Along with its Wi-Fi extender capabilities, the ZyXEL WAP3205 v2 doubles as an access point and WLAN bridge. It gives the wireless market a device that can extend a current wireless network or act as an internet access point. This Wi-Fi booster’s solid features and design have earned it the Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award. This unit is among the best Wi-Fi range extenders available.
Although it is backward compatible with B and G devices, this wireless repeater is equipped with wireless-N technology but lacks the latest wireless-AC technology. Because the unit is friendly with older devices, not only can it extend your wireless network, but it works with legacy hardware. It can capture and repeat that your router’s signal to all of your wireless devices is at an extended range. Two antennas on top of the Wi-Fi booster capture and distribute the signal past the reach of your existing router.
Along the front of the ZyXEL Wi-Fi booster is a series of signal status lights that indicate power, WLAN connection and whether your connection is secure (WPS). On the back, you’ll see two Ethernet ports, a reset button, a power connection button and a WPS connection button.
The ZyXEL Wi-Fi extender can operate in one of four different modes. When you’re configuring your Wi-Fi booster’s settings, there is a maintenance screen on the software’s home screen. Under this section you’ll find the System Operation Mode function, where you can configure your WAP3205 v2 to run in one of four different modes, including Access Point, Universal Repeater and Client Mode. Each mode has its own unique functionality.
If you wish to extend your wireless network without a router, you can switch the Wi-Fi booster to operate as an access point. If you have a router and just want to extend its wireless reach, you should run the WAP3205 v2 as a client. To use the unit as an access point and a wireless client at the same time, you configure it to operate as a universal repeater.
Once the Wi-Fi booster is plugged in, all you need do to get going is push the WPS connection button. This button should automatically connect you to the network. If you want to change settings, you access an IP address that walks you through additional features. You can also use this IP address to change your Wi-Fi repeater’s settings remotely. You can log in anytime, anywhere to check settings, disable features or see who is accessing your network, which is known as MAC address filtering.
Other settings of note are wireless scheduling, output power management and diagnostic logs. The booster has a power button, so you don’t have to unplug it from the wall when it’s not in use. The Wi-Fi booster unit has a sleek black finish with gray accents and lime-green status lights. It weighs a slight 0.56 pounds, stands 0.91 inches off the table and is a little bigger than a 4 x 6 photo.
Inside the WAP3205 v2’s packaging you’ll find several support materials to get you jumpstarted: a support CD and a quick-start guide. The quick-start guide is 10 pages of simple step-by-step instructions to aid you with initial setup. In case you need to fiddle with more complex settings, the user manual is also included, or you can download it from ZyXEL’s website. The user manual is quite helpful in breaking down each mode, including how to implement it and how to change settings. ZyXEL’s website has FAQs for quick answers to your questions.
ZyXEL is an international company, but its North American headquarters in Anaheim, California, handles U.S. support. It has a toll-free number, an online support form and an email address for customer service. Unlike its competitors, its support isn’t contingent on the wireless repeater being under warranty, although ZyXEL does include a two-year warranty.
The ZyXEL WAP3205 v2 is one of the best Wi-Fi boosters on the market. Not only can it extend the range of your current wireless connection, but it can also act as an access point. Two Ethernet ports make connecting other devices easy, and a data rate of 300 Mbps ??? especially for a rebounded signal ??? is nothing to scoff at. Keep in mind that this is a theoretical data rate, which can only be achieved under ideal conditions. ZyXEL also provides good customer support, with a two-year warranty, online resources, direct contact options and a step-by-step guide.
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