Amped Wireless REA20 Review

A Review On: Amped Wireless High Power 700mW Dual Band AC Wi-Fi Range Extender (REA20)

Amped Wireless High Power 700mW Dual Band AC Wi-Fi Range Extender (REA20)

Rated # 32 in Wireless Networking
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Pros: Very Powerful, Dual Band, Very customizable, Wireless AC, Easy to setup

Cons: Does not quite live up to range expectations, Price

If you live in a house like mine, you will know that there are always wifi dead spots. The Amped Wireless REA20 virtually eliminates all of them. The device simply boosts your existing signal by picking it up, amplifying it, and sending out a new signal.

Here we see the box. Amped Wireless has put a ton of info on the boxes, which I like.

The side of the box includes a list of features including dual band AC and N, access control, USB storage, and more.

The reverse side includes a comparison of other Amped Wireless products.

The back of the box includes the connection diagram, internal component overview, performance comparisons, and a typical example setup.

Finally the box includes the basic system requirements, contents, and technical specs. The router features 3 detachable high gain antennas and 10 amplifiers to deliver an extremely powerful signal.

Included in the box we see the unit itself, a stand, power adapter, documentation, and the three antennas

Taking a closer look at the unit itself we see (from left to right) the 5.0GHz antenna port, the WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) button, the reset button, the USB port for network storage, a gigabit wired port, the 2.4/5.0GHz combo antenna, 4 more gigabit wired ports, the power jack, and finally the 2.4GHz antenna port. It should be noted that port 5 is the same as 1-4. This device will not accept a WAN input. The 2.4GHz will give you good range, and the 5.0GHz will give you good performance.

Here we see the three antennas attached to the unit. It can either be mounted vertically as shown or flat with the antennas pointing up.

The documentation included is excellent; starting at the top left we have warranty and default connection info, then an advertisement for Amped Wireless's Wi-Fi Analytics Tool. This app will allow you to monitor Wi-Fi connections, channel numbers, interference, and much more. I currently have it installed on my phone and it is very useful. Next we have some additional documentation and an installation video. This isn't really needed as the physical documentation is excellent. Finally there is the setup guide. This includes everything you need to setup the device. It is probably the best instruction manual I have seen.

Now for the actual review.

Performance 4/5
The REA20 features 10 high powered amplifiers. 2 for the 2.4GHz, 4 for the 5.0GHz, and 4 low noise amplifiers. This allows the unit to piggy back onto relatively weak Wi-Fi signals and boost them back up to acceptable levels. The unit features simultaneous 300Mbps wireless N, and 867Mbps wireless AC broadcasting. These numbers were pretty accurate closer to the unit. As I reached the max range I lost about 10-15% of the speed. The unit features an output power of up to 700mW. This is more than 10 times powerful than traditional wireless networking products. The antennas feature a power of 5dBi, which is around 5 times greater than standard devices. These combine to give the unit great range. The unit features wireless 802.11ac technology which, in this unit, allows for up to 867Mbps on Wi-Fi. This will only be achievable if the receiving unit is compatible.

Amped Wireless has employed some tricky math in their advertising claims. They state that the product will offer 10,000 square feet of extended wireless/wired coverage. This is generally true, but doing some simple math we find that this only accounts to about 56 feet in any direction, less if there are walls. This is still a great extension, but it makes the 10,000sq ft seem a bit inflated. This unit would be great for a home or small business, but not much more by itself.

Usability 4/5
This unit was extremely easy to setup. Simply connect to it, go to the website, and follow the prompts. The unit will connect to your existing 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz signals, amplify them, and re transmit the amplified signal. The only major flaw with this I see is that it will create a new SSID for the amplified signal. This can be very annoying to switch back and forth when walking to different parts of your network. For my setup, I have an Amped Wireless RTA15 at one end of my house, and I have the REA20 at the other end. With this combination, I get 5 bars nearly everywhere in my house. I was even able to connect down the block from my house, but actual browsing was not possible.

Customization 5/5
The REA20 is very customizable. The online interface is designed very well. Simply enter whiles connected to the device, to connect to the interface. Alternatively entering should bring you to the same page. The setup guide recommends not using Firefox.

The home dashboard gives a basic overview of the home network details, and the extended network details. My signal strength is a little bit low, but I typically use the 2.4GHz instead of the 5.0GHz.

Next you can see the individual network settings for the home network. This is the same for 2.4 and 5.0GHz

Next comes the extended network settings, also the same for 5.0GHz

Next comes the wireless coverage controls. The router broadcasts so far, that you may have unwanted people trying to access your network. This gives you the option of lowering the output power to only broadcast for your location.

Here we see advanced settings. These typically should not be changed unless there is a specific reason.

Finally we see a broad overview of the settings for the extender. This would be handy to have lying around in case an SSID or setting is forgotten.

In conclusion, the Amped Wireless REA20 is an excellent device, but I am not so sure if it is worth the price. It is hard to justify a $200 price tag. That being said, I still recommend this product. It will extend your wireless network about 56 feet in each direction from the unit. It is extremely easy to setup, and almost every aspect can be tweaked. I would recommend this device to someone with a large home or a wall layout that has gives many dead spots. If placed in range, this device should give you excellent signal throughout your entire house.

1 Comment:

Well done review. Nice to see peoples taking the time to add their own photos also. Real person review with real person photos for all us everyday Joes'