Gadgets: Wi-Fi extender deals with dead zones at home

April 24, 2014 

Just about every household has Wi-Fi with the main connection often coming into the home at a home office, which extends the coverage well into a few surrounding rooms.

But with more and more iGadgets entering homes daily, the need to extend your existing Wi-Fi to dead zones on other floors or far across the house becomes greater.

One solution could be to relocate your router to a central point, but a much easier solution is Netgear's AC750 WiFi Range Extender (model EX6100).

For tech-heads who want specifics, the device supports dual band Wi-Fi up to 750 Mbps and supports Wi-Fi devices with 801.11ac, b/g/n.

Netgear's installation guide isn't called the desired "Quick Start Guide" but it might as well be.

It's simple to set up, with a pair of choices I did within a browser in just a few minutes. All you do is connect to your existing Wi-Fi (during the setup they have to be close to each other) wait for lights to blink, answer a few questions, click a few box

es and you're done.

Then unplug the extender and put in your dead zones, give it a few minutes to warm up and make a connection. A pair of external antennas are built on to help direct the Wi-Fi.

After you're all set up, go to your network settings on the portable device you want to use in dead zones, choose the new network you setup and put in your password.

It measures 4.8-by-2.9-by-1.5 inches before you extend the pair of 3.25-inch antennas, which allows it to be plugged in most anywhere, included behind furniture.

I have my Wi-Fi set up in my office, in the far corner of my house. After setting up the Range Extender I went from having a single bar on my iPad's Wi-Fi meter to a four full bars.

Problem solved.

Details: $89.99, www.netgear.com

Photo straps' useful tweaks

JOBY, a maker of creative accessories for digital photographers, has released a few very well made straps of high-quality material and hardware for use with most any digital SLR or mirrorless camera, along with binoculars

The Convertible Neck Strap ($21.66) has quick release built into both sides to instantly convert it from a neck strap to a smaller wrist strap.

New to the Pro Series is the Pro Sling Strap ($55.99), which is designed with a SpeedCinch pulley system for instant access to the camera.

This allows photographers to wear their camera over either shoulder or just around the neck at most any level.

A fastening allows the camera to be instantly adjusted with a simple pull for the pulley system.

The strap attaches to the standard thread (\-inch-20) on the bottom of every camera with a greased bearing piece of hardware (included) and tightens with the help of a coin. This allows a secure and tight connection along with allowing the camera to rotate a full 360-degrees.

There's also a camera tether included with the Pro Sling for additional peace of mind.

Details: www.joby.com

Portable boost of juice

The RAZORPLUS from myCharge is true to its name since it's razor thin at 1/3 of an inch.

What's more important is it's a portable battery for charging most any portable USB gadget needing an extra boost of power on the go.

It comes pre-charged with 3000mAh of battery power for over 13 hours of talk time, with a single USB port in an attractive anodized aluminum case.

A four-light LED system is activated by shaking the battery to test the battery level.

Details: $49.99, www.mycharge.com

Gregg Ellman, Gadget Columnist, can be reached at greggellman @greggellman.

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