Hawking HW2R1 Visit Site

Pros / This booster has five Ethernet ports and three external antennas.

Cons / The unit only works on the 2.4GHz band.

 Verdict / The Hawking HW2R1 is packed with innovative security features and is one of the best boosters on the market.

TopTenREVIEWS - Silver Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set
TopTenREVIEWS - Excellence Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

The Hawking HW2R1 wireless booster's sole purpose is strengthening and extending your wireless range. With an external antenna, the Wi-Fi booster captures a local wireless signal. This signal doesn't even have to be from your home, just a local connection. The Hawking HW2R1 then rebroadcasts the signal, boosting your range by up to 450 feet in ideal conditions. This range extender's signal-enhancing capabilities, combined with impressive features, have earned it the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for the best range extender.

  • Range Increase (feet)
  • Theoretical Data Rate (Mbps)
  • Antennas
  • Number of Ethernet LAN Ports
  • Warranty
  1. The distance to which the Wi-Fi booster extends your network's range.
    More is better
  2. 2  Hawking
    450.0 Feet
  3. 450.0 Feet
  4. 3  ZyXEL
    300.0 Feet
  5. Category Average
    275.0 Feet

Features

Three antennas on the top of the HW2R1 capture the wireless signal being broadcast from your router and then bounce that signal to the farthest corners of your home. You can upgrade these three antennas to receive a more distant signal and broadcast it even farther. The Hawking HW2R1 is one of the few Wi-Fi extenders on the market that have an antenna to harness the signal and two additional antennas to rebroadcast. Most have two, one to capture and one to rebroadcast.

Although the Hawking HW2R1 rebroadcasts your wireless network's signal, it only works on the 2.4GHz band. That means it can only send or receive information at one time. This limits the amount of data that can be transferred in a time period. Generally, without both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, a wireless booster loses at least 50% throughput.

It is important to distinguish that the HW2R1 is not a router. You will need an actual router to connect to the internet first, implementing the booster as an add-on. That being said, this Wi-Fi booster does come with many router-like features that beef up security: a firewall, a demilitarized zone, URL blocking, network address translation, MAC address filtering, IP address filtering, access control and denial of service. These features can be handy if your router didn't come with them or you just want to add an extra layer of security.

On the back of the Wi-Fi booster, you'll see signal status lights that indicate when data is being sent, if it's online and if it's receiving power. You'll also see five Ethernet ports that allow you to connect several other devices for internet connection. The Hawking HW2R1 has the same number of Ethernet ports as the best product on our lineup.

Because this Wi-Fi booster needs to connect to your current wireless network, it is crucial that it is compatible with your router and your computer's operating system. Before purchasing, check to make sure your router is a B, G, N or AC Wi-Fi device. N and AC devices are the most common, as they are the latest wireless technology, but your router should say whether it is B, G, N or AC.

Design

This Wi-Fi extender does not have an automatic setup button, but connection is simple enough without it. We would suggest keeping the unit in the same room as your router for initial setup and then moving it to a dead zone later. Once it's connected to your home wireless network, you can set up an IP address to access the settings and other features from a remote location.

Remote management is one of our favorite features of the Hawking HW2R1, because you can fiddle with settings or shut the entire system down from work or any other off-site location. Because the repeater's software includes IP address filtering, you should be able to see if others are piggybacking on your signal and lock them out.

To save on energy consumption, you can manually turn the Wi-Fi booster off via a switch on the back of the unit. Turning the repeater off also kills the rebroadcast wireless signal. This may be useful for limiting the kids' internet time when you go out of town. The Hawking HW2R1 wireless range extender is quite compact and easy to move at 0.12 ounces with dimensions of 8 x 4.75 x 2.72 inches.

Help & Support

Customizing your extended connection may require a few looks inside the user manual and, if you're really stuck, a call or email to Hawking Technology's technical support. It has an online contact form for nonemergency questions and a direct support line when you need help ASAP. We contacted the support team via its online support form and received an answer within a day.

For the do-it-yourselfers out there, Hawking Technology's website has a ton of helpful information that answers any questions you may have. You can download a user manual, installation guide and software drivers for your specific operating system. On its support page, Hawking has FAQs and a link to information about recently launched products. Hawking also includes a one-year warranty on the HW2R1 Wi-Fi booster.

Summary

The Hawking HW2R1 boasts an extension of up to 450 feet in ideal conditions. With integrated security features, you can manage your network's settings remotely and maintain a wall of protection around your network. Five Ethernet ports allow optimum device connectivity, and a one-year warranty protects you against manufacturer defects. While the HW2R1 is not the absolute best Wi-Fi booster available, you'll be hard-pressed to find one that exceeds it by much.

Hawking HW2R1 Visit Site