If you’re looking for an effective wireless repeater at a reasonable price, the Netgear EAX12 Wi-Fi Range Extender is a great choice. There are faster extenders out there, but this one has all the performance and range you need to be productive and stay entertained around your home – so what more do you need?
- Improves Wi-Fi speeds over a wide area
- Good range of software features
- Awkward physical design
- Operating modesRepeater, access point
- Wi-Fi versionWi-Fi 6 (2×2 2.4GHz 400Mbps, 2×2 5GHz1200Mbps)
- Ethernet portsOne Gigabit Ethernet.
The Netgear EAX12 has one job, and that’s to extend your home Wi-Fi coverage. Simply put, it beams out a strong wireless signal that connects back to your router, helping devices all through your home to get a good connection.
This generally means higher speeds, although the EAX12 isn’t particularly fast by Wi-Fi standards: high-end routers and extenders support connection speeds of up to 4,800Mbits/sec on the 5GHz radio band, while this one tops out at 1,200Mbits/sec. Even so, it’s perfectly sufficient for most home networks – and you won’t get anything faster for the price.
Netgear EAX12 Design and features
- Might block adjacent sockets
- Side-facing network WPS button and network socket
Like most extenders, the EAX12 is basically a white box that you plug into the wall. While some designs incorporate a bit of visual flair, the EAX12 is quite bland, looking more like a central-heating control than a piece of network infrastructure.
It’s fairly sizeable too. Its 68mm width means it’s touch and go whether you’ll be able to install anything into an adjacent socket. And in all cases you’ll probably want to keep the left side accessible, as that’s where Netgear has put the Gigabit Ethernet socket and WPS button – not a very convenient arrangement.
The software side of things is smarter. A slick web interface lets you browse connected devices, set up access controls and tweak advanced wireless settings.
Unusually, you can also tell the EAX12 to broadcast a separate guest network, and enable Netgear’s FastLane system that limits connections to either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz networks to gain a performance boost.
Netgear EAX12 Performance
- A big performance boost for devices near the extender
- Gains in other locations were less impressive, but still solid
Before installing the EAX12, I took a laptop around my home and measured download speeds over Wi-Fi 6 from a D-Link R15 Eagle Pro AI router. I got good results close to the router, but performance rapidly dropped off as I moved into other rooms
Installing the EAX12 made a big difference: in the bedroom download speeds more than quadrupled, from 41Mbits/sec to 186Mbits/sec. The bathroom also saw a big improvement, from 28Mbits/sec to 98Mbits/sec.
Further away from the extender, the benefits weren’t quite so striking, but the EAX12 still made a definite impact. In the kitchen I saw download speeds lifted from 44Mbits/sec to 112Mbits/sec, and out in the utility room at the rear of the house my connection went from 12Mbits/sec to 49Mbits/sec.
To put all this into context, Disney+ reckons that 25Mbits/sec is enough for 4K HDR video streaming – so we’ve no complaints about the EAX12’s performance.
Should you buy it?
If you need wide-reaching Wi-Fi with plenty of bandwidth, but don’t want to pay for the very highest speeds, this extender is for you.
This system isn’t slow by any means, but there are several alternatives that can deliver much faster downloads
Heavy network users might prefer to pay £30 more for the faster TP-Link RE700X, but the average household won’t notice the difference. If you’re looking to soup up your Wi-Fi on a moderate budget, the Netgear EAX12 is a smart choice.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every wireless router we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main wireless router for the review period
We throughput test all wireless devices using the same equipment in the same locations so that we have accurate comparisons
You might like…
It can act as an extender or an access point.
Unusually among network extenders, it does.
Trusted Reviews test data
TrustedReviews’ holds the fact that global warming is not a myth as a core value and will continuously endeavor to help protect our planet from harm in its business practices.
As part of this mission, whenever we review a product we send the company a series of questions to help us gauge and make transparent the impact the device has on the environment.
We currently haven’t received answers to the questions on this product, but will update this page the moment we do. You can see a detailed breakdown of the questions we ask and why in our sustainability info page.