Netgear today doubled down on its effort to bring its mesh technology to all existing Wi-Fi networks with the introduction of the new Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band WiFi Mesh Extender (EX7700), or Netgear EX7700 for short.
This is the third device in the networking vendor’s family of Nighthawk Mesh Extenders. Before this, the company had released the EX7500 and the EX8000 which are the low-end and high-end options, respectively.
Netgear EX7700: The mid-tier option
The EX7700 lands right in the middle of its two older cousins in terms of specs and price. It features 2×2 802.11ac standard with up to 866Mbps on 5GHz and up to 400Mbps on the 2.4GHz.
Most importantly, it, too, is a tri-band extender with the ability to use one of its two 5GHz bands as the dedicated back-haul that connects itself to an existing Wi-Fi network. As a result, the other two 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands can focus on serving Wi-Fi clients. This means clients connected to the extender will get similar net Wi-Fi speed to when they connect to the original Wi-Fi router.
The concept of dedicating a band for back-haul started with Netgear’s Orbi Wi-Fi systems. In a way, the EX7700 will turn any existing Wi-Fi network into a mesh, similar to one powered by an Orbi. This means users can enjoy a fast and seamless Wi-Fi network with no or minimum signal loss. And, of course, they won’t need to replace their existing router, either.
Netgear EX7700 vs. EX8000 vs. EX7500
The three extenders share the same dedicated back-haul concept and ease of use. However, they are quite different in design, Wi-Fi specs and price.
In all, the new EX7700 extender is the EX7500 plus the fact it’s has two Gigabit network ports and a standard design. As a result, it enables users to connect up to two wired devices to the network, use it as an access point, and have the flexibility in placement.
The new Netgear EX7700 extender is available as pre-order now and will start shipping soon. It has a suggested retail price of $149.