It’s been a while since we last looked at Amped Wireless, a company with a primary goal being the development of higher quality and longer range WiFi products. Wireless testing being what it is – namely, a pain in the rear – I haven’t completed any of the 802.11ac router reviews yet, but the AC1200 Amped Wireless router I’ve been testing has worked well. Amped now has several newer products coming out that supersede the AC1200 router, with an AC1900 router topping their lineup and providing four stream 2.4GHz support (600Mbps) and three stream 5GHz support (up to 1300Mbps on 11ac, or 450Mbps on 11n). They’ve also added a USB 3.0 port to several of their routers to provide high-speed access to network storage, which is a potentially useful feature.

The wireless routers are now dressed in black, while the repeaters/range extenders use similar hardware that’s tuned for a slightly different workload and their casings are white. Amped also has access points available, which are more for business, with the highest model currently being AC1200 (two stream 2.4GHz/5GHz), which comes in a steel-grey color. The AC1200 RTA15 router has been shipping for a few months now with an MSRP of $190, while we’re still waiting for the new AC1900 model to begin shipping. Similarly, the REA20 range extender is currently shipping with a $200 MSRP, and we’re waiting for availability on the AC1900 range extender.

Along with the routers, repeaters, and access points, Amped has a couple new 802.11ac client adapters. One is the ACA1, an AC1200 USB WiFi adapter with USB 3.0 connectivity that supports two streams (300Mbps/867Mbps) and can be used with any suitable laptop or desktop. USB 2.0 compatibility is provided as well, but performance will potentially be lower due to the limited bandwidth offered. The second client adapter is the PCI20E, and AC1200 WiFi PCI-E adapter, which has similar performance but comes with a PCI-E x1 expansion card for use in your desktop. The ACA1 is already shipping with a $90 MSRP, while the PCI20E is currently on pre-order with an MSRP of $80, and availability is expected in March.

The potentially fastest routers at CES support up to four streams 802.11ac (1733Mbps), but the only four stream solution currently available comes from Quantenna. Considering most of Amped’s other products use Realtek chipsets, they may not bother with a four stream 11ac router, so the AC1900 line is likely to be the highest performance router and range extender from Amped for the time being.

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  • kmmatney - Tuesday, February 04, 2014 - link

    As a NightHawk owner, I really wouldn't call it a clear winner. You'd hardly notice the difference between it and the second place router that is $50 cheaper, or even the $84 D-link AC1200. I haven't had many stability issues with the NightHawk, but I'm not sure it's worth the money. Reply
  • B3an - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    I wish AT would get some new people on board so there can be more (detailed) reviews. Reply
  • msahni - Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - link

    HI there
    what happened to the ASUS RT-AC87U and what about the AMPED AC1900 RTA30.

    Come on guys we don't expect ANANDTECH to give us yesterdays news tomorrow .....
    Reply
  • tyft86 - Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - link

    Don't worry I'm still waiting for the MacBook Pro Retina 2013 review...it's now 2014! Reply
  • Krysto - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    I'm waiting for 802.11ac-2013 which should give 7Gbps on 5Ghz, and at least 1Gbps for 2.4 Ghz. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    Just defined standard probably means we're at least a year away from seeing products that support 11ac-2013 (shouldn't it be 2014 now?), but it's definitely cool sounding. Even if you can only get 1/3 the promised bandwidth, the ability to do over 2Gbps of real throughput over WiFi would be awesome. The problem is, to get 7Gbps you need 160MHz channels and eight streams; we're still waiting for retail four-stream implementations, and most are still topping out at 80MHz channels, plus 160MHz means you're carving out a huge portion of the spectrum so you'd need to be free from other 5GHz network interference to get it to work. Some day, though, I'll be able to finally rid myself of my last Gigabit Ethernet cables. Maybe. Reply
  • Krysto - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    Better wait for 802.11ac-2013 that will give at least 1 Gbps for 2.4Ghz and a whooping 7Gbps for 5Ghz.

    http://www.zdnet.com/super-fast-wi-fi-coming-802-1...
    Reply
  • 1andrew - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    I thought AC was supposed to be 5 GHz only. I live in a complex and I can see about 15 2.4 GHz access points and I'm the only one on 5 GHz. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - link

    11ac is 5GHz only, but it's also backwards compatible with 11n/11g so you also get 2.4GHz support. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - link

    Yeah, that's what I thought. I understand there isn't enough spectrum for larger 2.4g channels and 2.4 is too noisy for a higher level of QAM to be effective; but I kinda wish MU-MIMO was backported to the 2.4ghz part of the router. Being able to send streams to several legacy devices at once would be a nice improvement for on legacy devices. Reply

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