Wi-Fi is the technology that is used for wireless Internet access. It used radio bands of 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) and 5 GHz. Devices called as routers are used to operate over these radio bands and provide Internet access. While it may seem that a 5 GHz router is better, that is not the case its range is just one third of the range of the 2.4 GHz. However with a 2.4 GHz router you can get up to 150 feet range indoors. The problem is that the Wi-Fi range takes a hit with obstacles like walls, floors, and other man-made structures. This means that a single router usually falls short in providing high speed, reliable Internet connection over a large floor space.
So the next question that we ask is how do we extend the range of Wi-Fi routers to provide seamless Internet connection for one and all? The answer is Netgear’s wide range of Wi-Fi extenders. The extenders used in this comparison are EX6100, EX 6150, EX6200, and EX7000. They are all based on the 802.11ac technology which is the standard on which Wi-Fi is based. All four routers work on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands so as to extend range of your exiting router.
All the mentioned extenders work on the FastLane technology which uses one band dedicatedly to connect Wi-Fi modem and the extender, and the other band to dedicatedly connect the Wi-Fi router to the extender. What this does is provide a significant boost to speed by deciding which data to access from the modem and which to access from the router. Thus it works best for streaming HD gaming and video streaming.
Another features common to all these routers is the MU-MIMO or the Multi User- Multi Input Multi Output technology. Where traditional routers can talk to only a single device at a time, and thus connect with multiple devices using a round robin protocol, that limitation is taken care of by the MU-MIMO protocol. It enables the device to talk with multiple devices at the same time. However only four devices can have individual bands for communication each device added after the fourth has to share the band.
What is different in them is that the EX7000 des not have Ethernet port, the EX6200 has a 5 gigabit Ethernet port and the EX6150, and EX6100 both have 1 gigabit Ethernet port. Ethernet ports are used to connect Ethernet cables that give you a faster Internet connection and are also resistant to signal listening, or eavesdropping. Also a 5 gigabit connection is faster than a 1 gigabit connection. Thus there is a trade-off here and you should choose an extender that works for your particular scenario.
Also the EX6100, and the EX6150 are compact and wall mountable. The EX6200 and EX7000 are larger, and consequently need more space. they cannot be wall-mounted and if you are strapped for space, you can expect them to come in the way, all the time. This difference of form factor is another parameter that you should choose on basis of your specific scenario.
So now that you know the basic differences and similarities be sure to choose the right Netgear extender for you.