Review: The Amped Wireless REA20 High Power Wi-Fi Range Extender
“I’ve got Wi-Fi, and my whole neighborhood knows it!”
My current human containment box which I have so affectionately deemed a home doesn’t have Wi-Fi range issues. The couple hundred square feet in which I dwell can be easily covered with any basic router that Radioshack might have sitting in the back, next to A-track and flip phones.
You might be wondering, “Adam, so why did you want to review a range extender? Is it due to insecurities of your internet connection not reaching your bedroom 10 feet away?” I would first politely ask you to shove it, and secondly, my father has a huge house. One legitimate issue (for him at least) is that he isn’t able to Skype with relatives while sitting in the backyard, sipping espresso manufactured from his overpriced robotic barista.
After sending him this image in response to repeated interrogation of solution products, I came across the Amped Wireless REA20 Dual Band Wi-Fi Extender. I’ve been using Amped Wireless products for years, and the UA2000 Dual Band USB Adapter has been a trusted partner in crime up until my neighbors invited a network analyst over for Christmas dinner. As for my father’s plight, a Dual Band solution would be ideal, and the REA20 fit perfectly.
One thing you’ll notice about all Amped Wireless devices is how much they love showing off every feature of their products. Don’t get me wrong, I see this as smart, strategic advertising. When you’re buying a product such as a range extender, you want to know exactly what range, channels, and speeds you will get from the device. Amped has give you every little bit of information necessary on the product box itself, which tickles my fancy in many ways.
Although the unboxing was quite vapid, I was pleased to find everything necessary provided front and center, in a very secure egg-shell container. A clear plastic strip covered the face of the REA20, while the charger was contained in it’s separate enclosure.
Documentation and instructions were more than adequate for anyone from beginner to experienced engineer we also have some additional documentation and an installation video. This isn’t really needed as the physical documentation is excellent. The setup guide is well written and guides you through the entire process seamlessly.
- WPS switch
- Reset Button
- USB storage port, allowing you to share files with everyone on the network
- Wired Network ports
- Power adapter port
It features just what you would expect from a Wi-Fi extender.
Performance and Utility
The REA20 features:
- 10 high powered amplifiers. 2 for the 2.4GHz, 4 for the 5.0GHz, and 4 low noise amplifiers. This lets the device boost a weak signal tremendously.
- The unit features simultaneous 300Mbps wireless N, and 867Mbps wireless AC broadcasting.
- Output power of up to 700mW. This is more than 10 times powerful than traditional wireless networking products.
- 5dBi antennas.
- 802.11ac technology, allowing for up to 867Mbps on Wi-Fi.
The RE20 will allow for range of about 56 feet in every direction, which amounts to the claimed 10,000sqft. While this would be enough for most homes and smaller businesses, you won’t be seeing one of these used in a large apartment building. I also found that walls will of course reduce the distance even further.
Amped Wirelees has always had great software to go along with their products and the REA20 is no exception. Simply entering setup.ampedwireless.com into your browser while the device is connected to bring up the interface, as well as the input 192.168.1.240. Chrome handled it flawlessly, while Firefox did have issues on some devices.
While the RE20 won’t be your solution for a large, busy office It provides the idea solution to anyone needing a powerful boost to their home’s network capabilities. The device will grant coverage in dead spots such as bathrooms, so uploading your Flappy Bird score will be easier than ever. At the price tag of $200, it definitely isn’t the cheapest solution, but gets the job done flawlessly. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy Netflix outside, on the toilet, or in bed, this is a great buy even for those who aren’t the most skilled with electronics. Just don’t put a password, for me.