Whether it's for work or play, having the ability to create your own wireless network while on the road is a luxury one cannot simply pass up. With the portable router market quietly heating up, we take a look at a rather inexpensive solution from Netis, the WF2416 portable router.
The WF2416 is a small pocket sized router, with dimensions coming in just over three square inches by one inch thick. Utilizing the 2.4GHz band, the Netis is capable of 150Mbps, and is compatible with 802.11b/g/n standards. In addition to the routing capabilities of the WF2416, the unit can also function as an extender, adding range to an existing network via the built-in WAN/LAN port. MSRP of the WF2416 is set at $19.99, and it is backed by a one-year warranty.
Scope of delivery for the Netis WF2416 includes the router, network cable, and reading materials.
The side of the router houses the switch for each mode router and extender; the WAN port is to the right.
Moving to the other side, you will find the WPS button for quick setup of your wireless connection, along with the reset button should you ever need to default the unit.
The power plug is built to be modular. It is also built to be easily tucked away when not in use.
On the top of the unit, you will find a blue LED to denote activity.
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The menu system for the portable router is rather simple. Though, you can change the device mode along with SSID, security options, and the password. In addition to the simple menu seen here, the WF2416 carries an advanced menu system that allows you to tweak the router a little; to activate this mode, the top right includes a button.
Above, we have opened the Wireless Utility on our MacBook Pro. Starting within five feet of the portable router, we grabbed a great connection at -45dBm. Moving out at ten-foot increments, you can see the signal start to fade until we stopped at sixty feet from the router, with a signal rate of -75dBm.
The Netis WF2416 is a well-built pocket size router that comes into the market at the perfect time. With people traveling for both business and pleasure, one thing is for sure: they want to be connected to the world at all times. With a device such as the WF2416, you can take that wired connection in your hotel room, and turn it into a hotspot for all your devices.
The performance in the testing I did showed the unit had plenty of power to carry the wireless signal a good 60 ft., and with a decent connection rate of 73Mbps.
However, there are a few drawbacks to the unit. One of which is the WAN/LAN port only being capable of 100 Mbps; this takes away from the capabilities of the unit as an extender, since you will be unable to fully utilize the wireless throughput. The second is the wireless mode switch on the side of the unit. I found it to be loose fitting, and it would slide back and forth too easily. There were a few times I set the WF2416 to router mode, and then plugged it in only to slide the switch when doing so.