There aren't many high speed options today to get network to an area if you don't have a cat 5 cable or can't get powerline to work. What I wanted was a 802.11 AC wireless bridge but couldnt think of a product Netgear (or anyone else) made that would do this. So when I was meeting with the Product Manager I brought this up. What surprised me was the answer in that it was obvious to him but not to me. The recently introduced R6100 AC1200 router while designed to hit the entry level price point at $99 was also designed to be used in this capacity. In fact most of the money invested in the R6100 is geared to the AC side of the product . And there was great attention paid to the flexibility and configurability of this device which is generally not available in entry level devices.
So what does all this mean to the average user who needs to get a high speed wireless connection. Well the R6100 has the capability to deliver near gigabit wireless speed if it is mated with a comparable router. In my case I have a Netgear R6300 AC1750 router (Netgear has a family of AC routers now including the R6100, R6200, R6250 and R6300). Using this router normally and then using a R6100 setup as a bridge located where my theater equipment is I can now get near gigabit wireless speeds. The way this works is that the R6100 is receiving the AC wireless signal from my R6300 in AC mode and then providing me high speed connectivity out of it's 4 ethernet ports where I connect my devices which include a HTPC, Apple TV, Roku and Xbox via ethernet cables. This insures me I have adequate bandwidth to do HD streaming as well as multi task with the other devices as needed.
This can be confusing for the newbie or non techie user. But the flexible usage of these router products from Netgear is huge. I knew the higher end products could be configured in this manner but I didnt know the budget units could be as well. This was a great move on Netgear's part as it brings the performance of AC technology to non AC devices. And does it without breaking the bank.
Getting high speed network access to an unwired part of the house is a common issue members at AVS have. This solution is one that those in need should take a look at. Yes it requires the investment of an AC router up front but if you are planning an upgrade or have already taken the plunge this is a great low cost solution. In fact if you have this issue buying 2 R6100 routers costs the same as 1 R6300. While the performance of a 6100 is not that of a 6300 if this type of network expansion is important and you are on a budget the trade offs are worth it in my opinion.
To me this is the first real application that leverages the real power of AC. And does it where there were no other options before it so IMHO it really is a problem solver.
Netgear AV Consultant