With 802.11ac now flooding the market, the sheer amount of solutions is truly mind boggling. Users now have an unlimited amount of options when upgrading or setting up their very first home network. For those that have a large amount of space to cover, the run-of-the-mill wireless router may not be enough, and that is where range extenders fit the bill.
Today, we will be taking a look at one of the latest solutions from Amped Wireless, and as you know, we have seen the RTA15 and REA20 come through the lab here at TweakTown. It will certainly be interesting to see how well the REC15A fits into the market and lineup from Amped Wireless. The REC15A is a 500mW "High Power" wireless range extender with capabilities of 150Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 433Mbps on the 5GHz band.
MSRP for the Amped Wireless REC15A Range Extender is set at $99.99 with a one-year warranty.
The scope of delivery for the REC15A includes the extender along with its dual-band antenna. We also found a good amount of reading materials in the box along with a setup disk.
Taking a look at the front edge of the extender, I noticed Amped included a wired Ethernet port. Upon further inspection, I found this port is a fast Ethernet port and is capable of 100Mbps.
The top of the REC15A houses the antenna connection with the WPS button and reset on the opposing side.
The back of the extender houses the plug along with the default SSID. It's worth noting that this extender is not secured by default like many solutions.
Above, we have entered the GUI of the extender. As you can see, Amped has laid everything out so that you can get an idea of what's going on with one glimpse.
Setting up the extender, we must first choose what network we would like to extend. In my case, it would be the Linksys WRT1900 network.
Next up, we enter the password for the wireless network and let the extender connect.
GO TO TOP OF THE NEXT COLUMN ^
After the extender connects, it will ask you what you would like to name your extended network.
Above, everything is setup and ready to go. As you can see, we have 86 percent signal from the 5GHz band and 92 percent from the 2.4GHz band.
Now we move to testing. On the 2.4GHz band, we connected at 73Mbps with our MacBook Pro. Starting right next to the range extender and moving out to a final distance of 40ft, I found the 2.4GHZ band to do quite well. At the furthest distance, the signal dropped to -50dBm but stayed at the same 73Mbps connection rate.
Over on the 5GHz band, things were a little calmer; the MacBook Pro connected at 293Mbps. Right next to the extender, we have a -40dBm signal, and moving out from the base location, we find the extender keeping a good signal rate with the lowest signal at -68dBm.
As far as range extenders are concerned, the Amped Wireless REC15A is one of the more complete units I have seen come through. While I haven't been able to get my hands-on everything in the market, I would say the REC15A is just as good as, and maybe better than, the REA20 from Amped Wireless…that is if you don't need the extra gigabit ports and top-tier speed from your extender. If you do, then you may want to look into a full solution rather than a compact unit such as this.
The build quality of the REC15A is quite good; plastics are secure and don't feel flimsy, and the firmware on this unit was solid with no hiccups like we experienced with the REA20.
Performance of the REC15A was as advertised. I was successfully able to maneuver through testing without losing a signal, and even more, I feel that I could have went out further from the standard 40ft that I stop at during testing. In addition to the wireless extending capabilities of the REC15A, the unit does also offer a single fast Ethernet port if you want to extend and then plug in the extender to a PC or maybe a switch.
MSRP of the Amped Wireless REC15A is set at $99.99 with a one-year warranty. Current market pricing can be found below.
PRICING: You can find the Amped Wireless REC15A for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Amped Wireless REC15A retails for $99.99 at Amazon.
Canada: The Amped Wireless REC15A retails for CDN$145.44 at Amazon Canada.