Would you like to extend the range of your wireless network? Do you have WiFi dead spots around your house? Do you have an Internet capable TV that only has an ethernet port and your computer is in another room? Maybe you don’t even have a WiFi network in your house and need a way to connect the new laptop you just bought or would like to add a wireless access point to the broadband connection in your hotel room. Diamond Multimedia believes they have what you need to address your issues.
In my house the broadband modem is on the second floor in what I call the computer room. We have a great, speedy Ethernet connection there. My wife uses her laptop on the main floor at the extreme other end of the house. Because of the distance and number of walls between the router and her laptop, we sometimes lose connection or at best the transfer rate slows down. Also, we’re unable to get a wireless signal in the basement where we both have our personal work spaces. For these reasons, I’ve been on the hunt for a device that would boost the WiFi signal and not require a rewiring of the house. With the WR300N, I’ve found a solution.
WR300N 3 in 1 Device
- Wireless Range Extender
- Wireless Access Point
- Wireless Bridge
- Supports Wireless N Standard up to 300 Mbps
- MIMO technology
- WEP, WPA and WPA2 security
- User friendly GUI for setup
- WPS Protected setup
- Plug and Play
- Can use any operating system to configure
There’s not much to it. The CD has the extended manual and a PDF of the Easy Start Guide. The ethernet cable is used to set up the device and can be used for the wireless bridge configuration.
On the front are several indicator leds that you’ll probably never look at, at least as long as the device is working properly.
On the bottom or top if you install it upside down, is the ethernet port. You’ll notice that the prongs on the AC plug are not polarized allowing one to plug it into a wall socket in either orientation.
The first thing to do in the setup is to read the quick start guide. I used my laptop for the configuration, but didn’t disable the WiFi before connecting the ethernet cable from the WR300n to the laptop. Nothing happened! After shutting off the WiFi, the laptop got an ip address from the device and I opened a browser to point to 10.0.10.254. After logging in to the device configuration page, I began the setup.
There are several screens, but the most pertinent one is the above. I clicked the Scan Wireless Networks button and selected the one I wanted to extend. In this case it is called billnjan. I selected the security type to match my wireless router config and entered the WEP keys. After punching the apply button, I shut down the browser and removed the cable and unplugged the WR300n. If your equipment uses WiFi Protected Setup (WPS), then setup is a matter of pressing a couple of buttons. I then placed the WR300n midway between my wireless router and the farthest point in my house.
Here are the results. I made the measurements using my laptop at the furthest point in the house. Row number 2 is for the SSID that is NOT repeated. Row number 1 is the repeated SSID. You’ll notice the increase in signal strength. Row number 3 is the second SSID from my wireless router and is not repeated. Now that my signal is repeated, I have noticed that I don’t get any “connecting messages” from either my WiFi enabled Internet radio or photo frame. Both of these devices were at the limit of my non-repeated signal.
To check out the wireless bridge capability, I plugged an ethernet cable into the WR300n and connected it to my laptop and established connection via the ethernet port. It works as advertised. This feature would be perfect for those who have a device such as the Roku that doesn’t have WiFi. Plug the WR300n near the Roku box and you’re all set.
The WR300N can be used as a wireless Access Point. It is set up in the same way as the repeater, the only difference is that the user will define the SSID and encryption type. Once setup, it can be connected to an available port on the modem-router.
Although not a big issue, reconfiguring the WR300N can be a chore. Accessing the configuration screens via a browser pointing to 10.0.10.254 is not possible after the initial setup, unless you configure your computer to a fixed ip. This is no small task and the instructions for doing so are in the extended manual from the supplied disk. Of course, after you’ve reconfigured the device you’ll have to return your computer ip back to its original state. My work around is to stick a straightened paper clip in the reset button of the WR300N for 5 seconds which brings the device back to its initial state.
The WR300N works for me. I’ve been able to use my laptop at distances from the router that I wasn’t able to before. It’s easy enough to set up and simple to install.