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QUICKVIEW: Huawei WS320 W-LAN WiFi Repeater
Posted by Arne Hess - on Tuesday, 03.04.12 - 14:34:50 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 23154x
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If you also travel from time to time, I'm sure you have also faced the that your hotel room might have a weak WiFi or mobile broadband coverage. A WiFi repeater could be the remedy but in most cases, W-LAN repeaters are either bulky, expensive or both. Not so the Huawei WS320 which is ultra-portable an inexpensive. Doesn't matter if you tether with your smartphone or using the hotel W-LAN, the WS320 works with both. The WiFi b/g certified repeater which also comes with some WiFi n features (but at 2.4 GHz only), even supports WPS and comes with an easy to configure web interface. It supports 110 - 240 V and can be therefore used virtually all over the world.

At a size of 76 x 42 x 69 mm, the WS320 weights around 66 g only, which is neither too bulky nor to heavy, even not for hand luggage.

With it WiFi b/g/n modus, it expands any existing WiFi network up to 100 m, up to 135 Mbps. It's simply plugged into wall outlet, anywhere around, is configured through the web interface and ready to be used.

The whole setup isn't taking more than 2 minutes, after the WS320 booted the first time and received all available networks.

Final Conclusion

The Huawei WS320 is a very handy accessory, not only for home use but also and especially for travelers. Its size and weight is portable enough that it find its space in virtually any bag and it helps to expand wireless networks in hotel rooms, hotel lobbies, office space or just the office. I'm travelling fairly often and often found hotels with either weak or no WiFi signal. It even happened once in Barcelona, that I had to work on the floor, right behind my room door because this was the only place to caught a WiFi signal. However, even if you are independent and tether your PC or tablet with your smartphone or mobile hotspot, it can happen that you have to place your smartphone or mobile hotspot anywhere near the window, which might be then too far away to get a stable signal. Again the WS320 can do a good job to expand the WiFi coverage.

Unfortunately it's only WiFi b/g certified and WiFi n features aren't supported at 5 GHz but at 2.4 GHz which might limits the compatibility a little bit, especially in WiFi n only networks but that's the only drawback I found. The web interface is easy to use and configure and even non-network specialists should find their way through it. As long as you know how to enter a WiFi passkey, the WS320 is easy to configure and Huawei is shipping it with a comprehensive quick-start guide.

But there's one thing the WS320 lacks and I wish Huawei has added. A USB port which could be used to charge a phone, etc. This would allow to even leave the USB adaptor at home but only carrying the repeater. Well, maybe next time or with a product refresh.

The Huawei WS320 W-LAN Repeater is available across Europe for around 35 Euro. Definitely worth the money, if you travel and need  reliable WiFi connectivity.

Cheers ~ Arne

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