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.
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.
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.
Wireless networks are great and they allow us to enjoy the world with fewer cables and restraints, but they still pose a very real limitation and that is the range. There are several ways that you can combat this and increase range, coverage, and performance and one of them is through Wireless Range Extenders. Today I’m taking a closer look at Tenda’s A301 Wireless N300 Universal Range Extender that is a solution for just such a scenario.
The Tenda A301 wireless N300 Universal Range Extender is designed to optimize and extend your existing wireless network to the furthest corner of your home. It delivers transmission rates up to 300Mbps, it features a wall-mounted design, smart signal indicators, and two external antennas.
The plug design allows you to place the Tenda A301 directly in any power outlet and enhance your wireless signals from there on. Whether your home is too big for your current routers coverage or you’ll want to enjoy your WiFi in the garden or on the porch, a range extender is a good idea.
You are already half way done with the setup when you have plugged the A301 range extender into a wall socket or extension cord. The built-in WPS button is the only thing that’s left to press once it’s ready. You’ll have to press the WPS button on your router first tho, but the setup guide explains all that in case you don’t already know it.
Tenda also included a manual setup option for the rare instances where the WPS should fail or your router doesn’t feature a WPS button and function. The sticker on the rear of the unit will tell you how to connect to the setup interface where you manually can connect it to your WiFi network as well as define various settings.
Tenda also added an LAN port to the bottom of the A301 and that allows you to extend the functionality of the device even more. For example, you could have a PC system located at the far end of your home that doesn’t have any wireless network card. Running a cable that far could be troublesome for several reasons and with the A301, you don’t need to.
Connect the PC’s LAN port to the A301’s LAN port and the system is connected to your wireless network without any further setup. For the PC, it is seen as a normal wired connection and the Tenda A301 takes care or the rest.
The Tenda A301 will work fine with any standard WiFi router and is capable of HD video streaming and gaming alike. I would, however, say that it’s mostly for web surfing due to the older standards used. The wireless range extender is using the 2.4GHz band and it is compatible with 802.11 b, g, and n devices. With just 300 Mbps at our disposal with maximum coverage, the N300 standard surely isn’t the fastest.
The WPS button is located directly on the front and it is surrounded by an LED field with four sections. The LEDs have two colours to show more details and are easy to recognize. It will show whether it has power, is connecting, how good the wireless signal is and also show when the LAN port is being used.
The two external antennas help with a better coverage over those who only have internal antennas. You can angle them up to 90 degrees, but they can’t be turned nor replaced with aftermarket antennas. It would have been nice if that would have been possible too.
The wireless performance of the A301 is rated for a max EIRP to route of 58mW and max EIRP to device of 98mW. The range is rated for up to 100 meters indoor and up to 300 meters outdoors. It is compatible with 64 and 128-bit WEP, WPA, WPA2, Mix WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK wireless encryptions of AES, TKIP, and TKIP&AES types. Wireless Access Control is also included and so is MAC filtering.
Wireless transmission rate up to 300Mbps
Compatible with 802.11b/g/n devices
Supports WEP, WPA, and WPA2 encryption mechanism to enhance security level
Wall-mounted design makes it easy to deploy and move flexibly
2 External antennas & Range Extender Mode boost WiFi to backyard, porches, and garage
Smart Signal Indicator helps to find the most accurate location to place the range extender
Easily expand wireless coverage at a push of Range Extender button
Packaging and Accessories
The Tenda A301 comes in a small packaging that shows the basic information such as product name and image as well as transfer speeds on the front. We also see the Broadcom logo indicating that it uses one of their chips on the insides.
The rear of the package explains how easy it is to set up and you can also see which plug version it is at the bottom. Make sure you get the right one for your location or it might not fit into your outlets, at least not without adapters.
Inside the package is an install guide, wireless declaration an LAN cable and a small disk with a PDF version of the manual.
Recently, I’ve had a look at a few portable wireless storage devices, which as a concept are fantastic in my mind and they have taken to the markets like a storm and as a result, everyone wants to hop on the same bandwagon. Whilst these small devices are great for what they do, it goes to show that mobile products that offer the functionality of their static counterparts are a lot more handy than we may think and this leads us to the product that I have to write about today.
When travelling, having a means of connecting to the internet is vital for many people and when In most hotels, the cost of WiFi can be expensive, or where there is a wired connection available, there is only once connection at that. The idea of carrying around a wireless router for some is a good idea, but they are inherently bulky and consequently are not the most convenient of items to carry around.
Tenda are a Shenzhen based company that have been producing networking products since 1999 for the consumer, SOHO and SMB markets and just recently they have been developing a line of portable wireless routers like I have to look at today – ideal for on the go networking. With a single LAN port and powered via USB, the W150M offers up a multitude of wireless routing functions including an access point, bridge, router, WISP amongst others and with a large number of the features that you generally expect to see on a desktop router as well.