Was a bit concerned as there seems to be a few horror stories on setup. I have a WPS button on my (BT Homehub 3) router and so opted to try that method.
- Note that the supplied instructions for WPS setup in the booklet are good.
- Plug in the extender relatively near to your hub/router. Power button is amber at first and then turns green. Don't be tempted to plug it in where you have the reception problem!
- Press the WPS button on the extender. The WPS LED on the extender will flash green
- Then press the WPS button on the router. The wireless LED on the router then flashes orange (this will be router specific but valid for the BT hub in question)
- First time nothing much else happened. After about 2 mins nothing had connected and everything had reverted back to the way it was).
- Repeated the exercise and this time the wireless LED on the router illuminated blue (as it should be in normal use). On the extender the WPS LED was now solid green and the router LED was now illuminated (solid green).
- You can now unplug the extender and move it. Placement obviously depends on your circumstances (and whether you are using multiple extenders) but for one extender then find a socket about half way between your router and the dead zone
- Now this is where it is easy to think job done. I assumed the extender would simply extend the use the same SSID as the hub and authenticate automatically any device that had accessed the hub's wifi. But on each wireless device you want to connect, you have to manually select the SSID of the extender. It will be the name of your hub with _EXT appended to the name. If you forget this step then your devices will simply be trying to connect to the hub as before and so you have achieved nothing! Note this is explained in the instruction booklet. No excuses!
- Enter your normal hub/router password and the device joins the new network
- Remember that the extender and the hub/router wireless operate as two separate WiFi networks and so your device will not see it as one network and connect to whichever has the stronger signal as you move around. In fact for me my extender is very central and so now generally works from anywhere
- If I am connected to the hub's wifi network and then move to the dead zone then I will see my device temporarily lose wifi and then connect to the extender's wifi (so for example on a mobile phone then the wifi symbol reverts to 3G/4G and then about 20 seconds later will pick up the extender
- You can check signal strength (to test for optimal placement) both on your device (e.g. signal strength bars) and at the extender where there is a device LED that should glow green (or amber). If red then move the extender. I guess optimally you want it green
- The extender does take about a minute to restart and reconnect if you unplug it and move it and so if you are experimenting with placement then be patient for it to complete its restart and reconnect
- 5 stars? - well I have only been using it for an hour! We will see
- Not sure what happens if you have multiple of these. Do they each get a new SSID? e.g _EXT, _EXT_1 etc. I presume that Netgear has thought of this!
UPDATE: has been working well for 18 months. Had to set it up on a different router (this time Virgin Media V6 Hub). So first step is to reset the extender by inserting a paper clip into small hole in underside). Took me a couple of goes to force it to reset but you can check it is reset as the SSID reverts to “NETGEAR_EXT”. Then repeat the WPS setup. For me this did not work but then I realised the repeater works with 2.4Ghz only and my router was 5Ghz. So I would either have to turn on 2.4Ghz on the router or use manual setup which does let you repeat any 2.4Ghz WiFi it can see rather than just the one coming from the router. For some reason the manual setup process requires you create an account. No idea why. And each time you do a reset you have to create a new account. The manual process seemed prone to have to repeat some steps but stick with it and it will ask for your SSID passcode. Then the extender appears as before with the name of “your chosen SSID_EXT”.
OK so not perfect but worthy of 5 stars as excellent fix to WiFi black spots for little money.