New Netgear gadget extends Wi-Fi networks easily

Reading the minds of countless consumers, Netgear today unveiled a simple way to extend the range of any wireless network at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The device, dubbed the Universal WiFi Range Extender, plugs in directly to any wall socket and works as wireless bridge to extend wireless connectivity. Wisely, Netgear didn’t limit its functionality to the company’s own wireless routers — the Extender will work across any brand of router. It even sports an ethernet port to connect wired devices.

While there are other devices out there that can extend wireless range, Netgear’s Range Extender is by far the simplest solution I’ve seen.

The company also unveiled its powerful N600 wireless dual band gigabit router, which seems built specifically to broadcast large high-definition files. Netgear built-in some features that aren’t found on any other router — it can find the clearest wireless channel in your neighborhood, speed up and smooth out the streaming of HD files, and even share media from storage devices attached to the router.

A Netgear Genie feature lets you easily manage your wireless network. It can diagnose (and sometimes fix) issues with your network, and it offers an easy interface for parental and guest access control.

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