Amped Wireless R20000G, SR20000G, and UA2000: Routers, Repeaters, and Adapters (Oh My!)by Jarred Walton on June 23, 2012 12:00 AM EST
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.