Amped Wireless R20000G, SR20000G, and UA2000: Routers, Repeaters, and Adapters (Oh My!)by Jarred Walton on June 23, 2012 12:00 AM EST
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- Amped Wireless
Amped Wireless R20000G Router
This isn’t the first wireless router from Amped, and they have a naming scheme that more or less makes sense. For repeaters, the SR150 covered 3000 square feet, the SR300 increased the coverage to 5000 square feet, and the SR10000/SR20000 cover 10000 square feet. On the router side, Amped skipped straight to 10000 square feet of coverage with the R10000, which is a 2.4GHz 2x2:2 router (or N300 if you prefer). The R10000G is the same on the wireless side but adds Gigabit Ethernet support for wired connections. R20000G likewise has Gigabit support, while the doubling of the number reflects the new addition of 5GHz wireless networking.
|Amped Wireless R20000G Wireless Router Specifications|
|Frequency Band||2.4GHz, 5.0GHz (Simultaneous)|
2.4GHz: 300Mbps (Rx), 300Mbps (Tx)
5.0GHz: 300Mbps (Rx), 300Mbps (Tx)
Dual 2.4GHz 600mW Amplifiers
Dual 5.0GHz Amplifiers
Dual Low Noise Amplifiers
|Wireless Output Power||29dBm (2.4GHz)|
|Wireless Security||WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA Mixed, WPS|
|Wireless Access Scheduling||Specific day and time|
|Wireless Coverage Control||
15% - 100% Output Power
(Adjustable individually for 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz networks)
Guest Wireless Networks (Up to 4 Additional)
Supports Wireless Multimedia (WMM)
Smart Firewall (SPI, NAT)
Parental Controls (Website Blocking)
User Access Control (MAC, IP Filtering)
Quality of Service (QoS)
2 x High Gain 5dBi Dual Band Antennas
2 x Reverse SMA Connectors
1 x RJ45 10/100/1000M WAN Port (Modem Port)
4 x RJ45 10/100/1000M LAN Ports (Local Ports)
1 x USB 2.0 Port (for USB Storage)
|Power Adapter Rating||Switching Adapter, Input: 100-240v, Output: 12v, 1A|
|Mounting||Wall, Stand or Desktop|
Broadband (cable/DSL) modem with Ethernet port
Computer with wired (RJ-45) or wireless (802.11a/b/g/n) adapter
1 x High Power Wireless-N 600mW Gigabit Dual Band Router
2 x Detachable High Gain 5dBi Dual Band Antennas
1 x Power Adapter
1 x RJ-45 Ethernet Cable
1 x Setup Guide
1 x CD: User's Guide, Installation Video
1 x Stand for vertical mounting
|Price||Online starting at $160|
At a basic level, there’s not much to distinguish the R20000G router from competing products. It’s a 2x2:2 MIMO dual-band router, capable of transmitting at up to 300Mbps on each channel. The various wireless router makers have more or less come up with their own way of classifying routers; in this case they call the 2x2:2 dual-band configuration an N600 router. Amped uses a Realtek wireless chipset for the R20000G (no groaning, please), but with their own power amplifiers, low noise filters, and some work on the drivers and firmware.
The R20000G comes with four LAN ports as well as the uplink WAN/Internet port, all of which are Gigabit capable. Interestingly, Amped provides two Ethernet cables with the router, and both are relatively short CAT 5e cables. I’m not sure what the problem is, but I couldn’t actually get any of my PCs/laptops to connect at 1Gb speeds with the provided cables; luckily, I had a variety of my own cables available and all of those worked without problems (including some old and relatively long CAT 5 cables, which are apparently still better than the provided cables). Besides the indicator lights on the front of the router, the only other item worth mentioning is the USB 2.0 port, which can be used to provide basic network attached storage functionality as well as access via FTP over the Internet.
The bigger selling point of the R20000G is the improved antennas and output power compared to other routers. Amped uses 600mW high-gain antennas, with the power improving the range the wireless signal can travel from the router and the high-gain aspect increasing the ability of the router to pick up weaker signals. The result is that the R20000G should offer a wider area of coverage than other routers—Amped specs the R20000G for 10000 square feet or more on the 2.4GHz network.
That’s where things get a bit more difficult. I have three routers available, all with 2x2:2 2.4GHz support. They can all be picked up at a distance of around 60 feet from the router (through two interior walls and an exterior wall). That means all three cover over 10000 square feet, and in fact I could generally get connections at 100 feet and sometimes more (around 30000 square feet). Realistically, though, once I got beyond the ~60 foot mark the connection speeds really started to drop—we’ll discuss this more on our performance testing.
Besides the coverage area, the main thing Amped Wireless touts with their router is the ease of setup, quality of signal, and the support. Above you can see the setup images for the R20000G, along with some of the other configuration pages. While the initial setup is relatively painless and I was able to get the R20000G up and running with a minimum of fuss, the rest of the configuration options feel somewhat limited. For example, every time you visit the home page of the R20000G (either the IP address—e.g. 192.168.1.1 for my network—or setup.ampedwireless.com), you get dropped into the “first time configuration” steps. You can skip those by going to the “More Settings” section, but it’s a bit weird that Amped doesn’t detect that the router has been previously configured and drop you into the settings pages on subsequent visits.
If you’re the type of user that likes more configuration options, Amped’s initial setup pages might feel a bit limited, but for less savvy users the “less is more” approach is generally preferred. Once you hit the “More Settings” section, though, you can find pretty much everything you’d need—from DMZ to filtering and even FTP settings for the router’s USB storage port. I do have a few minor complaints with the current firmware—e.g. you can’t see the PC names on the list of DHCP clients, which is something that I’ve gotten used to seeing on several other routers that I’ve used—but nothing that would really be a problem.
There is one final item worth mentioning, however: DD-WRT support. This is actually pretty simple, though, in that there is no (current) support for DD-WRT. For some power users, that’s enough to curb any interest in a router. If you’re among the group that just googled “DD-WRT” to find out what I’m talking about, though, it’s likely nothing to worry about.
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Conficio - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - linkI wonder why Amped Wireless would not combine the repeater and the directional antenna. As Jarred mentioned, for a mobile device a directional antenna is a bit inconvenient, especially if it does easily move.
However for a repeater it would be ideal. Place your repeater in a quite weak spot and use the power of the directional antenna to still get a good signal. Then broadcast the repeated signal onmi-directional. That should cut down on the interference too. And a repeater is a heavier object to begin with and stationary. Sure if you don't need it, then you won't need it. But if you have a tricky situation, or simply a very large property (lets say a boats house or an artists shed) then this should be a great solution.
Even better would be to add an additional directional antenna to the main router and the ability to use different channels for the directional link. That could make a point to point link that would cut down on interference even more.
JarredWalton - Sunday, June 24, 2012 - linkI believe Amped does support this, though you'd need to provide the antennas yourself (Amped sells them, though). The only problem is that you'd basically have one antenna directional and pointed at the router with the second omnidirectional, so your total omnidirectional signal strength would likely be limited.
Conficio - Monday, June 25, 2012 - linkThanks Jarred for clarifying this.
In my mind that poses one more question, is the directional USB stick a 2x2 config? are both antennas directional? Or is it only one antenna?
But I think you are right, just replacing an antenna with a directional one is not the same as building a real repeter that has a separate notion of (set of) input antenna (directional) and set of output antenna (omnidirectional). Hence there is the opportunity for a company like Amped.
Another question. Is it possible to use only one band (5GHz) to talk to the router and the other band (2.4 GHz) to redistribute? The same for channels? Which should get down the interference even better.
JarredWalton - Monday, June 25, 2012 - linkAFAIK, the UA2000 has both antennas pointing the same direction. It can also pick up other routers that aren't being pointed at, but range and performance drop considerably.
As for routing one band to the router and the other for talking to devices, I asked Amped about this, and they said while in theory it's possible to have the repeater send wireless traffic over the other connection (when present), they chose not to do it this way to "keep things simple" or something. If you use a 2.4GHz only router (or disable the 5GHz channel), then 5GHz traffic will get routed over the 2.4GHz radio; likewise, you could disable your router's 2.4GHz channel and have the repeater's 2.4GHz traffic route over 5GHz. That might actually be interesting to test out.
mike8675309 - Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - linkI actually do that in my home. Using DD-WRT I have a WDS network setup with 3 dual radio routers. Clients connect on the 2.4GHz antennas and the routers talk to each other over the 5GHz antennas.
PS3, Xbox, Dish DVRs connect with ethernet and get a 5Ghz connection to the internet router, perfect for streaming from Netflix or Dish.
This eliminates the issue with 1/2 the bandwidth when using the same radio to talk to clients as you use for repeating to the main router, which is what is happening for most repeaters in the market.
tlcqualityrentals - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - linkLots of great information on this site. If only I could figure out what you guys are talking about. LOL. I had narrowed down my selection to the Amped Wireless R20000g to replace my years 5+ year old Linksys router/modem. The Linksys was fine for my home. I have recently added a cottage and a pavilion to my property. Both are approximately 300 to 400 feet from the Linkysys router. It is imperative that i provide good network coverage in the cottage. My question to you is, how would you solve this issue? What items would you buy?
Thanks for any suggestions.
bman212121 - Monday, June 25, 2012 - linkOne of the biggest issues when trying to pick a wireless AP for range is dechipering through all of the claimed power ratings. I bought an AP that was listed as having a 400mW power rating. I figured that meant that it was a 200mW radio output and 200mW for the 3dbi antennas on it. That is technically true but the issue with N is that those numbers are also divided by the number of antennas you have. So in reality it was 100mW per amp with 100mW (3dbi gain) for each antenna.
So in the case of this amped wireless device it would be 125mW (21Db) amps and 5dbi antennas (26dbi EIRP per antenna, making 29dbi total power output) This would make it slightly more powerful than the average home router but for devices where you can replace the antennas you will get more power by having bigger antennas than what is provided on this device.
Case in point, I was floored when our old Linksys WRT54G actually out ranged my 400mw N access point because it used the same 100mw (20Dbm) output and a 2dbi antenna. I'm guessing it must have had a slightly better method of determining the best path and probably a bit more sensitive receiver. I was already planning on swapping the antennas with 9dbi rubber duckies. Once I did that then my AP was able to travel farther however location seems to be far more important for range than anything you can do on the AP side.
GullLars - Sunday, July 8, 2012 - link"If I had been wise, I would have tabulated all the individual results and come up with a throughput distribution graph (similar to what Brian does with our smartphone Speedtest results), but unfortunately I only considered doing that after the fact. It would also become rather difficult to compare results between routers and adapters using such charts. Still, if there’s enough desire for such testing, I can revisit the subject with a smaller article. Either leave a comment or drop me an email if you’re interested in such testing."
Yes, when there are very variable results, using result distribution graphs can give very important information averages leave out, like best and worst case, and consistency of performance.
I'd rather have a wireless connection at average 80Mbps ±10Mbps than average 140Mbps with drops to 40Mbps 10% of the time. Especially if this is also reflected in latency. I'm kinda surprised there were no meassuring of ping, just throughput. Ping and ping spikes are very important for how it feels to use wireless connections.
For most rewiews of IO devices there is mention of both throughput and latency, why not also do this for wireless?