D-Link DCS-2630L Full HD 180-Degree Wi-Fi Camera Review

Introduction


Home security is an ever growing trend as technology gets smaller and better, and at the same time, it has also become a lot for affordable for the everyman. Today I’m taking a look at one of the best options in this category as I’m having D-Link’s DCS-2630L Full HD 180-Degree Wi-Fi camera in my testing area.

Where most home surveillance cams still come with a 720p resolution, the D-Link DCS-2630L adds on top of that and goes for the full 1080p HD experience. While 720p already was a great step up from the old 480p CCTV resolution, it just doesn’t beat the full 1080p experience. The Wi-Fi camera doesn’t just feature a higher than usual resolution, it also has a wider field of view, allowing you to monitor an up to 180-degree wide area. Basic cameras only feature 90 or 120-degree view, which allows the DCS-2630L to monitor a lot more real estate that might prevent you from having to set up multiple cameras. The wide-view feature is also a lot better to look at than a traditional wide view fisheye view that distorts things.

Recording video during daylight is an easy thing, but you’ll also want to monitor what is going on when it is dark. After all, that is the time of day we usually associate with the need for protection. D-Link added night vision capabilities to the DCS-2630L with the help of infrared LEDs. The camera is able to see in the dark at a distance of up to 5 meters (16 ft) with as little as 0 Lux light. The IR LEDs can be turned on manually, but the camera also features a light sensor that determines when the LEDs are needed.

Next to the six infrared LEDs it also features two PIR sensors that detect infrared radiation when a person or animal passes for an enhanced motion detection. And that is another one of this cameras features next to just being able to show and record what is going on. With motion and sound detection, the camera is able to start recording automatically and also push notifications to your Windows, Android, and iOS device to let you know that something is going on.

D-Link didn’t just built-in a high-quality microphone to picks up on loud noises like the breaking of glass and the ability to send notification alerts about this to you, it also features 2-way audio that lets you send audio back. A high-quality speaker lets you respond to what you see using your mobile device.

The Full HD sensor features a 1/3-inch 3-megapixel sensor to deliver images in sharp and rich detail while the camera lens is made of glass for the best possible results. All this coupled with the de-warping technology provides you with a clear and ultra-wide 180º field of view surveillance. The camera comes on a wall mountable metal stand with flexible tilt for the perfect angle. It also allows for 360-degree camera rotation to ensure that your video is perfectly level no matter where you mount it.

It isn’t just an ordinary camera on the Wi-Fi field either and it sports a proper IEEE 802.11ac dual-band connection for reliable connection and streaming. It also features a convenient WPS button for quick and simple connection with the rest of your network infrastructure. Everyone can press a button. Besides the wireless connection, the DCS-2630L also features a micro SD/SDXC card slot with support for up to 128GB memory cards. This is enough for up to a week of continuous clip recordings in 1080p.

A status LED lets you know what your camera’s doing, which is a simple but very useful thing. The whole camera in itself is very power effective and only requires a USB connection, portable battery, or power adapter to run. That also allows for a very flexible placement.

Feature Highlights

  • 180-degree Ultra-Wide-View
  • Full HD 1080p video
  • Night vision up to 16-feet
  • Sound & motion detection triggers e-mail / push alert notifications
  • 2 PIR Sensors – Enhanced motion detection senses when a person or animal passes for accurate
  • notifications
  • microSDXC card slot – Record continuous, scheduled, or detection triggered video clips directly to a
  • microSDCX card up to 128 GB
  • Unique De-warping technology maximizes the video quality with less distortion to eliminate a fish-eye view
  • Built-in two-way audio
  • mydlink app support for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows phone

Specifications

Packaging and Content

The D-Link DCS-2630L is a consumer camera and the package is made to be as eye-capturing as the camera catches images. The front displays the camera and usage scenario as well as the product highlights such as 1080p and wide eye lens.

On the rear, you will find more detailed information about the functions and features, all in full colour.

Each of the two sides is full of information too. On one side you find the features listed above the minimum requirements for usage.

On the other side, you’ll find a simple representation of the camera’s easy setup and usage as well as what’s inside the box.

Besides the Wi-Fi camera itself, you also find the Quick Install Card with default information and QR-code for easy setup as well as the quick install guide, a GPL code statement, and an assistance card if you should have trouble.

There’s also an AC/DC adapter included with a plug fitting the region where you bought it. Due to the clever usage of micro-USB, the camera is also easily powered otherwise.

Tenda AC15 Dual-Band AC1900 Gigabit WiFi Router Review

Introduction


Tenda might be a company that is mostly known for the entry-level products at lower speeds, but they also got some top of the line devices that easily can compete with anything else on the market. Today I’m taking a look at the new Tenda AC15 which is an AC1900 Smart Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi router.

Tenda designed the AC15 with the smart home in mind and as such the router brings a lot of features that can make your everyday digital life a lot easier. Starting with the dual-band AC1900 technology we know that we have a strong router in our hands that will deliver some of the best possible wireless network speeds. The AC15 also features beamforming technology that helps to boost the range of the high-powered amplifiers and external antennas.

The AC1900 standard defines a total speed capability of the router up to 1900Mbps where it is capable of delivering both 1300Mbps 802.11ac at 5GHz and 600Mbps 802.11n at 2.4 GHz concurrently. The Beamforming+ technology helps to achieve the best connection with each device as it locks onto a device’s location and strengthens the signal in that direction rather than blasting it equally in every direction.

The router is equipped with 3 external dual band antennas with a 3dBi strength. Sadly the antennas aren’t replaceable, at least not without taking the unit apart, but they should offer plenty of performance for small to mid-sized homes.

Tenda built the AC15 router around a Broadcom dual-core processor and equipped it with DDR3 memory, but the specifications page does not reveal which exact processor nor how much memory it has. That might, however, be something we can find out through the user interface or by opening it up.

Next to the obligatory WAN port, Tenda equipped the AC15 router with three more Gigabit Ethernet ports for your wired network devices. It also features a USB 3.0 port for easy storage and printer connections which then can be shared to any device that you want via your network. This also allows you to create a personal cloud system and that’s even an easy task to do thanks to Tenda’s personal cloud system. We’ll have a close look at that when we got to the user interface.

There is an ever-increasing concern what effect WiFi signals can have on us humans and it’s better to be on the safe side than sorry. Whether this is a concern to you or not, the Healthy e-life functions in the router allow you to dim the LEDs as well as turn the WiFi signal on and off by a user defined schedule. Why should you be bothered by blinking lights and wireless signals when you aren’t home or asleep. Might as well turn it off, which also saves on the electricity bill.

The initial setup and further configuration of Tenda’s AC15 is a breeze as you can do it from any device, whether it’s wired or wireless. You can either use the easy web setup wizard or use the available Tenda apps. Once setup, you have a powerful wireless router that supports IPTV, VPN, FTP, DDNS and DLNA among others.

Feature Highlights

  • Ultimate 11ac speed of up to 1900Mbps, delivering both 1300Mbps 802.11ac at 5GHz and 600Mbps 802.11n at 2.4 GHz concurrently.
  • Broadcom dual-core processor with DDR3 memory for multi-client with responsive performance and fast speed.
  • Beamforming+ technology boosts range for the 802.11ac WiFi devices.
  • High powered amplifiers and three external antennas for whole-home coverage.
  • USB3.0 for personal secure cloud and printer sharing.
  • Smart managements of WiFi schedule, LED indicator and power saving all are for your healthy E-life.

Package and Accessories

The retail package for the Tenda AC15 router is a beautiful full-coloured one. The front teases the features and the units design with its eye-catching and bright design.

The rear of the box has some more information on the routers usage scenarios as well as more information about the features.

The full network specifications can be found on the side of the box, so you know what you get before you make the purchase.

The router itself is wrapped with a plastic cover to protect it from scratches. There’s also an extra SSID and password sticker on the plastic which you can remove and place somewhere else for safe keeping.

There’s an install guide, GNU license notice, and a wireless standard certification included, but the last two are more for legal reasons.

Besides the router and the manuals, we also find a power adapter, an RJ45 LAN cable and the foot for the router inside the box.

 

ASUS RP-AC56 Dual-Band Wireless AC1200 Range Extender Review

Introduction


When you invest in a wireless network repeater in order to increase your range and cover dead spots in your home, you can either go for a run-of-the-mill unit that provides you with the basic functionality or you can go all out and get a device like ASUS’ RP-AC56 wireless dual-band AC1200 range extender and access point. The ASUS RP-AC56 is anything but ordinary and today I’ll take a closer look at everything this little device has to offer.

The ASUS RP-AC56 can extend your existing 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi network with speeds up to 1167 Mbps and thanks to its two external antennas it will have a great ability to enhance Wi-Fi signal coverage and boost your Wi-Fi everywhere. But it does a lot more than that, it also comes with a Gigabit Ethernet LAN port for even more connectivity as well as a 3.5mm audio jack for music streaming.

The dual-band repeater supports both the legacy 2.4GHz band and the newer 5GHz band for AC1200 speeds. The two external antennas support MIMO for the best connection even when multiple devices use it at the same time. With speeds up to 867 Mbps on the 5GHz band you can get close to what a wire connection has to offer, at least with the proper signal strength and isn’t that just the reason that we want a device such as the RP-AC56.

ASUS made sure that the setup is as easy as it can be, all it takes is a push of a button thanks the easy WPS setup. Hit the button on your router and then on the repeater, wait for a little bit, and the connection will be established. And that really is all you need to do, but you can do more. The LEDs on the front don’t just show which network band is being used, they also show the signal strength in three steps (Red, Yellow, Green) which in return allows you to find the perfect position for maximum coverage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uf-0m-BMyo0

As previously mentioned, the RP-AS56 comes with a convenient Gigabit Ethernet LAN port built-in and the function of it depends on the usage of the RP-AC56. The flexibly designed device can work as a normal repeater, but it can also work as a wireless access point or as a media bridge. In access point mode it can be connected to any wired network and create a personal Wi-Fi hotspot. In media bridge mode it can be connected to any Ethernet-compatible device to give it Wi-Fi capability where it didn’t before.

The LAN port can also be used for easy access to the web-based configuration menu without the need for any driver disc or application, but it isn’t something that is needed. You can naturally also set it up wirelessly from devices such as your tablet or smartphone.

You can also connect speakers directly to the RP-AC56 wireless repeater and stream your favorite music direct from any mobile device that has the ASUS AiPlayer app installed. It is compatible with a wide range of multimedia formats and delivers a smooth and effortless streaming experience. The AiPlayer app is available from the App Store and Google Play and it also works for streaming without extra software when used from a Mac and iOS device.

Additionally, the RP-AC56 also supports ASUS’ ExpressWay feature that uses the dual-band capabilities to create an efficient connection with improved reliability. In normal mode, the repeater uses the two bands simultaneously for connecting to devices for the widest compatibility. ExpressWay can dedicate one band for connecting to the router and the other band for connecting to the device as long as one of them supports the 5GHz band. It also features the hassle-free Roaming Assist technology. With this enabled, you never have to switch connections manually between RP-AC56 and your ASUS router as you move around the home. Your device will connect automatically to the strongest Wi-Fi signal whether it’s from the router or the repeater.

Features

  • Extend your existing 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi network with speeds up to 1167 Mbps.
  • Two external antennas enhance Wi-Fi signal coverage and boost your Wi-Fi everywhere.
  • Quick and secure setup with just a press of the WPS button.
  • Smart LED signal indicator helps you find the best location for optimum Wi-Fi performance.
  • Rotating mains plug for flexible positioning in any power socket. (Not in all regions)
  • ASUS AiPlayer app for streaming music, with multi-protocol support.
  • ASUS ExpressWay uses full-speed device connections to boost performance.
  • Roaming Assist helps you to get a stable connection everywhere in the home or office.

Packaging and Accessories

The ASUS RP-AC56 comes in a great looking retail box that shows how the device looks on the front where it also shows the main features and highlights the Android and iOS support.

The rear of the box explains what the device does and how you can utilize it. It also showcases the AiPlayer for wireless streaming and more details on the features. Overall it’s a great box where you shouldn’t be left with any questions as to what the device you’re holding in your hands can do.

Inside the box, we find a quick start guide and ASUS VIP Member Warranty Notice in multiple languages as well as a 3.5mm audio cable to connect the repeater to an amplifier or speaker set.

Linksys Introduces the EA7500 AC1900 MU-MIMO Router

Linksys recently revealed their new line of MAX-STREAM devices capable of Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple Output technology (MU-MIMO) and now they have announced the first of the units becoming available. The newly available router is the Linksys MAX-STREAM AC1900 Dual-Band MU-MIMO Gigabit router (EA7500).

The MU-MIMO technology helps to ensure uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity to all the devices in the home and it functions as if multiple devices have their own dedicated router. That way you will have less lag or interruptions which are especially important when streaming 4K content. The increased bandwidth needed to stream this resolution requires a great connection at all times which the EA7500 should deliver.

Hardware wise the EA7500 is built around a Qualcomm IPQ 1.4GHz dual-core processor and naturally comes with the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 with MU-MIMO Wi-Fi standard. It is an AC1900 router with up to 600Mbps on the legacy 2.4GHz band and up to 1300 Mbps on the 5GHz band. It also comes with four Gigabit ethernet LAN ports for the wired connections and one Gigabit WAN port next to the USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports.

The three external and adjustable antennas should provide maximum coverage in your home while you can manage and monitor your network and easily control Wi-Fi devices remotely on a smartphone with the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app. The router features the WPA and WPA2 encryption standards that are the default and also comes with an SPI firewall to help keep your network safe.

“If you have or are planning to purchase a 4K TV you will need a Max-Stream router to ensure you have a seamless 4K online streaming experience,” said Justin Doucette, director product management, Linksys. “A single stream of 4K content takes a minimum of 20 Mbps to maintain a consistent stream, and when you combine that with multiple streams plus normal Wi-Fi use from gaming, internet surfing, IoT connectivity and music streaming, it adds up fast. Max-Stream will enable multiple streams of Wi-Fi to occur so users can have the ultimate 4K and networking experience.”

The Linksys MAX-STREAM AC1900 Dual-Band MU-MIMO Gigabit router (EA7500) is available now and comes with an MSRP of £149.99 ($199.00 USD).

ASUS Announces RP-AC68U Wireless Repeater

Even with the best of routers, you can run into trouble with insufficient coverage on your wireless networks and that is where repeaters come into play. Mostly we see small repeaters that plug directly into the wall socket and aren’t much bigger than a socket and switch put together, but ASUS’ latest repeater dubbed the RP-AC68U breaks with that norm.

The newly presented ASUS RP-AC68U is a dual-band wireless AC1900 repeater shaped like a pillar and with a list of advanced functions that make it stand out even more from the crowd. The stylish RP-AC68U features four internal high-performance antennas (3 transmit, 4 receive) and allows users to easily extend coverage of an existing 802.11ac Wi-Fi network with fast speeds of up to 1900Mbps.

The rear of the wireless repeater shows just how much this repeater goes out of the norm as it comes with five Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports built-in as well as a USB 3.0 port for connecting storage devices to your network. The USB port supports ASUS AiCloud and can act with simple NAS functionality and as your own personal cloud server with apps available for both iOS and Android devices. The RP-AC68U can also be used in Access Point mode to add ultra-fast Wi-Fi convenience to any existing wired network.

The illuminated red accents can be turned on or off by a convenient touch sensor incorporated in the ASUS logo on the front and the installation and setup is just as easy. The repeater features a simple one-touch setup with WPS and it has LED signal strength indicators for both bands. This allows you to easily find the optimal placement for the repeater.

Pricing and availability are yet to be announced. It surely won’t be the cheapest repeater on the block, but it also provides a lot more functionality than we’re used to from such devices. It is as close as it can be to a router without being one.

Linksys Introduces New Modem Router and More DD-WRT Support

Linksys is one of the biggest manufacturers of routers and network equipment in general, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for a more devices as well as room for improvement on the current lineup. Linksys’ new modem router is the X6200 and it is a combined cable and ADSL/VDSL dual-band WiFi model.

The Linksys X6200 supports pretty much any connection you can have from static RJ45-based over cable to DSL connections and I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if you could use the included USB 2.0 port to attach a 3G/4G/LTE modem too. While it can connect to pretty much any type of internet connection, the built-in cable modem might be the selling point for this router. The internet connection speed has gone up and up, but a lot of cable modems lack the capability to handle the fast speeds your provider is selling you, which in return means that you’ll get a worse experience than you should.

“There is a lack of knowledge when it comes to cable modems. Consumers have cable modems or gateways that don’t match the cable broadband subscriptions they are paying for – thus getting slower speeds and frustrating experiences,” said Justin Doucette, director of product management, Linksys.

The Linksys X6200 isn’t the fastest wireless router, but the speeds of 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 433Mbps on the 5GHz band should be sufficient for any internet usage. The modem router also features four RJ45 LAN ports for that direct Gigabit Ethernet connection that will provide you with the best connection. As previously mentioned, the X6200 also features a USB 2.0 port that can turn your USB drive into a network attached storage device.

The new Linksys X6200 modem router will be available in March 2016 for an MSRP of £79.99 and also has more advanced features such as parental control and guest access.

Feature highlights

  • One VDSL/ADSL2/2+ port, Annex A – RJ-11 port
  • One Gigabit WAN port with auto MDI/MDIX sensing (RJ-45) for Router functionality
  • Four Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • One USB 2.0 port
  • Supports VPN pass-through with IPSec, PPTP, and L2TP
  • Supports logging for incoming and outgoing traffic
  • DHCP server for LAN
  • Supports Universal Plug and Play (UPnP)
  • IPv4/IPv6 dual-stack support
  • DSL Modem supports ITU G992.5 ADSL2+ Annex A, L, and M and VDSL G.993.1 and ITU G.993.2 standards

At the same time as Linksys introduced us to this new modem router, they also announced an expansion of DD-WRT support among their existing routers. The support now includes the WRT1900AC, WRT1200AC, and recently released WRT1900ACS Dual-band Gigabit Wi-Fi routers.

 

Synology Router RT1900ac High-Speed Wireless Router Review

Introduction


Synology has a long experience producing network attached storage and surveillance devices so it was just a matter of time before they expanded into more similar areas. They got the knowhow and the expertise to do so and today I’m taking a closer look at their first router, the Synology Router RT1900ac Wireless Gigabit Ethernet router.

Let us first have a look at the basic hardware specifications. The Synology RT1900ac is built around a powerful dual-core CPU with a 1GHz clock speed and it comes with 256MB DDR3 memory. The dual-band 802.11ac wireless router can transfer with up to 1300 Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. It is equipped with three external and replaceable MIMO omni-directional high-gain dipole antennas with 3.5 dBi for the 2.4GHz band and 4.6 dBi for the 5GHz band.

With a hardware base like that, you don’t need to worry about lags or bottlenecks. The RT1900ac has four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and one Gigabit Ethernet WAN port, all located on the rear in-between the three antenna mounts. The RT1900ac features a power button which is a nice thing to see on a router and while it isn’t a feature that is used a lot, it is great to have when needed.

Both the wired and wireless network connections will benefit from Synology’s bandwidth prioritization and network traffic control system that allows you to prioritize the important traffic such as your games. After all, you will always want to have the lowest latency that will give you that extra edge on the virtual battlefield. But that doesn’t mean that the Synology RT1900ac only is good for gaming, it is also awesome for streaming. You can enjoy buffer-free playback of your 4K movies when streaming them to your media devices around the house.

You don’t even need other devices in order to stream your favourite movies, shows, or music to your smart TVs and audio systems as the RT1900ac is DLNA compatible and comes with both a USB 3.0 and an SD card slot. You can also use it to stream from other network storage locations should you not want to use the direct storage features.

The access to connected devices isn’t just limited to media streaming. You can share any files on a USB storage drive or SD card (SDXC) via the Synology RT1900ac and access the contents from anywhere as well as share files with family, friends, and coworkers. The RT1900 supports all the common protocols such as SMB, AFP, FTP, or WebDAV. Whether you use a Windows PC, a Mac, an Android, or an iOS device, you’ll have access to it all.

As mentioned, Synology has quite some experience within the network area and they naturally created a great operating system for their new router. The new operating system is called Synology Router Manager (SRM) and it includes both basic and advanced tools such as VPN support, RADIUS server, and more.

The operating system is very similar to DSM, Synology’s NAS operating system, and comes with the same user-friendly interface and multi-task abilities. You can also go beyond the basic and pre-installed features and download more functions through the Package Center. Transform your router into a personal VPN server, professional RADIUS authentication server, 24/7 download hub or make it into your multimedia hub. The choice is yours.

We have seen two out of four sides on the new Synology Router RT1900ac so far and below is the third side where we also find features to highlight – there is something everywhere on this router. On this side we find a button to turn the Wi-Fi completely off and back on again for when it isn’t needed. There is a growing concern among some people who fear that exposure to wireless signals of all sort can affect us and those people, and everyone else too, have the ability to easy switch the wireless signals on and off depending on when they are needed.

Next to the Wi-Fi on-off switch we find the WPS button for easy connectivity between the router and other devices. A simple touch of the button on both devices and they will pair with each other and establish a connection. No need to search for the correct Wi-Fi network among all the possible ones and no need to enter any complicated passwords.

There is one more thing that I haven’t shown you yet and that is located right on the front of the router, around the corner from the USB port and SD card slot, and it is the one button that I have been missing on every single device with these ports since they came into existence. A hardware eject button. Simply press the button and the operating system will safely unmount the drive and make it ready for safe ejection. This is so much easier than having to log into an administration interface just to press a button to eject the drive.

Now that we’ve seen what the Synology Router RT1900ac is all about, it is time to mount the antennas and get a closer look at them. The squared antennas look out of the norm and fit well with the router. Synology also added smart Beamforming technology that lets the RT1900ac focus wireless signals toward up to six simultaneous devices and thereby increase the range, reduce the latency, and economize the power consumption.

Synology packed the Router RT1900ac with quite a few great features such as application layer quality of service (QoS) that lets you see how much bandwidth is consumed by individual applications and devices and then lets you restrict the amount of bandwidth the device or application is allowed to use. It also comes with parental controls such as time scheduling for individual devices as well as intelligent and manual web filtering.

Synology also added support for their QuickConnect service which makes remote control and access as easy as the local. Just register a unique and customizable QuickConnect ID, and you’ll to be able to log in to Synology Router Manager, access connected storage devices, and do much more from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Packaging and Accessories

Synology packed the RT1900ac in a simple brown box which is all that is needed. It has a sticker on the front showcasing the router itself and its feature highlights.

The rear side of the box has another sticker with a few more details and the device’s specifications and usage scenario as well as what the package contains.

Inside the package is a power adapter with connection options for the region where you purchased the device, in this case there is a UK and a slim-EU plug included. There are also three high-gain antennas and the extra stand in case you should want to have it in an upright position.

SilverStone Releases Aftermarket High-Gain Antennas and Magnetic Base

Our routers and wireless network cards come with replaceable antennas, at least a lot do, and SilverStone released two new antennas and one magnetic Wi-Fi antenna base for the scenario that you’ll want to upgrade your existing antennas for performance or placement reasons.

The SilverStone WAD17, pictured above, is a high-gain MIMI 2T2R Wi-Fi antenna for improved wireless connectivity. It has a 5 dBi gain on the 2.4 GHz band and 7 dBi on the 5GHz bands which makes it a dual-band antenna. The Dipole antenna features a default SMA plug RP connector and has an impedance of 50 ohms.

The SilverStone WA219 2T2R high-gain Wi-Fi antenna is only for the 2.4 GHz band but comes with an impressive 9 dBi gain for that extra range and signal strength into the furthest parts of your home.

The SilverStone WAB1B is a circular magnetic base for SMA plug RP antennas and it has a 1.5-meter long cable for optimal placement. It allows you to place the antennas on a more optimal position than let’s say on the rear of your PC chassis which is placed under the desk. Having the antennas on top of the chassis or even the desk itself will greatly improve the Wi-Fi performance. Both the plug on the stand and on the cable are gold plated for optimal connection and the cable used is a low loss CLF 100.

All three new SilverStone Wi-Fi accessories are available now for a recommended end user price (excl. VAT) of $10.08 USD, $8.51 USD, and $8.51 USD respectively for the WA219, WAD17, and WAB1B.

Linksys RE6700 AC1200 Amplify Wi-Fi Range Extender Review

Introduction


Wireless networks are great, that is as long as you are close enough to your router to get a signal strength you like. If you router shouldn’t be strong enough to reach the furthest parts of your home or you just need a stronger signal, then you might want to invest in a range extender. Today I’m taking a closer look at the Linksys RE6700 AC1200 Amplify Dual-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender, or just Linksys RE6700 for short.

I’ve tested a few range extenders lately, but most of them were 2.4GHz mode only. That isn’t ideal for today’s devices that usually come with dual-band features and high-speed 5GHz network. The Linksys RE6700 is a dual-band device that can provide up to 300 Mbit/s on the 2.4GHz band and up to 867Mbit/s on the 5GHz band, making up the AC1200 rating. The RE6700 features a range extension all the way up to 1000 square meters, an area that should be more than enough for most homes.

One of the great thing with wireless range extenders is that they are compatible with pretty much any hardware that you already have. They simply hook themselves up on your existing network, with minor configurations, and extend the coverage and signal strength of your existing network. It couldn’t be simpler to get a better wireless network.

Linksys included the amazing Spot Finder technology in the RE6700 that allows you to find the perfect location for the range extender with ease. The range extender has a spot finder meter built into its web interface where you can use it from your PC or mobile devices. Turn the RE67000 on and find the perfect location for your new range extender in just 3 simple steps.

A downside to many wireless network range extenders is that they take up a power outlet that you otherwise might need. Linksys made sure that this won’t be an issue on the RE6700. The added power outlet pass-through for prevents the worry about blocked power outlets in your home that you otherwise need for other devices.

The RE6700 also features beamforming technology that makes sure that you have the best signal to connected devices simply by strengthening the signal in the direction of connected devices. The crossband technology allows for the simultaneous use of both bands rather than relying on one radio band to do all the work. This allows information to be obtained on one band and transmitted on the other, resulting in reduced dropped data packets, faster media transfer speeds, and a stronger, more consistent signal throughout your home.

You might think that we are done with the features now, after all, this is just a range extender. But there is more to show on the RE6700. Linksys also included a 3.5mm audio jack that allows you to connect speakers directly to the range extender and stream music wirelessly from your iOS or Android smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Continuing, Linksys also added a Gigabit Ethernet port to the range extender that allows you to connect devices that don’t have their own wireless adapter.

Linksys added both a power button and a WPS button to the RE6700. The power button is a nice touch, allowing you to turn the extender function off without having to unplug it. The WPS button allows for easy connection setup between the range extender and your router. A click on the WPS button on each device and the two will be automatically paired. There is also a tiny hole for the reset button in case you need to reset the configuration.

Feature Highlights

  • Increase your current router’s Wi-Fi range to up to 10,000 square feet
  • Enjoy Wi-Fi speeds up to AC1200Mbps (N300 + AC867)
  • Spot Finder Technology makes optimal placement easy
  • An integrated power outlet allows you to maintain availability of the wall plug
  • Beamforming and Crossband technologies focus and strengthen signals to help reduce dead zones
  • Stream music wirelessly throughout your home with Wi-Fi audio
  • Works with virtually any router

Packaging and Accessories

Linksys packed the Amplify AC1200 Wi-Fi range extender in a colourful box that displays all the main featuers right on the front.

The rear explains the technology behind it a little more while also explaining a little about the built-in streaming feature.

The added features such as audio jack and Gigabit Ethernet port are also displayed on the box itself.

Inside we find the range extender itself, a quick start guide, and a regulatory information leaflet.

Synology RT1900ac Router Now Officially Available

It has been about five months since we first saw Synology’s take on a router during our visit at Computex and it already won the Computex Best Choice Golden Award at that time. This awesome little router can also be yours now as Synology announced the official release and global availability on the Router RT1900ac.

Synology has a long experience with network connected devices, so the move into the router market seems a logical one and it is also one that makes me hope that they’ll release smart switches for home users in the future. The RT1900ac Synology Router is equipped with a dual-core 1GHz processor and comes with 256MB DDR memory. The 3×3 MIMO omnidirectional antennas support both the 2.4GHz band with 3.5dBi and the 5GHz band with 4.dBi, quite a bit more than the average 5dBi combined antennes often found in routers. This should ensure great connectivity for wireless devices.

The RT1900ac has four Gigabit RJ45 LAN ports and one WAN port on the rear where it also features a power button, something that’s often forgotten on routers.

The WAN port supports Dynamic IP, Static IP, and PPPoE and the router is IPv6 ready for both the server and client side. IGMP snooping, UPnP, port triggers, DMZ, and VPN are all included so you’ll find all the features you want from a router.

On the right side, it features a USB 3.0 port and a SD card slot for direct storage attachment as well as a multitude of other options. The RT1900ac only features this one USB port, which could be to little for some people considering what you can use it for. First there naturally is the ability to connect external storage devices and share the content with everyone who has access to the router, but it can also be used for network connected printers as well as 3G/4G/LTE USB modems. With all these abilities, it seems a bit low with just one port.

A really nice feature added by Synology is the eject button located on the front. This is something that I have been missing on headless units such as routers and NAS devices for many years. Pressing the button will unmount the connected storage, USB or SD card, and allow for a secure removal of the storage.

The left side of the router features a Wi-Fi on and off switch as well as a WPS button for quick and easy connection of new devices to your wireless network.

Speaking of wireless network, the Synology RT1900ac features IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac connectivity with up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band simultaneously. The router features beamforming, scheduled Wi-Fi access, and can maintain up to 70 connected devices and supports at least 40 connected devices that are concurrently transmitting data.

A new product series also needs a new operating system and Synology created the Synology Router Manager (SRM) that includes advanced traffic tools that surpass the common router. With the Network Center application, you can limit bandwidth consumption, block malicious content, and fine-tune how data travels through your home or office network.

You get a download station, media server, and radius server too along with more possibilities through add-ons, this router really seems to have it all.

The router and all connected devices are easily accessible from everywhere thanks to Synology’s quick connect DDNS feature and the mobile iOS and Android apps. It supports all common file formats, so it’s also compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS systems.

The Synology RT1900ac is currently listed for sale starting at €154.65, which is a really nice price for a router in this category and even more considering the functions, features, and abilities it brings along.

We currently have the Synology RT1900ac here in the network test area and will have a full review of the router available for you shortly.

 

Netgear Introduces Quad-Mode Business-Class Wireless-AC Access Points

Netgear is launching two new quad-mode business-class 802.11ac wireless Access Points (AP) that support four different modes of management. The new ProSAFE WAC730 Business 3×3 Dual Band Wireless-AC Access Point and ProSAFE WAC720 Business 2×2 Dual Band Wireless-AC Access Point for small to mid-sized organizations can deliver excellent performance with up to 1.7Gbps for the WAC730 and 1.2Gbps for the WAC720.

The new ProSAFE Access Points can operate in standalone mode or use the new Netgear Ensemble Mode Management that enables centralized configuration and managements in groups of up to 10 APs without extra hardware, licenses, or fees. They are also ready to support controller management as well as cloud management through Netgear’s Business Central.

The NETGEAR ProSAFE WAC730 is a 3×3 business class dual-band 802.11ac wireless Access Point that can support an aggregated throughput of up to 1.7Gbps (450Mbps for 2.4GHz band and 1.3Gbps 802.11ac for 5GHz band) where the WAC720 is a 2×2 business class dual-band 802.11ac wireless Access Point with up to 1.2Gbps (300Mbps for 2.4GHz band and 867Mbps 802.11ac for 5GHz band). Other than that, the two units are basically the same.

Besides the new management abilities and faster wireless protocols, the new Access Points feature what you know from Netgear ACs. You get a Gigabit Ethernet port with IEEE 802.3af or 802.3at PoE support and another RJ45 port for management. You get five LEDs to see what’s going on and the APs naturally support all given WiFi protections, SSL, and VPN.

The shape and design is one that is familiar to anyone who has had a previous model, but it is now 40 percent smaller and now also includes support for Bonjour Gateway and Apple devices across multiple subnets. External antennas are not included in the package and neither is the power supply, so you’ll have to get them extra if you need them. The power supply won’t be needed in most setup scenarios as the Access Points support Power over Ethernet (802.3af).

Hardware in this class doesn’t come cheap, although that’s somewhat relative here. The MSRP for the ProSAFE WAC730 Business 3×3 Dual Band Wireless-AC Access Point is set to $689 and the ProSAFE WAC720 Business 2×2 Dual Band Wireless-AC Access Point will set you back $449. Both Access Points will become available this month sometime.

TP-Link Archer VR900 AC 1900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Modem Router Review

Introduction


For today’s review I am taking the TP-Link Archer VR900AC 1900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit VDSL/ADSL Modem Router for a spin in our test area to see how well it performs, it surely sounds like a great device. While the Archer VR900 looks very similar to the Archer C9 that we reviewed not long ago, it’s quite the different device and it also sports some general improvements over the C9.

Most noticeable is the built-in modem that allows you to connect it directly to your phone line when using that sort of connection. There is no need to keep the old modem around and couple a router on the back of it in order to gain the features and functionality you want; The Archer VR900 does it all. It supports all current ADSL as well as VDSL formats right out of the box.

TP-Link didn’t just stop after adding the DSL modem to the VR900, they also made sure that it will work with pretty much any connection. At some point, and as it becomes available in more and more regions, there is a good chance that you’ll switch from your DSL line to a more modern Fibre optical connection. When you do so, you don’t need to replace the VR900 with something new as it also supports a direct WAN connection via the fourth LAN port. But once again, TP-Link weren’t satisfied with the connection options, so they made sure that you’re also able to connect it to 3G or 4G/LTE network via a USB dongle and the two onboard USB ports. All in all, there isn’t much that this router can’t do and connect to.

The TP-Link VR900 is an AC1900 dual-band router, meaning it can perform with up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1300 Mbps on the 5GHz band for a combined throughput of 1900 MBps. It has a great coverage thanks to the three 5 dBi omni-directional antennas. The wireless range and performance is further enhanced thanks to the beamforming technology that is applied on both wireless bands.

Inside the router is a 1GHz dual-core processor that makes sure that you don’t encounter any bottlenecks as the router has to perform its tasks.

The wireless bands feature the normal 64bit and 128bit WEP, WPA, and WPA2 encryptions for secure connections and the WPS button makes connecting devices as easy as it can be. The software parts feature everything from Wireless MAC filtering, QoS control, NAT Firewall, VPN, Virtual server and Port Triggers, as well as any other function you could want from a router. Guest networking and parental control is also present and both are great features to have around.

Specifications

Packaging and Accessories

A great router like this also deserves a beautiful wrapping and TP-Link delivers that. The Archer VR900 has a simple yet very beautiful package. The front shows the device itself as well as providing all the basic feature information.

On the rear of the package, we find more details about the specific functions as well as a comparison table with other TP-Link devices. That way it’s even easier to pick just the right model when you’re visiting your local tech shop and have them all in front of you.

Inside we find everything we need to get it set up. The router itself and a power supply for it, two RJ11 cables and a splitter for your DSL connection, an RJ45 LAN cable, and the three detachable antennas as well as a quickstart guide and technical references.

Netis WF2190 AC1200 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter Review

Introduction


There can be quite a few reasons that you’ll want to add a wireless network connection to your system and there are just as many ways that you can achieve that. One of the methods is via a USB dongle and today I’m taking a closer look at the Netis WF2190 AC1200 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter and will give it a good testing to see how well it performs.

The Netis WF2190 is designed with both desktop users and notebook users in mind and it adds a fast dual-band network connectivity to any computer that has a USB port available. Some possible usage scenarios could be when your notebook has a slower wireless connection built-in and you want to get that extra speed to your router or your desktop system is placed under the desk with bad reception, or maybe it doesn’t have a wireless connection at all. Whatever the situation might be, the Netis WF2190 will work for you.

The Netis WF2190 is compatible with IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac devices and provides wireless transfer speeds up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 867Mbps on the 5GHz band. That is plenty of bandwidth for online gaming, HD video streaming, and VoIP phone calls. With the 802.11n MIMO and 802.11ac technology, the WF2190 ensures a strong and stable wireless connection.

A WPS button is a must these days and the Wi-Fi Protected Setup allows you to easily setup a secure wireless connection between your devices in a snap and with just a few key-presses. The Netis WF2190 can have two antennas attached. There are ofcourse two 5 dBi antennas included, but you could also replace them with a different kind if these shouldn’t suit you. That is always a great feature to have, but the included will work just fine.

Netis opted for a USB 3.0 connection for the WF2190 WiFi adapter, which is needed for the faster bandwidth that this adapter can provide. Included is also a stylish USB Cradle that you can place on your desk or a shelve depending on your needs. This allows you to easily place the Wireless Adapter where it has the best possible connection to your router or access point.

Whether you want to connect to an existing network or use the Netis WF2190 as an access point, you won’t be disappointed. It can also act as an access point with the Soft AP Mode. Turn your computer into an access point for local wireless network connection where you can hook up other wireless devices to your network. With a feature like this, the WF2190 saves you the trouble of upgrading with a better wireless router when it actually might not be needed.

Netis’ WF2190 1200AC Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter is compatible with Windows XP and newer, Mac OS 10.4 or newer, and Ubuntu Linux 11.04 or newer. The adapter uses a Realtek 8812AU chip, so if you can find drivers for that, you can get it to work on other systems too.

Specifications

The specification as taken directly from the manufacturer supplied information and can as such be subject to change in future revisions of the product.

Packaging and Content

The retail packaging comes in the same style as other Netis devices. A blue themed box that shows the main features as well as a photo of the device on the front. Inside the package, you will find the USB cradle, the WiFi adapter, two antennas, a user manual, and a driver disk.

TP-Link Announces VR900 AC1900 WiFi VDSL2 Modem Router

TP-Link were recently in the news as the company behind Google’s fancy new OnHub router, but they’re also working on their own products. The latest which just has been released is the AC1900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit VDSL2 Modem Router, the Archer VR900. The Archer VR900 offers a versatility of connection options, making it suitable no matter which type internet connection you have. At the same time, the VR900 offers great speeds with its AC1900 wireless signal as well as great coverage thanks to beam-forming technologies and three external antennas.

For maximum flexibility, the DSL and WAN input on the TP-Link VR900 support VDSL, ADSL, fiber, and cable connections. You can even use it for with your 3G and 4G dongles when connected to the built-in USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports.

The Archer VR900 utilizes the latest 802.11ac wireless standard to deliver data at speeds of up to 1900Mbps. Simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi provides excellent stability and eliminates wireless interference by transmitting and receiving on both 2.4GHz band and 5Ghz bands. You’ll get up to 600Mbps via the 2.4Gbps band and up to 1300Gbps via the 5GHz band. The modem router also has four Gigabit Ethernet ports for the best possible and wired connection.

The Archer VR900 is built around a 1GHz processor that should deliver enough power even for data-intensive tasks. No need to worry about speed caps because you’re using a lot of connections at once. Connect all of your network-dependent devices and let the VR900 balance the load to avoid bottlenecks at the processor level.

Nelson Qiao, assistant general manager at TP-LINK UK Ltd, says, “As the foundation of your home network, choosing the right router is an important decision, complicated by the various connection types. The VR900 takes the guesswork out of getting the right type of router so customers get the latest wireless features for high performance networks now and in the future, even if they change ISP.”

TP-Link VR900 Key Features and Specifications

  • AC1900 Simultaneous Dual-Band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz 600Mbps + 5 GHz 1300Mbps)
  • Beamforming Technology
  • 3 High-Performance Antennas
  • 1GHz Internal Processor
  • 1 USB 3.0 Port and 1 USB 2.0 Port
  • 4 Gigabit LAN Ports
  • Web Interface for Easy Setup

Netis WF2150 N600 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter Review

Introduction


Most of the existing stationary PCs don’t have wireless network capabilities out of the box and there can be more than one reason to add it at a later time. There are quite a few ways you can do that, but the easiest is probably with a USB-type WiFi dongle. Today I’m taking a closer look at just such a device as I’m having the Netis WF2150 600N Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter on the test bench.

The Netis WF2150 is a Dual Band wireless solutions that provides you with access to the better and less crowded 5GHz band as well as giving you a legacy 2.4GHz connection, both at 300Mbps. The 5GHz is clearly the best band to use whenever possible as you don’t need to worry about the interferences from the mass of existing 2.4GHz wireless devices and household appliances that may disturb with their wireless signal.

Whether you’ll be using the wireless connection for online gaming, video streaming, or VoIP phone calling, the Netis WF2150 should ensure a high-quality connection at all times. Connecting the PC itself to a wireless network is however not the only way you can use the newly gained WiFi abilities. Pretty much every WiFi add-on available right now can be set to work as an access point too, allowing you to connect your other WiFi devices to your network through this adapter. Always have the best possible wireless connectivity for your smartphone and tablets right next to your system.

The adapter only features a USB 2.0 connector, but that should be plenty for the performance that the wireless network can perform. You’ll also find a small LED near the USB plug that will indicate the connection state.

The Netis WF2150 comes with a WPS button that allows for a simple and secure setup and connection to other devices. With just a press on the button as well as the button on your router or any other WPS-enabled device and the connection is established. No need to remember and manually enter complicated passwords when you don’t need to.

The bundled drivers and utility enable easy management of your networks and come with an absolute hassle free installation. A few clicks and you’re up and running. There are plenty of setting possible from band and channel choice to the operation mode and security.

Specifications

Packaging and Accessories

The package is designed in the same way that most Netis devices are and it is easy to recognize. On the front, you’ll find the basic relevant information such as compatibility with Windows 8, Mac OS, and Linux.

The rear of the package holds a little more information in several languages. Inside is a user manual, driver disk, and the USB WiFi adapter itself.

Tenda W568R Wireless N900 Concurrent Dual-band Gigabit Router Review

Introduction


Tenda has quite a long list of network products and today I’m taking a closer look at another one of them. The Tenda W568R is a wireless N900 Dual-Band Gigabit Router that promises a great performance and coverage.

With the power of a dual-band router, you can easy use the slower and better reaching 2.4GHz band to check your mail and browse the internet while you use the faster 5GHz band for streaming and gaming. The Tenda W568R offers 450Mbps transfer speeds on both bands for a total of up to 900 Mbps throughput. That makes this router ideal for tasks such as 3D HD video streaming and multiplayer gaming.

Tenda built the router without any external antennas, but it still features an impressive performance. With full 3×3 MIMO technology, the router is a perfect choice for larger multi-level homes and buildings with a signal range that reaches virtually any area. At least that is what it promises, we’ll have to let our benchmarks speak for themselves later on.

All wired ports are Gigabit Ethernet capable and you get one for the WAN internet connection and four normal LAN ports where one of them is specially set up to support IPTV service for those of you who might have that as a part of the package. You also get a USB 2.0 port for file and printer sharing over your network and without the need for any more devices. The only button you’ll find on this router is a combined reset and WPS button.

There is an LED for each port as well as both wireless bands, allowing you to keep an eye on everything with ease. The wireless bands support WEP, WPA, and WPA2 password protected security, but you should note that the router comes with both Wi-Fi bands enabled and no security set. This makes it easier to set up to begin with, but it is at the same time a security risk.

Whether you’re an enthusiast or first-time user of routers, you should find the installation and setup both easy and intuitive. The utility interface might not be the freshest after todays standards, but it offers what you need.

Specifications

Packaging and Accessories

It is very suiting that the Tenda W568R stand-up router also get a stand-up shaped retail box. The front shows you the actual colour of the device in the main image and the available colour choices at the bottom, next to the name.

On the rear side of the packaging, you find a little more information about the router and what it can do in six different languages. A neatly made package that contains the information you’ll be looking for.

Inside you find a power adapter, a Gigabit LAN cable, the installation guide, and a User Guide and Setup Wizard optical disk – and also the router, itself, of course.

D-Link DIR-880L Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Cloud Router Review

Introduction


D-Link has a long history in the network business and I myself have personally had many of their devices in use over the years, so my expectations are high here. I have the pleasure to take the D-Link DIR-880L AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Cloud Router for a spin in the test area and it will be interesting to see what the DIR-880L can perform.

Right off the top we have the best possible wireless connectivity with the concurrent dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz connectivity for a total speed of 1900Mbps, 600 Mbps from the 2.4GHz band and 1300 from the 5GHz band.

The Advanced AC SmartBeam technology vastly increases the speed and coverage of your network. This allows you to stream HD video, make Internet calls, and surf the Internet from every corner of your home without interruption. The high-gain external antennas should send the signal into the furthest corners of your home with a strong connection wherever you are., giving you a strong connection wherever you are.

The slower 2.4GHz band is still great for checking emails, surfing the web, or viewing photos, but you’ll want the faster 5GHz band when you game online, stream HD content, or transfer a lot of files.

The wired connections are all full Gigabit connections and that includes the WAN port. No need to worry that the router will throttle your internet speed even though it might be faster than 100Mbit, which isn’t that unusual these days.

The addition of two USB ports, one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 allow you to connect storage devices directly to the router and share them with everyone on the network. It doesn’t matter where you are and what device you connect from, you’ll always have access to your files. This is a great solution for people that rely a lot on portable storage or those who don’t have a NAS. You could also use these ports to charge your mobile devices, a function I often use them for.

The DIR-880L Cloud Router is mydlink enabled, allowing you an effortless access and view of your network no matter where you are. See who is connected to your router, change the settings, block someone from accessing something just like you would at home.

The mydlink SharePort app allows you to connect a USB storage device to the DIR-880L and instantly share documents, movies, pictures, and music with mobile devices. Put your music library on a USB drive and share it with everyone else in your home, or show photos on the living room TV while a family member watches a movie on their tablet. Stream media files to multiple devices without interruption, or save them to your device for offline playback.

Whether you want the D-Link DIR-880L to stand or hang on the wall, that is your choice. It is built to support both and the bottom of the router features four rubber feet for a secure stand as well as cutouts to hang it on two screws.

You’ll also find all the other information such as default passwords, serial numbers, and MAC addresses on the bottom of the unit.

The three antennas can be turned and positioned to give you the best coverage in your own home and surroundings. There aren’t two places that are the same and having the perfect router location can make a lot of difference. Being able to angle the antennas as you like can help a lot with this.

Feature wise you won’t be disappointed in the DIR-880L, may you want VLAN support, firewall, time scheduled operation, parental control, virtual servers, or the aforementioned cloud features.

The dual-core CPU is hidden below the large cooler that I sadly couldn’t get removed. Not knowing just how it’s secured to the chips I rather left it instead of destroying it by the use of force.

On the PCB, we see that this product doesn’t come from anyone. It is very well built, clean, and all components have been properly seated before they were soldered. I have no doubt that this kind of work will last a long time and it is refreshing to see.

Within the package you find everything you need to get started. The router itself, an RJ45 cable so you can connect it to your modem, fiber box, or internet plug, three high-powered antennas, a power adapter and installation manuals to get started.

Linksys Launched New Wireless Range Extender and High-Gain Antennas

Linksys launches a new wireless range extender and two new high-gain antenna packs to help you deal with those dead zones you might have in your setup or just plain extend the network range. The new Wi-Fi range extender is the Linksys AC1200 Amplify Wi-Fi Range Extender (RE6700) and the Linksys WRT004AND and WRT002ANT are the two new dual-band omnidirectional high-gain antenna two and four-packs.

The RE6700 Wi-Fi range extender provides a Wi-Fi signal boost into rooms throughout the house with a simple, elegant, and easy-to-install solution. The built-in power outlet maintains use of an existing wall outlet with pass-through functionality so you don’t lose the use of that outlet which often are limited where you actually need them.

The Wi-Fi extender is a dual-band device and works simultaneously as N300 and AC867 Mbps extender for maximum coverage. Two external and adjustable antennas provide great performance. It also features a Gigabit LAN port where you can connect cabled devices to your wireless network.

A 3.5mm audio jack allows you to connect speakers to the range extender and stream music wirelessly from your iOS or Android smartphone, tablet or laptop. The RE6700 works with any router or gateway including those provided by your ISP.

Linksys also developed the Spot Finder Technology which enables you to visually see the best placement spot for the range extender in the home by using your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Spot Finder Technology automatically activates when the setup process is launched and you just have to follow a few prompts for a hassle-free setup and improved Wi-Fi to existing dead zones.

The RE6700 is available starting today at major retail and online resellers for an MSRP of £89.99.

Linksys’ high-gain antennas, the first of their kind, are available in a 2- and 4-pack (WRT004ANT and WRT002ANT) and help improve a router’s signal strength specifically at the edge of a Wi-Fi network and the result is enhanced Wi-Fi performance.

The new dual-band high-gain antennas are the first of their kind and compatible with any wireless router that features an RP-SMA connection. They deliver 4dBi in the 2.4GHz band and 7dBi in the 5 GHz band for up to double the antenna gain over stock antennas. The omni-directional capability extends Wi-Fi coverage for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands on the horizontal plane.

Linksys WRT004ANT and WRT002ANT Omni-directional High Gain Antennas are also available now, but it is a pricey upgrade. They come with an MSRP of £89.99 and £44.99 respectively for the 4-pack and 2-pack.

 

Netgear Announces R6400 AC1750 Smart WiFi Router

Netgear has launched their latest consumer router and it is a really nice one. The R6400 is an AC1750 Smart WiFi Router designed to offer great value and features the latest technology for bandwidth and range.

The R6400 AC1750 Smart WiFi Router comes with three powerful external antennas, high power amplifiers, and Airtime Fairness that prevents throttling by slower devices, combined with implicit and explicit Beamforming to boost the router’s WiFi performance at long range. It can perform up to 80 percent better than the previous generation which is quite a nice accomplishment.

The router comes with two USB ports for easy drive and printer sharing. One is a USB 3.0 port that is located on the front while the other is a legacy USB 2.0 port that is located on the rear. It is a full Gigabit-Ethernet router with both Gigabit WAN and four Gigabit LAN ports.

The dual-band AC1700 router is backwards compatible will all previous wireless standards and also supports 802.11 a/b/g/n devices. The combined bandwidth goes up to 1750Mbps thanks to the 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and the 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band.

VPN networks aren’t any problem either with this router and it also supports Netgear’s genie app that allows you to remotely connect and manage your router. The MyMedia feature enables you to find and play your stored media files from anywhere on your network to your Chromecast connected TVs, DLNA-ready TVs, and music system. You can also make any printer AirPrint compatible for printing from an iPad or iPhone. The ReadySHARE Vault is another free software that takes automatic backups of incremental changes on all PCs in your home network and saves them to a USB drive connected to the router. The AC1750 Smart WiFi Router is also compatible with Apple Time Machine for automatic Mac backup.

The NETGEAR AC1750 Smart WiFi Router is available now worldwide from major retailers in stores and online, at an MSRP of $149.99 USD.

Linksys WRT1200AC AC1200 Dual-Band Smart Wi-Fi Wireless Router Review

Introduction


Linksys is a well-known brand in the router business and it is a pleasure for me to take a look at their WRT1200AC router today. The WRT1200AC is a dual-band smart wi-fi router based around a powerful dual-core processor to provide great transfer speeds and reliability.

The design is a mix of a conventional box with a slight futuristic touch. It’s simple enough to please those who don’t want their router to stand out, yet it features enough distinctions for those who do want it to stand out. A great mixture of the two worlds and one that is striking similar to the WRT1900 router.

The front has individual LEDs for the WAN, LAN, eSATA, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connections as well as one for the 2.4GHz and one for the 5GHz band. Each of the four gigabit ethernet ports also has their own LED to let you know what port is active and which isn’t.

The rear side features the aforementioned four LAN and one WAN port, all full gigabit to support modern faster than 100MB/s internet connections. The USB 3.0 port allows you to attach modern and fast storage while the combined USB 2.0 and eSATA port allows you to connect both legacy and fast storage. There’s both a reset and sync button as well as a dedicated power switch for when you want to turn the whole thing off.

The Linksys WRT1200AC has two high-performance antennas and supports beam-forming technology for the best possible connection to your wireless devices. Both bands work simultaneously like they should for combined N400 and AC849 Mbps connections.

The router has a lot of ventilation holes on both the top and bottom to ensure that the router is properly cooled even when tasked to the limits and when running in hot environments. The four large feet keep the router firmly in place and you don’t need to worry about it shifting its position even when a cable is pulled or plugged.

Inside the package you find everything you need to get going with a wireless Linksys experience, the router itself and its two antennas, an LAN cable to connect it to your internet connection, an AC/DC power adapter and manuals to get started with everything.

The WRT1200AC also comes with all the software based features you’ll want. The wireless signal is protected by WPA/WPA2 encryption and the unit comes with a built-in firewall, parental and guest control, as well as scheduling and more.

If you shouldn’t be happy with the Linksys system and rather have something more familiar, then your in luck. The unit is built to be compatible with the open source router software, OpenWRT.

TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router Review

Introduction


There is no shortage of routers on the market and today I’m taking TP-Link’s Archer C9 AC1900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router, a beautiful and simple looking router capable of handling the newest AC connection standard.

The Archer C9 looks like it could have it all, powerful dual-band wireless for up to 1900Gbps total transfer speeds, Gigabit Ethernet ports for both LAN and WAN, USB 3.0 for file sharing and an easy to use setup and configuration interface.

Archer C9’s strength doesn’t just come from the support for the 802.11ac standard, the next generation of Wi-Fi, and the combination of the 2.4GHz 600Mbps and 5GHz 1300Mbps connections for a total available bandwidth of 1.9Gbps, but also in the added features and functions such as USB file and printer sharing as well as beamforming technology for the best possible connection between your devices.

The Archer C9 has three detachable dual band antennas for maximum and omni-directional wireless coverage as well as reliability. The signal strength is further boosted by the built-in beamforming technology for an even better and efficient wireless connection between the router and the connected devices. The router will focus the strength of its signal where it is needed.

To achieve all the power needed to handle all that traffic speed, TP-Link built the Archer C9 with a dual-core 1GHz processor that is able to handle a lot of simultaneously wired and wireless tasks at the same time.

On the rear of the unit, you’ll find a USB 2.0 port for older legacy storage devices and printers and it also comes with a USB 3.0 port on the side for modern and high-speed storage. The built-in FTP server and file-sharing allows you to easily access the stored files and media from any device connected on your network.

The built-in FTP server, media server, and Samba file-sharing allows you to easily access the stored files and media from any device that is connected to your network.

There is a separate LED for almost every part of the router from power over the two wireless signals to LAN, WAN and an individual for each of the USB ports. The only thing that you can’t see quickly on the LEDs is which of the four LAN ports that’s active.

There isn’t a way to mount this router on your wall, it instead comes with a stand that will make the router stand at a small backward angle. The rubber feet may not be large, but they are enough to keep the router where you place it.

The addition of a power button is a nice touch. You rarely need it on a router, but it is a lovely feature to have when you do. There is plenty of room on the device, so why not.

All four LAN ports and the WAN port are Gigabit ports for the usual great LAN speed and without limitation on faster than 100MB/s internet connections that are making their entry in more and more location and markets. The WPS button also works as reset button at the same time.

I really like the design that TP-Link applied to the Archer C9. The gentle curves give the router a simplistic yet almost sophisticated look. But it doesn’t just look great, it’s also a well-crafted unit made with great parts.

On the side of the unit you’ll find the USB 3.0 port where you easily can connect your fast portable storage and share it over your network. It’s also where the button is located to turn the WiFi on and off. No need to have it running when not needed, especially when it’s so easy to access and switch.

The Archer C9 also supports guest network connections for people who only need access now and then and to whom you might not want to give your normal and more static password. Parents can also rest assured that their kids won’t visit sites that they shouldn’t and on hours where they should be asleep thanks to the parental control.

Other features include IPv6, Dynamic IP/Static IP/PPPoE/PPTP/L2TP/BigPond WAN connections, 64/128-bit WEP, and WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA-PSK2 encryption. It has built in firewall, bandwidth control, supports direct setup for dynamic DNS services and VPN passthrough.

iOS users will also have access to easy management through the Tether APP while anyone can enjoy quick and hassle free installation via the web interface via any computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Within the box you find everything you need to get started with your high-speed wireless network: the router itself with its three antennas, a AC/DC power adapter, a RJ45 LAN cable to connect it to your internet connection, manuals, resource disk, and a quick installation guide to get your started and running as quick as possible.

Linksys Ships First MU-MIMO Enabled Router

Linksys has started to ship their latest router, the MU-MIMO enabled Linksys Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router (EA8500).

MU-MIMO stands for Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple Output and is a technology that is especially useful when using multiple mobile devices on the same network at once. It helps to ensure uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity to all the devices as if they had their own dedicated connection point.

The Linksys EA8500 router uses Qualcomm MU | EFX MU-MIMO technology that can help to provide up to three times faster speeds compared to current Wi-Fi. The 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands together can manage combined transfer speeds up to 2.53Gbps, quite impressive.

The router is built around a 1.4GHz dual-core CPU and comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as a Gigabit WAN port for those super-fast internet connections. The USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and eSATA ports allow you to connect storage drives directly to your router and create your own personal little cloud without the need for extra hardware.

The four antennas are removable and adjustable to create the best coverage possible while the beamforming technology helps to bring the best signal coverage to all your devices.

The Linksys Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router (EA8500) is available at leading retail and online retailers  now for an MSRP of £229.99. That’s not cheap, but you also get one of the best routers created.

Synology Presents Their New High-Speed Router at Computex

Computex 2015 – With all the experience Synology has within the area of networking, it was just a matter of time before we saw more than just NAS and NVR units from them.

The newest product out of the house of Synology is the RT1900ac router that already scored the golden Best Choice award at Computex.

With the Synology RT1900ac router, you get a familiar looking yet fresh and intuitive web interface as well as great network coverage. The RT1900ac us a dual-band router using both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band, 3×3 MIMO streams and transfer speeds up to 1900Mbps with the IEEE 802.11 b/g/n/ac networking support.

Not only do you get a great looking high-speed router, you also get great storage abilities and sharing. After all, Synology has its main area within storage. Connect high-speed USB 3.0 devices and memory cards directly to your router and share the content without the need for any other devices.

Hardware is one part of a router and the software has to follow. It does that with every setting you could want from a router, starting at normal traffic control, moving over parental controls, as well as a QoS system for traffic control.

The beamforming technology helps to bring the signal to even the furthest corner of your household so you don’t lose connection just because you walk away from your router.

Linksys Introduced RE6700 WLAN Range Extender With Passthrough

Wireless networks are a really convenient invention, that is if they cover the area where you want to use them. Many routers have a very limited range and that is where range extenders come into play.

Linksys has just released a new one of just them, the AC1200 Amplify Wi-Fi Range Extender (RE6700) with power outlet pass-through. The pass-through is a really nice feature as the Linksys range extender won’t take away a power outlet that you might need for other things.

The RE6700 features both dual-band AC1200 connections and beam forming technology and in combination can extend your coverage area with as much as 10,000 square feet (about 920 square meters).

Linksys also helps you to find the optimal place in your home to place the device. They develæoped the Spot Finder that allows you to visually see the best placement spot for the range extender in your home. Just grab your smartphone, tablet or laptop and follow a few prompts to find your optimal location.

You even get a 3.5mm audio jack to stream music wireless and a Gigabit Ethernet port to connect wired devices to your network.

Features

  • Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless AC1200 (N300 + AC 867 Mbps)
  • Spot Finder Technology – for optimal placement and performance
  • Integrated power outlet – Flexible plug-in placement maintains use of existing wall outlet
  • External Antenna for better Wi-Fi coverage and performance
  • Auto Cross Band Technology allows for the simultaneous use of both wireless bands for providing high speed data transfer to help with uninterrupted music/video streaming and gaming
  • Gigabit Port for connecting a single wired device or plug in a Gigabit switch for connecting multiple wired devices to a wireless network
  • 3.5mm audio jack allows users to connect speakers to the range extender to stream music wirelessly from your
  • iOS or Android smartphone, tablet, or laptop
  • Works with any router or gateway including routers supplied by service provider

The RE6700 is available now at major retail and online resellers as well as the Linksys store for an MSRP of $119.99.

Linksys Launches the WRT1200AC in the UK

If you’re in the market for a new router, then you might want to take a closer look at Linksys’ latest router, the WRT1200AC. The Linksys WRT1200AC delivers best in class performance and convenience, and now UK customers can get their hands on it too. The router was first introduced at CES in Las Vegas and it’s great to see it arriving here.

It is built around the Avastar Wireless & ARMADA Processor product series from Marvell and features wireless speeds up to 1.3 Gbps and a 1.3GHz dual-core CPU. The 2×2 AC1200 Dual-Band Wireless-AC Gigabit Router also comes with a USB 3.0 port and dual USB 2.0 and eSATA port for easy connectivity of external storage devices. Another great feature is that the router is fully compatible with OpenWRT as the drivers have been incorporated into the latest image snapshot.

It comes with two adjustable and removable antennas for maximum range, and it features beamforming technology to boost the Wi-Fi signal. Every other device is getting the smart tag lately and it’s no different in the world of routers. The Linksys WRT1200AC comes with Smart Wi-Fi, a web and app-based management tool that helps users set up and manage their router from any device, including smartphones. OpenVPN server functionality will also be added this month via a firmware upgrade.

Feature Highlights

  • Up to N400 + AC867 Mbps speed
  • Simultaneous Dual Band 2.4 + 5 GHZ
  • Network standards: IEEE 802.11a,b,g,n,ac
  • Beamforming technology
  • OpenWRT compatible
  • WPA2 encryption and SPI firewall
  • Two high-performance antennas
  • USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and eSATA connectivity
  • Four Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Dual-core 1.3GHz CPU
  • Smart Wi-Fi app for smartphones and tablets
  • Parental control, guest access, and scheduling

The Linksys WRT1200AC is available now for an MSRP of £149.99 at leading retail stores and online retailers.

NETGEAR Launches New AC1900 WiFi VDSL/ADSL Modem Router

NETGEAR has introduced their newest router, the NETGEAR D6400 AC1600 WiFi VDSL/ADSL Modem Router with dual-band Gigabit. The new D6400 is designed for larger homes and home environments supporting 10 or more devices such as smartphones, notebooks, tablets, laptops, computers, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and Blu-ray players.

The new AC1600 Modem Router provides a built-in fast VDSL modem for broadband that is also compatible with ADSL2+ connections. It comes with both Gigabit Ethernet WAN and LAN ports and also offers future upgrade abilities to fiber or cable. The AC module can deliver up to 1.6Gbps (AC1600 WiFi = 300+1300Mbps), perfect for both the newest and somewhat older devices.

“We developed the AC1600 Modem Router, the first in a series of new VDSL products, in response to consumers who now have extremely fast DSL broadband service but demand better in-home WiFi performance,” said Doug Cheung, senior product line manager for NETGEAR DSL Products. “You expect your in-home WiFi to deliver that faster broadband speed to the farthest reaches of your home, but are disappointed and frustrated that the modem router supplied by your Internet provider isn’t the latest WiFi technology. You want something faster, with better range, and which supports more devices. Our AC1600 WiFi VDSL/ADSL Modem Router does exactly that.”

NETGEAR’s router app called Genie is already enjoyed by more than 5 million customers and the dashboard like interface makes it easy to install, monitor, control, and repair your home network. You can easily access your home network, view the network map, check bandwidth usage, block WiFi devices, set up guest WiFi, and manage parental controls for safer web surfing, anytime, anywhere, all through the app. Another useful side on the D6400 is the NETGEAR MyMedia feature that enables you to find and play your stored media files from anywhere on your network to your DLNA-ready TVs and music systems. You can also make any printer AirPrint compatible for printing from an iPad or iPhone.

With two built-in USB ports, you can easily attach both USB drives and printers as previously mentioned and share them over your network. The NETGEAR AC1600 WiFi VDSL/ADSL Modem Router launched initially in Australia at the end of March, and will launch in Italy and the UK this April for an MSRP of €159.00/£149.99.

Thanks to NETGEAR for providing us with this information

Synology Getting Ready to Enter the Router Market

Synology is well known for their NAS devices, but now it looks like they’re expanding their area into the router section. Routers aren’t that much different from features that already exists in the NAS software, so it is something that seems like a smart move and one that only requires slightly different hardware.

The new Synology router is dubbed the RT1900ac and is expected to launch later this year. The final specifications and abilities haven’t been set yet, but we do get the basic information, such as high-speed IEEE 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless network based on a Dual Band setup on 2.4GHz and 5GHz with 3×3 MIMO streams and up to 1.9Gbps.

The web-interface is called ‘fresh and intuitive’ for both beginners and IT experts and will most likely resemble what we know from Synology’s DSM OS. The router isn’t just a normal router, it will of course offer you all the NAS specific functions directly in your router as well as running add-on features in the same way the NAS do. This is a great step for routers that currently are very limited and not very good.

Thanks to Synology for providing us with this information