We bought the Netgear WN2500RP dual band N600 WiFi range extender some years ago. We got it to strengthen wireless network coverage throughout the garage and the swimming pool area around the back yard.
Problems that the Netgear WN2500RP WiFi Extender Solves
Weak and Spotty WiFi
Until then, the WiFi signal from the main house quickly grew weak. Then if you moved outdoors, and beyond about 100 feet, it faded completely.
Plus, the WLAN speed would fall to a snail’s pace at even shorter distances. Even in the strong signal conditions but a few feet away from the house, WiFi was sensitive to motion. E.g. It worked well as long as you kept mobile device still. But it would slow with just a small nudge of the client.
In the garage, we could only connect to the main WiFi network in certain spots close to the kitchen door. And then only, at very low bit rates (less than 3 Mbps). The smart TV out there, at the far end of the garage, could not connect at all. So instant Netflix video streaming was out. Further, running an Ethernet cable the hundred feet or so from the DSL router was not feasible.
The Netgear WN2500RP WiFi Extender Boosts the Signal
But the Netgear WN2500RP WiFi extender fixed much of that. With it, those fringe areas moved farther away from the house. It indeed cleared up the “flaws” in our pool and garage network. It beefed up the weak signals at the deep end of the pool, which was a big help. The WN2500RP destroyed dropouts, pauses, stutters, and lost links while streaming internet radio stations on a floating portable radio.
Yet the Netgear WN2500RP WiFi extender needs no physical (wired) Ethernet connection to the main DSL router. It enabled streaming Internet radio stations in the garage as well as watching Netflix movies on the smart TV, with far fewer buffering delays and dropouts, the inherent bandwidth reduction in repeating range extenders notwithstanding. At less than a hundred dollars, the WN2500RP is cheap, simple to use networking solution, once you configure it to repeat your main wireless network, and we’re impressed with its FastLane technology, which enhances video streaming performance.
Benefits, Features, Pros, and Advantages of the Netgear WN2500RP WiFi Extender
Straight forward Setup
You get a well-illustrated Installation Guide in the package. A Users Guide with setup instructions is also available at the Netgear support web site. See the references section below for a link to it.
Defers need to Upgrade Router
True. You could extend your primary WAP / router’s range by purchasing a higher power model, which usually costs well into the hundreds of dollars. Also, you may not be able to upgrade your primary router if it’s provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), and they offer no better performing unit. But this sub-one-hundred dollar solution, accomplishes the wireless range extending about as well, but for significantly less money. Thus, you can obtain the increased range and reliability at a distance from your old primary router, without having to purchase a new one.
No external antennas to come loose, flop over, or get lost.
Lots of Status Lamps on the Netgear WN2500RP WiFi Extender
Multi-color Lights for both the 2.4 and 5 Ghz. network extensions are provided to show how good the established connection is between the router and this extender. We also have power, link status between wireless clients and the WN2500RP, lights for each LAN port that glow green when an active wired connection exists there, and the WPS lamp that flashes when the extender is listening for WPS clients.
All buttons and switches are located on the back panel, including the WPS activation, RESET, and Power ON / OFF.
Dual Band WiFi
Receives and transmits on both the 2.4 and 5 Ghz. bands at the same time.
The Netgear WN2500RP WiFi Extender Has a Repeater Function
The Netgear WN2500RP WiFi extender expands network range by re-transmitting data that it gets through its sensitive antennas, via its powerful yet sensitive radios.
You can connect Ethernet-based devices like wired Internet radios, desktop computers, and DVRs to your main WAP, through the wireless link established between this unit and your primary WAP. Excellent for bringing Internet into a remote office that while close enough to receive your main Wi-Fi, is too far away to run Ethernet cable to.
You can set up the Netgear WN2500RP WiFi extender via its Genie web site. E.g. The WN2500RP allows wireless devices (tablets and smart phones) to connect to it via WiFi, to run setup (http://www.mywifiext.net). Once set up, you can also connect to this extender’s SSIDs, and again, access the setup pages.
Use the Genie Web Site to Set Up the Netgear WN2500RP WiFi Extender
The Genie web server, built into most recent consumer grade Netgear products, looks and works very much the same from one Netgear wireless device to the next. So if you’re familiar with how to set up another Netgear device, such as a Wi-Fi router, you’ll feel right at home programming the WN2500RP .
Has Four Ethernet Ports
Think of this as a 4-port Ethernet switch, but with wireless capability as well. It will locally connect Ethernet-bound PCs, radios, et al. But this switch / range extender will also extend your main Ethernet hub, via the wireless link that it establishes with your primary WAP.
Works from Any In-Range Location
To extend your wireless network in a different direction, you simply move the WN2500RP closer to where you need the improved WiFi signal. Once configured, the extender will rebroadcast your primary WAP from any spot that is still in range. Easy to move too. You just unplug the Netgear WN2500RP WiFi extender from the AC outlet, take it where you need the improved WiFi, and plug it in there.
Supports WiFi Protected Setup (WPS)
You may connect WPS enabled wireless devices to the extended networks hosted by this range extender. However, you cannot connect the extender to your primary wireless networks with WPS. You must explicitly choose the SSIDs to which you’re connecting, and enter the correct passwords for each.
Secure WiFi Links Throughout
Not only are links from wireless clients to this unit secured, but so are those from this range extender back to the primary Wi-Fi network; the one being extended. This unit offers the WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security options on its output SSIDs.
The Netgear WN2500RP WiFi Extender Extends Both 2.4 and 5 Ghz. WiFi Networks at the Same Time
The Netgear WN2500RP WiFi extender creates two new SSIDs; one for 2.4 Ghz., and one for 5 Ghz. During setup, you enter the names (SSIDs) you want each of these to utilize.
Popular AC Power Supply
Comes with a 12-volt, 1 Amp., 12 watt switching power adapter. Easily replaced if it fails.
No fans to draw in dust or make noise. Very quiet.
Fast Boot Up
The extension wireless networks appear less than a minute after unit power on.
Two Year Warranty
Cons, Problems, Concerns, Drawbacks, and Limitations of the Netgear WN2500RP WiFi Extender
This N600 is easy to knock over, as it stands, on its thin side, oriented vertically as pictured above. So, we recommend stowing this device inside a protective cabinet or well out of the way of foot and hand traffic, such as behind an entertainment center or couch. However, the unit does include some snap-on feet to limit this limitation.
Not a Router
This is a range extender and network switch only. It neither allocates IP addresses to local clients, performs any network address translation (NAT), nor provides firewall functionality. Instead, it passes any requests for these functions on to the primary Wi-Fi network.
No Gigabit Ethernet Support on the Netgear WN2500RP WiFi Extender
The four back panel RJ45 ports are Fast Ethernet MAX only (10/100BASE Tx).
No Cross Connecting of Extended and Extension Networks
That is, you cannot extend a 2.4 Ghz. WiFi network with the 5 Ghz. extension SSID on this extender. The 2.4 Ghz. extension SSID can only be set up to repeat a 2.4 Ghz. primary network. Also, the 5 Ghz. extension network can only re-broadcast a 5 Ghz. WiFi network. Would be nice if you could “cross wire” the 2.4 and 5 Ghz. primary networks and extensions. But such a feature might confuse novice users and network admins.
Our Rating for the Netgear WN2500RP WiFi Extender
This Netgear WiFi N600 WN2500RP range extender uses true “set it and forget it” design. Once set up, just tuck it away somewhere. So long as that place is well ventilated, it just keeps going. This is good for those who don’t care to ever look at the status lamps.
For most casual network users do not need to see the unit very often. Indeed, if you can find the network extension SSIDs on your WiFi devices, this extender is probably working fine. We’ve never noticed it locking up or crashing, and it seems to recover well from primary network outages. It automatically reconnects when the primary WiFi network comes back online.
Definitely slower performance than when connected right to the primary net, but still highly usable; especially in areas where the primary signal is very weak. In this situation, you may even see INCREASED bandwidth and performance. This unit thus, does what it claims to do, and we like it. So we rate the WN2500RP at 96 out of 100.
- The observations in this piece were made, running:
- Firmware version: V184.108.40.206_1.0.36_wizard_fix
- Hardware version WN2500RP
- GUI language version: V220.127.116.11_18.104.22.168
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References for this Netgear WN2500RP WiFi Extender Review
- Official Product Page
- User’s Manual from Netgear
- What is a Wireless Range Extender? on Wikipedia
- Where to buy the Netgear WN2500RP Wireless Range Extender
- 2019-05-30: Added key phrase targeting for ‘Netgear WN2500RP WiFi Extender’, removed ad script code, and added more links and tags.
- 2017-02-19: Revised the tags list.
- 2015-10-20: Added appropriate tags.
- 2015-09-08: Originally published.