ASUS EA-N66 & Amped SR20000G Wi-Fi Extender ReviewThu, Dec 06, 2012 - 12:00 AM
The Matchup: ASUS versus Amped Wireless
ASUS EA-N66 3-in-1 Dual-Band Wireless-N450
ASUS designed the EA-N66 3-in-1 dual band wireless N900 adapter with a 3-antenna design in a very unique package. The pyramid or orthogonal shape is designed to provide users with optimal internet speeds over 2.4GHz or 5.0GHz bands at speeds of up to 450Mbps per band. The N66 has internal 2dBi antennas for the 2.4GHz band and 4dBi antennas for the 5 GHz band. This patented design is built to give users fast browsing, smooth HD video streaming, and lag-free online gaming.
The ASUS EA-N66 works as either an Ethernet adapter, repeater, or as an access point. As an Ethernet adapter, you can connect an Ethernet-capable device to make it connectable to your wireless network. This is perfect for those who might have a an internet-ready device but no way of running a cable. As a ‘repeater’, the ASUS EA-N66 can rebroadcast signals to extend an existing wireless network’s range. This will give a user better coverage for larger residences or places where signal strength is weak. The last mode that the EA-N66 works in is as a Wi-Fi access point. You can plug the unit into any wired modem or router to add wireless capabilities to an existing network.
All of these modes can be configured through ASUS’s GUI that is very easy to navigate. For our tests, we will of course be placing the N66 into a ‘Repeater’ mode to see how far we can extend an existing wireless network.
The N66 has mounding holes on the underside of the base so you can easily mount it on the wall or hide it in your A/V cabinet. The ASUS EA-N66 can be found for $89.99 shipped from both Amazon and Newegg. The EA-N66 comes with a standard 2-year limited warranty in North America.
Amped Wireless Dual Band Range Extender (Repeater) SR20000G
The Amped Wireless Dual Band Range Extender is specifically designed to extend the range of any existing Wi-Fi Network. The SR20000G amplifies and rebroadcasts the signal from any existing wireless router and features dual high power 2.4GHz 600mW amplifiers, dual high power 5.0GHz amplifiers and dual low-noise amplifiers for improving wireless reception. Unlike the ASUS above, the Amped Wireless extender has removable High Gain 5dBi antennas and comes in a package that is physically larger than the ASUS ‘triangle’.
The SR20000G is one of the first Wi-Fi extenders to include 5 gigabit networking ports so that you can connecting PCs, home theater devices, and game consoles. No more having to turn off Pandora while firing up Call of Duty from your living room. The unit even has an USB port for sharing files over the local or extended network. The GUI that Amped Wireless has included with the SR20000G is almost identical to that of their Dual-Band Router that we reviewed earlier this year, the Amped Wireless R20000G. The GUI is very responsive and very robust with tons of features that a networking expert would appreciate.
The Amped Wireless SR20000 Dual-Band Range Extender comes with a 1-year warranty and lists for $169, but can be found for $139.99 shipped from Amazon.
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Examining our “Heads-Up” comparison chart at first glance you will see some glaring differences between these two products. With the addition of 5 useable gigabit ports, the Amped Wireless SR20000G seems to have an edge in functionality – especially if you are looking to connect multiple devices in a particular room. The ASUS EA-N66 comes out ahead when looking for raw speed usage with theoretical speeds of up to 2x450Mbps when using devices that have three antennas or 3 spatial streams for each frequency. Even though the Amped Wireless has gigabit ports, if you use it as a bridge or an extender, you will only get up to 2x300Mbps speed (2 spatial streams each frequency).
Both the Amped Wireless and the ASUS have multiple uses and are able to function as a Bridge, Access Point, and Extender. Let’s take a look how far and how fast these devices work.