables thorough the house. So let's see just how easy it is to get this extra coverage and find out what this Diamond product has to offer.

Diamond Dual-Band 2.4GHz/5.0GHz Wireless 802.11n Range Extender Closer Look:

Before we dive in, let us spend a moment checking out the box it comes in. I've started to notice a lot of packaging that really limits your access to any meaningful data about the product; just information about it being "fast" or "overclocked", but with no numbers or any details. Thankfully, it looks like Diamond isn't here to mess around. If I were to pick this up off the shelf, there is actually quite a bit of information here. Even at first glance, I can tell that this wireless extender is dual-band and supports both the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz frequencies. The two most basic, yet most important features I would want to know.

The box continues by showing graphical representations for what devices would be used with it and how the device might be used. A simple drawn home shows a signal bubble for its current wireless range, and then the additional increased range from this wireless adapter. It is pretty simple and to the point. I think even my grandfather could figure out the purpose of this device.

 

 

 

Inside the box is kept simple. You are provided with the extender itself, a quick start guide, an Ethernet cable for setup, and a CD with an easy start guide and user manual. The little pamphlet for getting started is actually in full color and provides relatively up-to-date images from Windows 7 to help you set up and/or troubleshoot.

 

 

Diamond Dual-Band 2.4GHz/5.0GHz Wireless 802.11n Range Extender Closer Look:

Moving on to the product itself, there doesn't seem to be much to look at. The Diamond Dual-Band Wireless Extender is rather simple in appearance. It has a white body with a rounded rectangular gray face and slight cutouts for indicator lights. The Diamond logo is written on the front, but beyond the cutouts for the wireless signal indicator, you might not know what this is without further inspection.

The bottom of the device has some cutouts for heat dissipation (more on the top), and a bright yellow Ethernet port with a green indicator light. There is also a rubber reset button that can be pressed with the end of a paperclip if you ever want to set it back to factory settings. Lastly, you'll notice a couple of Phillips head screws on the bottom from assembly.

 

 

The back of the device has a sticker on it with the model number, a barcode, serial number, and some power ratings. There is also an official FCC compliance ID printed on there. The top of the wireless extender actually has a button on top for Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) connections, which allows capable devices to connect to the network without being given the network password. This is great for guests and a quick way to grab Internet for your mobile device. I tried it with my phone. I set my phone to be looking for WPS and simply held the WPS button on top of the Wireless Extender. My phone saw it and connected shortly, right to the 5.0GHz frequency. Not bad! Was super simple, and just worked; how often do I get to say that?

 

 

You do have to configure the Wireless Extender with the provided Ethernet cable prior to being able to use it (I'll cover this setup on Page 4), but once it is set up, it is as simple as plugging it into the wall and having your range increased. It seems to take a bit to "wake-up" once you've plugged it in. It seems to be running an Android OS based on its appearance on the network, so it could take a bit to set up and "boot". Once it is up and running, the wireless indicator light bars show up. This indicator shows you the strength of the signal you are broadcasting. A weak signal, or one bar, means you are only providing less than or equal to 10% of the signal. This helps you locate the best location in the house to provide the best signal. Just be patient when plugging it in; as I said, it is just taking some time to boot up. But there you go – an extended network area that doesn't really involve much setup. Cool!

 

Diamond Dual-Band 2.4GHz/5.0GHz Wireless 802.11n Range Extender Specifications:

Series:
Dual-Band
Model:
WR600NSI
PN Number:
900009
UPC Number:
757448023756
Warranty:
1 year
Target Audience:
Home/office
Product Weight:
0.30 lbs.
Package Weight:
0.65 lbs.
Product Dimensions:
2.7 x 4.2 x 2.2 inches
Product weight with content:
0.65 lbs.
LED Indicators:
Internet, Power, Dual-Band, and RSSI
Fast Ethernet:
RJ-45
Factory Reset Button:
YES
WPS Button:
YES
Antenna:
4 Embedded Internal Antennas

 

Diamond Dual-Band 2.4GHz/5.0GHz Wireless 802.11n Range Extender Features:

 

Information provided by: http://www.diamondmm.com/wr600nsi-diamond-dual-band-wireless-range-extender.html

Diamond Dual-Band 2.4GHz/5.0GHz Wireless 802.11n Range Extender Setup and Testing:

Setup for the Diamond Dual-Band Wireless Extender is rather simple and quick right out of the box. For me, it worked first try; but the quick start guide does have some helpful tips in case it doesn't for you. The directions are also in full color with actual images from Windows 7 to help you on your way. 

After plugging the device in the wall, I found it a bit of a stretch to reach the Ethernet port on the back of my computer. Perhaps you have a few less things plugged in behind your desk and won't have trouble with the provided 3-foot cable – for me, I had to bring my power strip closer. Not a big problem, but just know you need to be somewhere you can connect your laptop or some computer to it when you plug it into the wall for the first time. After that, you can simply type in the IP address provided in the instruction to your browser: 10.0.10.254. If it is working correctly, you will connect to something that looks like the image below. If it doesn't load, there are some helpful steps provided to get you going.

 

After clicking on the blue arrow next to the network of choice – in my case Internets – I was able to set up the network extension appropriately. The default settings were correct for my setup. I entered the network password into the "WPA Passphrase box" and clicked apply.

 

As settings were being written, the window grayed and a little indicator showed up while it worked. It didn't have much of a progress bar, but it did update with new phrases to indicate where it was in the process. The final step lets you know it is about done, and to wait patiently for the device to reboot.

 

Once it is done it comes back with a new screen. This one tells you simply that it is indeed connected, and to what access point it is connected to (in case you have more than one). While connected to your machine, you can also see who/what is connected directly to it.

 

That's it; setup is complete and you can unplug it to go plug into a more appropriate location of the house. My devices saw it on the network with options for both the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz frequencies. Below is a shot from my phone, a Moto X. My husband's older Droid Razer M saw it right away as well – even tried the WPS with his (worked perfect). My ASUS T100 tablet/notebook even saw it without any trouble as well. Honestly, it's just like another wireless point in the house. Anything wireless should see it just fine. 

Diamond Dual-Band 2.4GHz/5.0GHz Wireless 802.11n Range Extender Conclusion:

Diamond may have made its name as a graphics card manufacturer, but it has a whole lot more to offer. The Diamond Dual-Band Wireless Extender didn't only provide extended range, but was also easy to set up and quick to go right out of the box. I honestly feel that even my techno-tard mother could successfully set this up without much help, if any at all. Don't get me wrong, my mother is wonderful, but beyond just using a computer, it's not for her. I think I could go as far as to say my grandmother would be able to handle this for the most part as well. It is just simple, and the instructions are very clear as what to do. I couldn't be happier with a product right out of the box.

The indicators on the extender itself were really helpful in finding a good location to place it in the house. It was clear when plugged in that it was a bit out of range from the router and couldn't provide the best signal. It didn't take long to find a place where it sent out a strong signal and provided a much larger region of access. I used to have trouble connecting from the garage while working on projects; now it's not an issue. There are a few cheaper dual-band wireless extenders on the market, but quite frankly, I feel there are far fewer simple plug-and-play setups as this. The Diamond Dual-Band Wireless Extender is definitely worth your time if you are trying to get your signal further.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: