Amped Wireless High Power Wireless-N 600mW Gigabit Router (R10000G)
I was first introduced to the High Power Wireless-N 600mW Gigabit Router at CES 2012 and was skeptical about the Wi-Fi coverage Amped Wireless claimed for the router: some 10,000 square feet, about 10 times the area of a good-sized apartment.
As it turned out, for the most part the router delivered in my testing, offering the longest range I've seen and decent Wi-Fi data rates. It's far from perfect, however, with its lack of support for the 5GHz band, and the somewhat flimsy chassis.
Nonetheless, with a price of around $150, it would be a good choice for those who need to share Internet access in a large office or property.
Setup and design
The R10000G is a simple router with a typical rectangular shape. On the back it has two extra-large detachable antennas that really crowd the four color-coded LAN ports and one WAN port. These ports are Gigabit Ethernet, meaning if you don't care about wireless, you will still get a very fast wired network out of the router.
On the front the router has an array of LED lights that show the status of the ports on the back, the connection to the Internet, and the router's power status.
The router is designed to be put flat on a surface with four rubber feet. It also comes with a small detachable base so it can be placed in a vertical position. However, since both the base and the router are very light, it's unlikely that you could use it in the vertical position for a long time without it toppling.
The bottom of the router also has holes for wall-mounting. There you'll find the label that shows all that you need to set up the router.
According to the label, basically, the router comes preconfigured with a wireless network and encryption, which might or might not be the same for every unit. This means all you need to do is plug the router into power and connect its WAN port to an Internet source and you're set. (Amped Wireless makes it extra-easy by including two CAT5 cables, already plugged into the WAN and a LAN port of the router.) You then can just connect a Wi-Fi client to the provided network manually or via the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button, which is also on the back of the router. Note that you probably want to avoid using WPS for now because of some unresolved security issues.
If you want to disable WPS or further customize the router, just point a browser from a connected computer to its default IP address, which is 192.168.3.1, with the default log-in of admin for both the username and password. This information is also printed on the label on the underside of the router.
The Amped Wireless R10000G doesn't have a lot of features, but it has enough for most simple home or even office needs. The router's interface includes a wizard through which you can customize the network by either accepting its default settings or changing them. Other than that you can also customize Web filtering, quality of service, firewall, port forwarding, and so on.
The most interesting feature of the R10000G is the fact that you can manage its wireless power, between 100 percent and 15 percent. This is in case you're worried that the router offers too much coverage that would somehow be detrimental to your home network.
I was really expecting exceptional range with the Amped Wireless R10000G--and I did get exceptional range in my testing. In fact, the router offers by far the longest range I've seen. In my office, which is on the sixth floor of a building, I could only test a range of up to about 350 feet--before I would have had to walk out of the building and remain in the air, which I didn't want to do--and the router's range seemed to top that. That said, I couldn't tell how far its actual range was. I tried connecting from the ground floor and wasn't able to, which isn't surprising considering all the concrete in the building.
I did notice that starting from 300 feet out, it was harder to get connected to the router and remain connected, despite the fact that the signal indicator was still almost full. Note however that my office is not a control environment, meaning there are other wireless networks and devices that might interfere with the testing. So you might have a different experience where you are. Nonetheless, from what I saw, the R10000G indeed offered really long range.
The router's wireless data rate was also good in my trials, though not as exceptional as its range. In close-range (15 feet) testing, the router registered 47.4Mbps. When I increased the range to 100 feet, it averaged just 20.2Mbps. These numbers were slightly lower than average on my comparison charts, but are more than enough for Internet sharing.
And it seems the router should be used for Internet sharing only, since it didn't pass one of two 24-hour stress tests. During this test, the router is set up to continuously transfer a large amount of data back and forth between multiple clients. The R10000G failed the test after about 10 hours. I tried it again the second time and it passed, so it might have been just an aberration the first time around. Still with the slightly low data rates and the lack of support for the 5GHz band, the R10000G is best suited for wireless Internet sharing.
I noted that the R10000G became rather hot after extended operation. It wasn't hot enough to be alarming, but did make its thin, flimsy plastic cover feel slightly softer. This made me concerned about the router's durability. I'd recommend using it in a cool and open place.
CNET Labs 2.4GHz Wireless-N performance (in Mbps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Range|| ||Throughput|| |
Cisco Linksys E2000
Amped Wireless R10000G
Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station
Service and support
Amped Wireless backs the High Power Wireless-N 600mW Gigabit Router R10000G with a one-year warranty, which is short albeit standard for routers. You can also return it after 30 days in case you find all that range is just too much too bear. On the company's Web site, there's a dedicated page for the router that provide lots of support information. The page seems to be new and incomplete, however; for example, when I clicked on the link to download the firmware, it took me to another page that showed a flashy presentation of how the router works.
With an exceptionally long Wi-Fi range and slightly below-average wireless data rates, the Amped Wireless High Power Wireless-N 600mW Gigabit Router R10000G would be a very good router for those who want to share Internet access wirelessly in a large property or office.