Sunday, April 28, 2013

Gadget of the Week - USB WiFi Repeater

Almost all WiFi boosters need to be plugged into a computer and require drivers to be installed, which can be quite troublesome. Not any more. This gizmo requires no drivers and lets multiple computers connect to your booster.

As long as you have one of TechnoRV's Boosters, simply plug it into the Alfa Repeater. That's all the installation that is required.

What the repeater does is take the boosted WiFi signal and then repeat it or re-broadcast it over a new local WiFi, kind of like your own WiFi hotspot.  Each of your devices then connects wirelessly to this new hotspot and can thereby talk to the boosted WiFi signal and hence the internet. It's very cool. You can even give your hotspot signal a name and password protect it to stop those pesky people from trying to use your cool gear.

Here's a diagram (okay, I know it's a house but your RV is a house, right, it just has wheels):

Those devices can be other computers (PCs or Mac's running any operating system), Smartphones, Tablets, Smart TVs, Roku boxes and even stuff that hasn't been invented yet! Plus, you can connect your wireless printer to the hotspot and allow all those devices to print because the WiFi Repeater is also a router meaning that it will connect all of those devices together on your own network. Plus you have the added bonus of no wires, so you can sit outside with your cocktail and iPad while surfing your very own boosted WiFi signal!

The only catch is that you do need to tell the repeater what WiFi signal to 'tune in to.'  You do that by connecting a computer to the repeater (either by ethernet or wirelessly) and then selecting the appropriate signal. Don't worry, it comes with instructions and we also have a Learning Series that comes with it.

If you'd like more info, here's a short YouTube video with Phil talking about the Repeater. I'm using a  RadioLabs version as an example, but everything I say applies equally to the Alfa version.