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Netgear brings 5Ghz Wireless-N signal to wired clients

New 5Ghz wireless-N device from Netgear works as either a bridge or an access point.

Together with theWNDR3300, Netgear recently introduced the HD/Gaming 5Ghz Wireless-N Networking Kit. The kit includes the Wireless-N HD Access Point/Bridge (WNHDE111). Despite the confusing name, the device itself is rather straightforward.

The WNHDE111 has the same design as the Netgear WNR834B router and that means it's bulky, actually very bulky for an access point/bridge device. But nonetheless, thanks to the internal antenna design and its vertical posture, the WNHDE111 manages to have a relatively small footprint. However, there are a couple of other things worth mentioning about this device than its appearance.

Supporting 5Ghz Draft N2.0 wireless specification, the Netgear WNHDE111 can work as either an access point or a bridge. Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

First, the WNHDE111 is a 5Ghz wireless device. Since the 5Ghz spectrum is not as heavily used as the 2.4Ghz spectrum (which is shared between many wireless routers and home electronics), devices working in this frequency tend to offer much better speed and range, as well as signal stability. Secondly, the WNHDE111 can be set to work as either an access point or a wireless bridge.

In access point mode, the WNHDE111, once connected to a router, immediately creates a Draft N 2.0 wireless network that uses the 5Ghz frequency. This is a good addition to your existing 2.4Ghz wireless network. However, it doesn't help much if your network consists of only 24.Ghz wireless or wired clients. In this case, you need the second WNHDE111 working in a bridge mode. This mode allows the WNDEB111 to works in conjunction with another WNHDE111 (in access point mode) or with another 5Ghz wireless router (like the WNDR3300) to bring the wireless signal to up to two wired clients via the WNHDE111's two Ethernet ports. These clients can be computers, or any other network devices, such as TV set-top boxes and game consoles.

You can get the Netgear WNHDE111 now for about $100 ($200 for the kit), which is a reasonable price. The device is a good addition to your existing 2.4Ghz wireless network and its flexibility to support either wired clients or 5Ghz wireless ones is valuable for both the home and small office environment, especially those that are saturated with a 2.4Ghz wireless signal.