Pros: EXTREME Range, 802.11ac, Dual band, Guest Networks, USB connected storage,
Cons: Only AC1200, Price
The box for router explains many features and gives a sample setup.
The back of the box shows a lot of important info on the speed, power, and ranges of the device. Some important info noted is that 2.4GHz will give the best range, but 5GHz will give the fastest speeds.
The final side of the box lists key features. The major ones include extreme range, Wireless AC Technology, Guest Networks, and coverage control.
The box is full of information, and the bottom side is no exception. Listed is the basic system requirements, package contents, and tech specs.
Here are all of the components included in the box. There is the router itself with power supply, the three high gain 5dBi antennas, a base stand, two RJ-45 ethernet cables, and setup documentation.
The documentation includes a colorful quick setup guide. It is very easy to read and each step is explained in detail. You will receive a CD with documentation as well as an installation video. The next piece of paper is an advertisement for their Wifi Analytics Tool which will analyze signal strength, radio channels, possible interference, and much more. It is available as a free download from the Android Marketplace or for the pC. The final piece of paper included is card with basic settings and default SSIDs and keys. Use this when first logging into the router.
Finally we get to the router. It measures 9" by 6" (13" with antennas fully extended) and is just over 1" thick. On the base of the router, from left to right, we have the 5.0GHz antenna port, a WPS connection button, the reset button, a USB port for NAS an ethernet port for connecting to your modem and WAN, the 2.4/5.0GHz combo antenna port, 4 Gigabit ethernet ports, power in, and finally the 2.4GHz antenna port.
Now for the review.
New Technology Overview 5/5
Amped Wireless is a newcomer to the wireless networking market, but they have found their niche. That is in high powered, long range networking. The RTA15 uses three external antennas to deliver up to 700mW of power. Most traditional routers have internal antennas. Just thinking about the size difference shows how much more powerful the RTA15 is compared to the competition. The built in antennas in other routers are tiny and in this case, size matters. The included antennas are more than 5x more powerful that standard devices. Since the router is so powerful, you might not want to broadcast your wifi down the block for all your neighbors to see (yes it does that). Amped Wireless has added the ability to scale back the power to cover just the area you want. I like this as I would like to be the only one using my wifi. This most likely won't be a problem as the RTA15 comes with the latest security features.
The router comes with 10 amplifiers. 2 for the 2.4Ghz, 4 for the 5.0GHz, and 4 Low Noise amplifiers. This will boost the power, and then boost it again giving it an output power of 140x that of standard devices.
I like what Amped Wireless is doing with the RTA15. They are definitely making a big splash in the market with this new router.
The performance, as expected, is phenomenal. I was able to cover my whole house with this single router. The router will go through many walls thanks to its 29dBm of power. I did however notice speeds seemed to decrease at the far edges of the range, but that is to be expected. These ranges are much farther that competitor's models. My results were good, but didn't seem to live up to everything Amped Wireless says. Like I mentioned before the router simultaneously broadcasts 2.4 at 300 Mbps and 5.0GHz at 867Mbps for a total of 1200Mbps. This is not groundbreaking as many new routers transfer at speeds approaching 1900Mbps. I don't believe this will make too much of a difference in day to day use though. Amped Wireless was going for a powerful router, and still gave it enough speed. I can't think of a situation where you would need more than 1200 Mbps of wireless speed. If you do, get a wired network.
I noticed that the signal was a bit flaky at times. Signal stability is definitely something that can be fixed in a firmware upgrade. The router comes with a USB port for network attached storage. I was able to get around 4.5 MBps (36 Mbps) which is better than some routers, but still lackluster. I believe this is another place where Amped Wireless, and many other networking companies can improve.
The RTA15 has immense opportunity for customization. Simply enter 192.168.3.1 into the URL bar of a connected computer, and you will be taken to the management area.
Here you can see just the basic settings for the 5GHz band (same for 2.4GHz)
The advanced settings generally don't need to be touched, but are there if need be.
Here you can see the coverage control option I mentioned earlier
Here are options for internal LAN settings. You can set a static IP and edit DHCP settings
Finally available is a system status overview with IPs, MAC addresses, and SSIDs for each network. This is very helpful if you just want a simple view of what is going on with the router.
In conclusion, the Amped Wireless RTA15 Wireless AC router does exactly what they say. It is an extreme range 802.11ac router. It delivers tremendous range at acceptable speeds. The advertising tends to overstate the range a bit, but it is still great. The only downside is the price. You will pay for all the extra power. I do however recommend this router very highly to anyone who needs to upgrade to next generation speeds or anyone who needs more range out of their existing networking setup