We’ve reviewed a few Amped Wireless home networking devices already, and we’ve generally been impressed by their offerings. Our Amped Wireless High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender review takes a look at a Wi-Fi range extender with MU-MIMO support which plugs into any available power outlet in your house.
The Amped Wireless High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender has the following features and specifications:
- Up to 12,000 sq ft of coverage
- MU-MIMO (multi-user multiple-input multiple-output) support
- High power dual core processor
- BoostBand™ technology
- Guest networks and user access
- Wi-Fi coverage control
- AirPlay, AirPrint, and home sharing
- Wireless Standard: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
- Frequency Band: 2.4GHz & 5GHz Simultaneous
- Wireless Speed: 2.4GHz: 800Mbps (Rx), 800Mbps (Tx); 5GHz: 1733Mbps (Rx), 1733Mbps (Tx)
- Amplifiers: 4 x 2.4GHz Internal Amplifiers, 4 x 5GHz Internal Amplifiers, 8 x Internal Low Noise Amplifiers
- Wireless Security: WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA Mixed, WPS
- Wireless Access Scheduling: Specific day and time
- Wireless Coverage Control: 15% – 100% Output Power (Adjustable individually for 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks)
- Antennas: 2 x Detachable High Gain Dual Band Antenna, 2 x Internal High Gain Dual Band Antenna
- Port: 1 x RJ-45 Gigabit Port
- Power Rating: 100-120Vac 60Hz
- Mounting: Plug-in
- Warranty: 1 Year
- Setup Requirements: Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n or ac 2.4GHz or 5GHz Network; Computer, tablet or smartphone with a web browser
What’s in the box
- 1x High Power AC2600 Plug-In Wi-Fi Range Extender with MU-MIMO
- 2x Detachable High Gain Dual Band Antennas
- 1x Setup Guide
The Amped Wireless High Power AC2600 Plug-In Wi-Fi Range Extender is rectangular in shape and about 5″ wide by 4″ high and just over 1 1/2″ deep. The front is pretty non-descript with a row of ventilation holes near the top and the Amped Wireless logo near the bottom. There is nothing on either side, and the top houses the two antenna connectors, the WPS connection button, and the link and signal indicator lights. The wireless signal indicator light will only display once you’ve connected the range extender to your home wireless network.
The bottom is where you’ll find the RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port and reset button. Both the top and bottom of the range extender also have extra ventilation slots. Finally, the back of the range extender houses the outlet plugs, as well as the MAC address, WPS pin, and login settings for the extender.
Ease of Use
Setup is pretty simple. Attach the two high gain dual band antenna by screwing them onto the High Power AC2600 Plug-In Wi-Fi Range Extender and plug it into an available outlet. Amped Wireless suggests plugging it in about half-way between your Wi-Fi router and your wireless dead or weak zone. My wireless router is located on the second floor of my house, so I plugged the range extender into a power outlet on my main floor to boost the signal to my basement.
The next step is to connect to the range extender with your PC, smartphone, or tablet. Connect to the default 2.4GHz or 5GHz range extender network as indicated in the setup guide and then visit the provided URL or IP address in your web browser on your connected device.
Once the web page loads, click Scan to find and connect to your home network. A list of available networks will be shown and the signal strength for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks (if available) will be indicated. Interestingly enough, my 2.4GHz network was at 91% signal strength and the 5GHz network was at 34% which is well below the recommended 70% strength. I proceeded with the setup and after everything was configured I was unable to find a spot that bumped it much more than that.
Select your home network(s) and enter the security key on the next page. Next you’ll be prompted to name the networks on the range extender and set up security keys for them as well. You can easily clone your home network settings which will copy the SSID (wireless network name) and add _RE to the end, as well as copy the security key over. Once you’ve done this, selecting next will apply the settings to the range extender by restarting the range extender. Once the settings have been applied, you’ll be prompted to connect to the new wireless network after which you’ll be good to go.
Once setup you’ll want to try different outlets to find the best spot between your router and your dead or weak spots. The signal indicator will be green for an excellent signal (70-100%), yellow for a moderate signal (60-69%), or red for a poor signal (59% or below). Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the signal indicator to go green or yellow, as it’s based on the lowest signal which in my case was the 5GHz network. Interestingly enough, my Amped Wireless AC1900 Range Extender which was plugged in beside this one was showing a green signal strength.
After you’ve setup the High Power AC2600 Plug-In Wi-Fi Range Extender, you can access the settings through the same web interface that you used to setup the range extender. Like most routers or extenders, there are plenty of options here to play with and customize.
Selecting the More Settings tab on the menu allows you to further configure 5GHz and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi settings including changing the password, enabling/disabling WPS, enabling MAC filtering, setup up to four guest networks for each network, adjusting the wireless output power to tweak coverage range, set up an access schedule, and advanced settings for advanced use.
Through the web interface you can also enable BoostBand Technology which increases the overall speed and performance of the range extender by streamlining dual band network traffic through a single Wi-Fi frequency band between the router and the range extender, change IP settings, and check device settings including device status, network statistics, set the time on the extender, check system logs, upgrade the firmware, save or reload settings to a file, and change your range extender access password. Each network can be customized with unique passwords and bandwidth restrictions for those connected to it.
When connected to the High Power AC2600 Plug-In Wi-Fi Range Extender on the 2.4GHz network, speeds were as expected (around 28Mbps down and 4Mbps up) and there were no dropped connections. Range was great as well and I could walk outside and a couple houses down and still get a signal. You’ll definitely want to use the Wi-Fi coverage control to fine tune the range from the extender if you want to keep it more local to your house without blanketing and tempting the neighbours.
While the 5GHz signal strength was pretty low according to the range extender, I found that the speeds on my main floor while connected to the range extender still maxed out my cable connection at 58Mbps down and 5.46Mbps up. I headed to the basement, not expecting to get quite as good speeds due to the 31% strength the range extender was indicating for the 5GHz wireless network from the router but I still saw the same speeds. So even though the signal strength is being reported as bad for the 5GHz network, the speeds were still there.
There was no noticeable slowdown at all when multiple devices were connected to the range extender. I was able to stream music to one device, watch Netflix on another, download large files to my laptop, and play an online game on the Xbox One with no issues when connected to the extender.
The Amped Wireless High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender is priced at $169.99USD. That’s not a bad price for an AC2600 range extender, and it’s definitely easy to install, and performs well — not to mention you plug it directly into the wall for a low-key installation. Considering the company’s TITAN-EX AC1900 Wi-Fi extender is priced at $20 more, you’re definitely getting good value for this one with the AC2600 speeds and compact size.
If you’re in need of a Wi-Fi range extender for your device heavy household and are looking for something that’s non-descript, easy to set up, and that you plug directly into the wall, you’ll want to check out the Amped Wireless High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender.
*We were sent a review sample of the Amped Wireless High Power AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender for the purposes of this review.
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