Typically, there are two types of wireless network extenders: the set-top-box-type form factor and the version that mounts into an electrical socket, like the new REC22P. What’s great about this product is that it’s typically out of sight, and it also doesn’t drape Ethernet wires to the router. The wireless technology has also matured to the point where wall-mounted form factors provide excellent coverage and support heavy Internet traffic like HD video streaming.
According to the company, the REC22P is packed with eight amplifiers and two high gain dual band antennas for pushing wireless signals through walls and ceilings. This hardware is backed by the company’s BoostBand technology that streamlines traffic through the fastest frequency available. It’s easy to set up too, providing a special Signal Strength LED that visually shows you the best spot in the home or office to place the adapter.
That said, users connect to the device by plugging an Ethernet cable into the built-in gigabit Ethernet port and pull up the device’s interface on a PC. There you locate the router’s signal, enter the credentials, and you should be good to go. That Ethernet port can then be used for a wired device like a console, Blu-ray player or Internet-capable HDTV. The extender even comes packed with an extra rapid-charging USB port to juice up mobile devices like a smartphone or tablet.
Customers can also set the device up by using a tablet or smartphone. Once connected, users then pull up a browser and access the device’s web-based interface.
On a more technical level, the new wireless extender provides speeds of up to 867Mbps on the 5GHz band and speeds of up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. Granted, to achieve the highest speed, you’ll need a device that supports Wireless AC networking, as gadgets with Wireless N technology won’t zoom that fast on the 5GHz band. The plug-in device is backwards compatible, supporting 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac.
Of course, to reach the 867Mbps speed provided by the extender, you’ll need an 802.11ac Wi-Fi router too, which Amped Wireless and other vendors sell separately. However, this extender supposedly works with all brands of routers, so don’t fret if you haven’t upgraded to 802.11ac just yet.
What’s great about this plug-in extender is that it features a pass-through electrical outlet. That means when it’s plugged into the wall, you won’t lose an electrical connection. The extender also works with all Apple networking features like AirPlay, AirPrint, and Home Sharing. There’s even a number of security features built into the device for restricting access to specific users, and setting a time when the network becomes available.
The new REC22P is available online through Amped Wireless for $100, and will be arriving in brick-and-mortar stores in the coming weeks.