Linksys' Wi-Fi Range Extender Streams Audio

Wi-Fi dead spots can be a problem, especially if you have a sizeable home. To get wireless Internet connectivity to a bedroom at the opposite end from where your Wi-Fi router is set up very well might require a range extender—Linksys’ N600 PRO, for instance.

The N600 PRO plugs into a wall outlet and networks with your existing router to extend its range. It provides Dual-band (2.4 and 5 GHz) operation and has Crossband tech, a feature that simultaneously taps both bands to maximize data throughput for applications such as streaming high-def video.

But the key thing that grabbed my attention when I checked out the N600 PRO at CES was its minijack analog stereo output—something I haven’t seen on a [non-Apple brand] Wi-Fi range extender before. With this feature, you can connect the N600 PRO to an audio system or pair of powered speakers and use it as an AirPlay or Google Play receiver for streaming music directly from your smartphone.

The N600 PRO costs $80 and is available now.