Amped Wireless is a new brand to We Got Served, but they’ve been selling networking equipment in the USA and Canada for quite some time. Browse the aisles of retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart, and Fry’s or the virtual shelves of Amazon, Newgg, Tiger Direct and others and you’ll discover a wide range of networking equipment from the company. The roster includes routers, range extenders, access points and a whole lot more, with both consumers and business users catered for.
Our first test subject from Amped Wireless is the company’s new High Power AC1750 Plug-In Wi-Fi Range Extender (REC33A). It’s designed to extend the range of any Wi-Fi network by up to an impressive 10,000 square feet.
Increasingly, consumers are turning to range extenders to solve problems with home and small business Wi-Fi. Cold spots, especially in older, brick or concrete-built buildings lead to poor signal strength, slow or no wireless connections and can cause immense frustration. In these days of omnipresent networking, we expect – no, demand – high-speed wireless available everywhere our devices travel. Range extenders are designed to deliver on that demand.
The principle behind a range extender is reasonably simple. The device plugs into an electrical outlet positioned roughly halfway between your router and the Wi-Fi cold spot your attempting to warm up. It detects the wireless signal from your router and repeats it, extending your wireless coverage throughout the home or office. Integrated amplifiers ensure the signal reaches into the darkest, coldest corners of your building and ensure you can connect to your network from wherever you may be – or at least within the range of the extender!
The dual-band Amped Wireless REC33A is equipped with a total of twelve amplifiers – six 2.4/5 GHz amplifiers to power its signal and a further six low-noise amplifiers (for improved wireless reception). These amplifiers, combined with a high-gain external antenna (like you see on many modern routers) and two internal high-gain antennas work together to provide the quoted 10,000 sq ft of additional Wi-Fi coverage – more than sufficient for most homes and many offices.
This device, priced at $159.99, sits almost at the top of Amped Wireless’ range extender line up. Rated as an AC1750 range extender, it offers the fastest connection speeds across the range (450 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band) – however, the company’s $169.99 REA20 offers slightly higher amplification (700mW vs 600mW on the REC33A) and five Gigabit Ethernet ports, compared to just one on the AC1750 device.
What’s in the Box?
The Amped Wireless High Power AC1750 Plug-In Wi-Fi Range Extender ships in a green, black and white branded outer box, which includes helpful information about the device’s purpose and how it works. Open up the packaging and you’ll reveal the device itself plus a Setup guide and accompanying Documentation and Installation CD. You don’t need the CD for setup, but includes a range of support materials including the manual, setup guide, registration lines and a handy Wi-Fi Analytics Tool for Windows and Android devices – more on that later.
Despite the device having a Gigabit Ethernet port, for connecting wired devices to the network, no Ethernet cable is included so you’ll need to supply your own.
The range extender itself is reasonably compact, but not tiny – wider than a Powerline adaptor, its proportions lead to the device resembling a plug-in carbon monoxide detector (a strange comparison, but true).