CES: Netgear unloads new solutions to bridge Wi-Fi to spotty areas

Summary:LAS VEGAS -- Everyone seems to have that one spot in their homes where the Wi-Fi network coverage is so spotty or even nonexistent, which is frustrating to no end. Netgear has some new solutions that might end that annoying feeling.

CES 2011

LAS VEGAS -- Everyone seems to have that one spot in their homes where the Wi-Fi network coverage is so spotty or even nonexistent, which is frustrating to no end. Netgear has some new solutions that might end that annoying feeling.

David Henry, Netgear's senior director of product marketing, offered the example of tablets (the darlings of CES this year). Often tablet owners can still squeeze out enough connectivity for basic browsing, but not streaming from Netflix or even YouTube.

The first potential remedy is the Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender (WN3000RP, pictured right), which simply plugs into a wall socket (ideally halfway between your router and the dead zone), and it is intended to double the network's wireless range. It should work with any wireless router - regardless of the brand. This one will retail for $99.99 when it launches in March.

Next is the Universal Internet Adapter for Home Theater 3D and HD (XAVB5004, pictured below), which also plugs into the wall and can bridge Wi-Fi connection throughout the home.  As the "first 500Mbps powerline," the XAVB5004 sports five Ethernet sockets - one for the router and another four to connect to home theater devices such as Blu-ray players and gaming consoles for direct full HD 1080p and 3D video streaming. Gadgets with HomePlug AV connections are also welcome. Set to launch before the end of the month, this adapter will cost $169.99.

To round out the trio, we have the Powerline AV 200 Nano Adapter Kit (XAVB2101, AV 500 is pictured at top). As the "first 500Mbps powerline," the Powerline module is boasted as the "smallest 200Mbps powerline AV adapter" worldwide. This one should also be ideal for small businesses with certifications for high security and data encryption. The Powerline AV 200 will ship in March for $139.99.

Topics: Networking, Mobility, Wi-Fi

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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