Devolo Gi­ga­gate Wi-fi Bridge

Strug­gling with slow Wi-fi at home? Devolo’s Gi­ga­gate could be the an­swer. Five Com­put­er­ac­tive read­ers tell us the dif­fer­ence it made to their de­vices

Computer Active (UK) - - Reviews -

Ear­lier this year devolo teamed up with Com­put­er­ac­tive to of­fer read­ers the chance to re­view the Gi­ga­gate Wi-fi Bridge. Com­pris­ing a base and satel­lite units, it can boost your speed by up to 2Gbps (2,000Mbps), po­ten­tially im­prov­ing your mul­ti­me­dia ex­pe­ri­ence. Play­ing games, stream­ing TV and lis­ten­ing to mu­sic could be­come light­ning fast. Up to eight satel­lite de­vices can be con­nected, not only from one room to another for a com­plete home-net­work so­lu­tion.

Our read­ers were im­pressed by it, as th­ese re­views tes­tify…

Devolo’s Gi­ga­gate Starter Kit (mod­elled by my son Josh, be­low) trans­forms a lack­lus­tre broad­band ex­pe­ri­ence into a sat­is­fac­tory and sta­ble com­mu­ni­ca­tion en­vi­ron­ment. When you are in the gar­den try­ing to up­load na­ture pics to cloud stor­age and the ser­vice times out or just stops, this kit is a bless­ing.

The base unit con­nects to the router with ease, then you place the satel­lite in the best po­si­tion you can find in your prop­erty. The re­sult is uni­form, high­speed cov­er­age in even the deep­est, dark­est cor­ner of your home and gar­den.

I’m not a wiz­ard with hard­ware, but all I needed to do was con­nect the base to a spare port on my router with the sup­plied ca­ble, se­lect a pass­word once the soft­ware was down­loaded and then po­si­tion the satel­lite. My phone, tablet and wire­less lap­top broad­band me­ters were at max­i­mum through­out the prop­erty with noth­ing more to be done. Very happy! Phil Cookson, Bury The in­crease in speed up­stairs where I placed the satel­lite unit has been amaz­ing. Pretty much all the de­vices in the house now con­nect to one of the Gi­ga­gates, rather than the Sky Q router, and as a re­sult we now have a house full of happy kids who can play on­line games on their Xbox with­out con­nec­tion prob­lems, or watch Youtube videos on phones and tablets.

The con­nec­tion speed to the base unit is so good that I’m con­sid­er­ing buy­ing another satel­lite to place in the lounge (even though it is only me­tres away from the Sky router which lives in the hall) so I can con­nect the smart TV and Xbox One via the eth­er­net ports to im­prove Net­flix stream­ing speeds.

My par­ents, who are fos­ter car­ers, have a large six-be­d­room bun­ga­low with a huge foot­print, and strug­gle to con­nect to their BT Home Hub in parts of the house. They are now look­ing into buy­ing the Gi­ga­gate, hav­ing seen it in use here. Thank you again for giv­ing us the chance to try this mag­i­cal piece of kit.

Carl Broom­field, Bury St Ed­munds

Be­fore set­ting up I used a phone app to check the sig­nal strength in my house, gar­den and shed. I set up the Gi­ga­gate with the base down­stairs next to my router and the satel­lite unit up­stairs. On check­ing my sig­nal strength again there was no no­tice­able dif­fer­ence. Later, I moved the satel­lite down­stairs to the porch at the op­po­site end of my house and there was a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment. I could even watch a Youtube video in my garage, where pre­vi­ously I had no sig­nal.

I also had a good sig­nal all over my gar­den, which is im­por­tant be­cause I use

The re­sult is uni­form, high-speed cov­er­age in even the deep­est, dark­est cor­ner of your home and gar­den

nest-box cam­eras and adapted CCTVS to mon­i­tor wildlife there. At present, I can only use cam­eras con­nected by wires, with the dan­ger that one day I will for­get to lift the ca­ble when I’m cut­ting the grass.

The one ma­jor prob­lem I had was that the satel­lite dropped the con­nec­tion to the base three times while I was test­ing it. This may have been caused by the sig­nal from the base to the satel­lite pass­ing through three in­ter­nal walls, or it may be a prob­lem with my router. How­ever, I dis­cov­ered later that it could also be be­cause I con­nected the Gi­ga­gate to a power strip (the FAQS state this may cause prob­lems).

Over­all, I’m very pleased with the Gi­ga­gate as it gives me ac­cess to Wi-fi in ar­eas of my prop­erty where pre­vi­ously I had none.

Frank Ritchie, For­res (pic­tured be­low) I have a 17Mbps broad­band con­nec­tion, desk­top PC, Lex­mark print server, Synol­ogy NAS for me­dia and file shar­ing, Iomega NAS for backup and a 300Mbps Tp-link net­work and Wi-fi ex­ten­der. At­tached to the ex­ten­der I have a lap­top that I use as a me­dia player to my TV and a Hu­max HDR-FOX T2 Free­view dig­i­tal recorder run­ning cus­tomised firmware. Un­til re­cently, per­for­mance has been fair with oc­ca­sional dropouts on the me­dia player.

What has changed to make it worse? My daugh­ter has re­turned to the nest. She has two rooms, one to use as a study at the op­po­site end of the house from the main router. Her needs are Wi-fi for printer and phone, Eth­er­net for an Ap­ple Mac, a Synol­ogy DS215J NAS and Hu­max T2000 Free­view dig­i­tal recorder. She also has a Net­flix ad­dic­tion to feed.

I tried a sec­ond Wi-fi ex­ten­der but my me­dia player be­came un­us­able ac­com­pa­nied by reg­u­lar com­plaints of dropouts at my daugh­ter’s end of the house. Pos­si­ble sal­va­tion ar­rived in Com­put­er­ac­tive, with the of­fer to re­view devolo’s Gi­ga­gate.

Within min­utes, ev­ery­thing was up and run­ning, showing the units con­nected at 1173Mbps in both di­rec­tions – ex­cel­lent! Mov­ing the satel­lite unit to my daugh­ter’s room re­vealed a dis­ap­point­ing trans­fer of 7Mbps from the satel­lite and 65Mbps from the base, over a dis­tance of 14 me­tres. I had placed the satel­lite be­side other equip­ment, and so was close to many ‘fat plugs’.

It would seem the elec­tro­mag­netic ra­di­a­tion from th­ese plays havoc with the satel­lite unit, but it still man­aged to move data both ways with­out fail­ing. Af­ter mov­ing it I saw the trans­fer rates jump to a more re­spectable 585Mbps from the base and 780Mbps from the satel­lite. Robert Togneri, Lochmaben

(pic­tured above right)

I have Talk­talk 38Mbps fibre broad­band de­liv­ered by BT Open­reach in an un­de­r­eaves cup­board in my 1930s bun­ga­low with loft con­ver­sion. The Talk­talk ‘Su­per Router’ is lo­cated in this up­stairs cup­board – not ideal. Con­nected de­vices in­clude a smart TV, desk­top PC, lap­top, printer, ipad and two An­droid phones.

I fol­lowed the set-up di­a­grams. One tells you to down­load devolo’s Cock­pit soft­ware, which helps you con­trol your net­work. Prob­lem! I got an er­ror mes­sage when try­ing this on­line. In­stead I found the down­loads from the Prod­ucts menu on the home­page.

How well did the Gi­ga­gate per­form? In the short time I’ve been us­ing it there have been no crashes or any ob­vi­ous need for a re­boot. Be­fore up­grad­ing its firmware the speed be­tween the base and satel­lite hov­ered around the 1Gbps (1,000Mbps) mark. There­after, it has shown a con­stant 780Mbps, which is more than enough for me.

But it didn’t per­form so well link­ing the satel­lite and Wi-fi de­vices. Car­ry­ing out broad­band tests found speeds rang­ing from zero to 8Mbps down­load and 5Mbps up­load. It seems that to get whole-house cov­er­age one would need to buy ad­di­tional satel­lite units at about £130 a pop.

Brian Low­ing, Coly­ton

The con­nec­tion speed to the base unit is so good that I’m con­sid­er­ing buy­ing another satel­lite to place in the lounge

I could even watch a Youtube video in my garage, where pre­vi­ously I had no sig­nal

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