With the release of 802.11ac, we have seen many range extenders come to market featuring dual-band capabilities able to extend your wireless network all the way up to 10,000 sq. ft. It has been a while since we have seen the latest solutions from Amped Wireless, but we now have their High Power AC750 range extender in the lab.
The TAP-EX2 is the latest and possibly greatest to come from Amped Wireless. This solution features dual-band connectivity with 300Mbps capabilities on the 2.4GHz band and 433Mbps capabilities on the 5GHz band. Features include adjustable wireless output power that enables users to control the distance of their network, three 10/100 Ethernet ports and a USB 2.0 port, though by far the most unique feature of this wireless range extender is its touchscreen controls.
MSRP of the Amped Wireless TAP-EX2 is listed at $139.99 with a one-year warranty.
Product packaging for the TAP-EX2 features an image of the extender on the front with marketing information below.
Scope of delivery includes the range extender, high gain antenna, and power adapter.
The front of the extender houses the touchscreen with a stylus tucked in the top left edge.
The side houses the three 10/100 Ethernet ports, along with USB 2.0 and the power input.
Setting up the Amped requires just a few minutes and use of the touchscreen. To begin, we simply scan for networks available.
After the scan is complete, we have the following screen that shows you which networks are within the recommended 70% signal quality range. For our network, we are extending our Linksys WRT network, which happens to be at 100% signal quality.
After going through the same steps as we did above for the 5GHz network as well the extender begins to save your settings and connect to the home router.
Once setup is complete, you get a status screen showing you both of your extended networks and the signal quality.
Above we have a chart showing the range and signal quality of our router's 2.4GHz network as we move through the lab with maximum distance of 75 ft from the router.
With the range extender connected, we have a reverse scenario where quality jumps quite a bit all the way to our furthest test point around 75ft from the router.
With the 5GHz band our router does quite well until we reach around 20 ft with a drop off down to a signal rate of -80.
Moving on we have the 5GHZ band on the Amped Wireless extender, as you can see, we gained quite a boost in performance moving to the outer reaches of our testing.
Range extenders for the most part are just as popular in any home network as a wireless router. With the need for us to extend our networks outside the home to places like a patio, deck or pool house, it's important to find a solution that fits the need. It's also important for some to have a solution that fits the room it will be in and with the Amped Wireless TAP-EX2, you get both. The Amped carried a good deal of build quality and design as it's the first touchscreen solution I have seen in my time at TweakTown.
Performance was solid as this unit was able to pass signal through two walls and a steel door out to my garage where no signal has ever dared to go. In our 2.4GHz testing, we saw a great boost in signal rate moving from 40 ft to our peak of 75 ft, and we found a similar situation with the 5GHz band as well. In addition, three wired ports allow you to plug in nearby Ethernet devices like printers, PCs, or network storage.
As far as pricing is concerned, the Amped Wireless carries an MSRP of $139.99 with a one year-warranty. Looking through many pages of range extenders, only a few AC750 solutions popped up, one is the Netgear EX6100 coming in at $79.99 and the other the TP-Link RE200 at $49.99, and they don't have a touchscreen or high gain antennas.
|Quality including Design and Build||87%|
|Bundle and Packaging||86%|
|Value for Money||92%|
The Bottom Line: If you are in the market for a sleek, high performance range extender, you should definitely put the Amped Wireless TAP-EX2 on the list.
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