Macworld 2014: BearExtender Shows Off iOS Compatible Edge Wi-Fi Extender [Updated]

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    BearExtender, known for its Wi-Fi enhancing products like the BearExtender Turbo, is demonstrating its new no-frills Edge Wi-Fi extender for iOS devices, Macs, and other electronic devices at Macworld.

    Compatible with 802.11n networks, the easy-to-use Edge is a long range Wi-Fi boosting device that is able to plug into an outlet in any room where existing Wi-Fi signal is weak. Unlike its previous boosting products that were limited to Macs, the Edge is BearExtender's first product that is compatible with iOS devices like the iPad and the iPhone.

    Both Macs, PCs, and iOS devices can connect to the BearExtender Edge through a simple setup screen with no software to install. Edge will ship in the summer of 2014, and interested customers can visit the BearExtender website to sign up for a notification when it is available.

    Though pricing has yet to be announced, BearExtender says the Edge's price will be in line with its BearExtender Turbo device, at approximately $70, which is a bit cheaper than Apple's Airport Express.

    Update 2:36 PM PT: This article has been updated to clarify that the Edge is not 802.11ac compatible as originally stated.

    Article Link: Macworld 2014: BearExtender Shows Off iOS Compatible Edge Wi-Fi Extender [Updated]
  2. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    What makes this "iOS compatible?" WiFi is just WiFI... Are they really just saying that now they have an iOS app for configuration?
  3. Corrode macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2008
    Calgary, AB
    Is there anything different between this and an Airport Express in bridge mode? Seems limited in it's functionality if it only supports Apple devices.
  4. arkmannj macrumors 65832


    Oct 1, 2003
    What would be the benefit over an airport express? What am I missing?
  5. sentiblue macrumors regular

    Aug 2, 2012
    Silicon Valley
    Reinventing the wheel...

    Apple Airport Express is already doing exactly this...

    I don't see a point for the company to create a "$20 less" device which undoubtedly will be far less advanced and efficient.
  6. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    AirPort Express doesn't (yet) support 802.11ac, and this one has very simple setup, which is undoubtedly appealing to some people.

    There are few other 802.11ac Wi-Fi extenders out there (not many), but they're a bit more complicated.
  7. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    couldnt agree more. Targeted towards oblivious people...

    Apple Express/Extreme's work with virtually any wi-fi device, PC's AND Macs.

    Netgear/ASUS/LinkSys/Belkin/ETC work with virtually any wi-fi device, PC's AND Macs.

    Are they just adding the word(s) "iOS devices now compatible" to appeal to some ignorant people? So confused.
  8. mrgraff macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2010
    That's probably exactly what they're doing. Despite being completely obvious, some people need to see their device type listed or they won't be certain that it's compatible.
  9. GeekLawyer macrumors 68020


    Jun 2, 2007
    The post is coming from inside the house!
    I use an older BearExtender product to get my internet signal from my home to a workshop that's across my property. It does more than just improve wifi range in a home or office. It has a long-range antenna that allows me to get a strong signal very far from my router.

    Previously, it needed to be connected to a Mac to accomplish this. By that I mean you connect the Mac to the BearExtender by USB and then use the Mac to share the internet connection. It looks like this new device cuts out the need to run the software on a Mac, and allows for long-range wifi reception without an intermediary device.

    So, because the old BearExternders connected via USB, iOS devices couldn't connect to them. That's why this new-fangled model holds itself out as being compatible with iOS.

    At least that's my understanding of it. If so, excellent. No need to keep an old Mac Mini in my workshop to act as a glorified router. (The reason I did this to start with was to avoid running conduit and ethernet over 500 feet... since the effective distance for ethernet is what? 300 feet without some kind of amplifier?)
  10. TomUT, Mar 27, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014

    TomUT macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2014
    I am totally speculating. I was just on their web page trying to find some answers to those questions, because I immediately had them too.

    Here is what I can gather, with no indication (that I can find) of the real answers to my questions, but here it goes...

    Question 1) What makes this compatible with IOS devices vs their other products?

    Speculated Answer 1) Their other products use a USB port to connect. Their other products replace the built-in wifi radios. One of their existing products amplifies incoming and outgoing signal and the other one is built for speed. But both are USB devices. The Edge is not. It's a standalone device. Additionally, I am guessing they are going to release software to manage it via an IOS device, as well as for the Mac.

    Edit: I'm not sure about the management software. The article says it can be managed without installing software. So maybe it's a web page or something when you connect to it.

    Question 2) Why Macs and IOS devices? Why not PC compatible as well?

    Speculated Answer 2) I'm guessing it will be compatible with PC devices as well, but the management, at least initially, will probably be for the Mac and IOS devices.

    Edit: Good question. I would think it should work with a PC if there's nothing special about software. Hopefully it does.

    Question 3) Why is this device so special? What does it do that an Airport Express doesn't do already?

    Speculated Answer 3) Again, I'm guessing that this will function like two Airport Expresses connected together via a cable, with one acting as a wireless client, and the other as an access point, re-broadcasting the connection to local wireless clients. You can set up one of their existing products like this, but it requires the local radio in a computer to rebroadcast the network for local wireless devices.

    I have personally set up two airport expresses like this. If I could get it in one device and managed easily, that would awesome.

    I just want to re-iterate... my answers are TOTAL SPECULATION with no facts to back them up. It would be cool to get confirmation but the info available is pretty limited.

    Hopefully that helps.


    Edit: It looks like GeekLawyer backed up one of my guesses. Sorry GeekLawyer. I was typing my message so I didn't see yours until after I posted it.
  11. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    So lame!

    I was once at BestBuy and this lady walked up to a BestBuy employee and said; "I need a new wireless router, which do you recommend?"

    The BB employee said "oh this one here is good!" (Some Netgear one).

    Customer replied; "Oh I have a Mac though will it work?"

    BB employee replied; "OH you need an Airport Extreme then.".

    I was like UH NO YOU DONT... Buy what you can afford, they all work.. RU-TARD... unless you're an Apple snob that needs wireless TM (which most newer AC Netgear/Asus/Linksys" are capable of doing.


    Make sense... if you don't think about it. lol. Not so confused now, thanks.
  12. 13astion macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2010
    Did you actually go to the company's website?

    There was a more lengthy reply to this, but let me summarize:

    Their previous products were USB-based, and functioned by extending the signal range of the DEVICE, not the strength and coverage of the NETWORK.

    Because their previous products were USB-based, they could not work with an iOS device. I.e. they were NOT compatible.

    Please, next time, actually READ something about the products before passing judgement on them and the company that makes them....
  13. unplugme71 macrumors 68030

    May 20, 2011
    Airport Express does not support 802.11ac
  14. jmh600cbr macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2012
    for an extra 30 you can get the airport express, a product i trust. :apple:
  15. darkslide29 macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2011
    San Francisco, California
    Will this new bear extender be compatible with any wifi router?

    Looking for solutions for my parents house with two floors. The wifi signal is very weak in the kitchen and in one bedroom. They currently just have some d-link router downstairs.
    I wouldn't mind buying them a new router and 1 or 2 "extenders". This extender will need to be wireless, I can't convince them to run wire through the house. This bear extender seems most logical just because it looks easy, but I have to admit I'm not very router savvy. Ideally I wouldn't have to deal with any router firmware flashing or any of that stuff I read about.

    Only macbook airs and iPads in their home.

    My own solution at home is an airport extreme with an ethernet-connected airport express at the other side of my apt. Works great for me, but I am hoping to get a cheaper solution for my parents.

    By the way, if I don't get any non-apple, cheaper alternatives..
    if I did ebay them an older non-ac airport extreme, and got them a couple of airport express (maybe even the older gen that connected straight into the wall), does the express extend wifi signal pretty well? Can I expect at least somewhat of a signal improvement where signal is weak? I've never tried to extend it wirelessly.
  16. arkmannj macrumors 65832


    Oct 1, 2003
    I did miss that. thanks.
  17. hummus macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2012
    Unless I'm missing something that lengthy reply seems to suggest that you need an ethernet cable to extend a network with an Airport express, which is not true. I have two Airport expresses extending my network wirelessly in my house.

    Also, how can this possibly extend the range of a device when it is fixed to the wall and doesn't move with the device? It seems to me it wirelessly extends the range of the network just like the Airport Expresses do in my house.
  18. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    BearExtender has clarified that its upcoming Edge product does not support 802.11ac and is limited to 802.11n.
  19. chainprayer macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    This will go well with my iOS compatible headphones
  20. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    am i the only one who has no idea what those wifi standards even mean? i am using the router that came with my plan. works good enough for me
  21. RMo macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    From the looks of things, I'd say not even that--it appears to now offer a Web page for configuration, sort of like most (non-Apple) routers do.

    So, yes, it's now "iOS compatible" ... in the sense that it is also Android compatible, Kindle compatible, and pretty much anything-with-a-web-browser compatible, and by "compatible," I assume they mean "for setting up," since as you note, "working with" was never an issue.
  22. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    What is your main router? Can you use an Airport Express to extend your network if you are using an Asus/Netgear/Whatever non-Ape router?


    People want to rag on this company for stating it's "iOS compatible", but this is no worse than Apple's own MFi program. It's still all marketing nonsense.
  23. Pat too macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Different usage from an Airport Express I think.
    The existing usb adaptors that BearExtender sell are designed for pulling in long range Wifi signals - think wardriving. The antenna is replaceable so you attach a huge high gain one and pull in signals from 'a hundred metres' or more in ideal conditions. (Although they also make PC compatible models, people using Windows tend to choose other brands like Alfa). Since this new model is mains-powered then I assume it more for borrowing/stealing wifi from neighbours across the street or boosting the signal from a nearby public hotspot.
  24. Parasprite macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
    They've tested it and can confirm it readily (or like enough readily) works with iOS.

    Also, according to the article the previous version only supported Macs. So they are probably happy as a company to not have to deal with that limitation (as far as customer support goes).
  25. big_malk macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2005
    The socket looks a little stressed holding that extender... :eek:

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