First Looks: Aztech HL110EW 200Mbps HomePlug AV 2-Port Wireless-N Extender
Deadspots Be Gone!
Aztech’s addition to its HomePlug range, the HL110EW wireless extender, may seem like it’s not really needed in our relatively small apartments, but in a day and age of concrete and steel walled homes, there’s nothing more irritating than to find a wireless dead zone in your kitchen or toilet, just right where you would use it the most. This is when this wireless extender, which pairs up with a companion HomePlug in the form of the wired Aztech HL110E Homeplug, comes into its own by bringing wireless coverage to these areas, using your home's power lines as the conduit.
While pairing up with a HL110E is simple enough, adding the HL110EW to an already paired duo of HL110E may be a little bit trickier. While the manual does say to do the normal pairing process via the Simple Connect button, we couldn’t quite get this to work despite a few attempts. However, resetting the paired duo of HL110E and then pairing the wireless version with the wired version first before adding the last HL110E seemed to work for us.
Once done, you’ll need to install the HomePlug AV Wireless N Extender Utility software on a PC, and hook it up to the HL110EW to set up the network name and security. The HL110EW supports WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption and it’s probably a good idea to use at least WPA or WPA2 to secure the network. Also since the HL110EW comes with two additional LAN ports, you can also hook up two other wired devices to your network.
Instead of buying a new router or spending time to find the right spot for your router, the HL110EW is probably a good idea for users who require wireless coverage for the entire house without the hassle and cost of setting up yet another router.
While it may be a little pricey at S$159 and requires an additional purchase of a HL110E at S$85 (which may even come free depending on the deals you may find during the quarterly IT shows here), the ease of setup and its features leave us no doubt that if you need to extend your wireless coverage, then this is one device to get.