The Bottom Line
Devices like the EX7300 are becoming quite popular as they are space savers using a single outlet. Admittedly some do take an entire receptacle, but most vendors have thought things through and design around such issues. As with most networking products I review, I spent about three weeks with the EX7300 in my home network to see how it would cope with streaming media along with the ins and outs of daily browsing.
The EX7300 is yet another Nighthawk branded solution and with its extension being X4 it is part of the AC2200 family. AC2200 solutions aren't very common, but it is achieved by simply slowing down the 2.4GHz band to 450Mbps while keeping the 5GHz band at 1733Mbps. After all, it's the 5GHz band we really want to extend. Features of this solution include MU-MIMO, high-power amplifiers for up to 10,000 square feet of added coverage and Fastlane technology.
MSRP of the Netgear Nighthawk X4 EX7300 comes in at $169.99 with a one-year warranty.
Packaging is quite colorful for the EX7300. We have an image of the extender on the front with just a touch of marketing above.
The side of the box houses a specification chart, with features listed at the top.
The scope of delivery includes the range extender and guide.
The front of the extender is quite busy with LEDs to denote power, connectivity and even what mode the EX7300 is in.
On the side, Netgear has included a reset, on/off for the Wi-Fi and a switch for extender/AP mode.
The bottom of the X4 has the gigabit port for extending to another switch or standalone device.
To setup the range extender, the device has its own browser controlled routine. This start with the settings above and the X4 letting you know which position your device is set up for.
The next step is to select which network you want to extend.
The last step is followed by you inputting any relevant passwords.
I ran the EX7300 through my basic throughput test at a distance around 20 feet, this about midrange for the 5GHz band, but as you can see above, it did quite well coming in a touch above 400 Mbps. 2.4GHz throughput topped out around 100 Mbps.
I'm quite happy with the EX7300 as a range extending solution. While it does have a rather large footprint for a receptacle mounted device, it doesn't block neighboring outlets - certainly a plus for devices like these. Build quality is top notch as most Netgear solutions are and with the ability to utilize this solution as a space saving AP, it adds to the value in my mind.
5GHz performance of this solution is where it's at. I was able to get just above 400 Mbps out of this device which is screaming, especially when you compare it to the 100 Mbps output of the 2.4GHz band. In my day to day use of this extender, it did okay when streaming YouTube, Hulu, and content from the NAS, although I did get a few instances where there were some slowdowns / buffering.
Overall, the EX7300 is driven towards owners of a new AC2600 router as this device is perfect for extending a 1733 5GHz network. For those that have an older or AC1900 solutions, there are plenty of other options on the market.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Z170 Premium - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: Intel Core i5 6500 - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: Klevv CRAS 16GB (4x4) DDR4 3000 - Read our review
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS Storage: Intel 730 480GB SSD - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Secondary Storage: Intel 750 400GB U.2 SSD - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: Thermaltake P5 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200 - Buy from Amazon
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 - Buy from Amazon
|Quality including Design and Build||85%|
|Bundle and Packaging||80%|
|Value for Money||78%|
The Bottom Line: Netgear's Nighthawk X4 EX7300 wireless range extender is a space saving solid solution for those wanting to extend a AC1733 5GHz network, but for the money, you can find desktop solutions with far more horsepower.
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