- 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b supported standards
- 2.4GHz band
- 2 internal antennas
- Easy Setup
- Wall-socket, desktop placement options
- Only supports 2.4GHz bands
Reach Out, Reach Further
Ah yes, we all have that problem where our wireless signals just isn’t reaching out to the places we need them. We might try and rectify it with a router of a wider broadcasting range, but there’s a finite distance to that. So how do you further extend your wireless coverage? One easy way is to get the Cisco Linksys RE1000.
We say easy because the RE1000 has a setup process that’s as simple as a picture book. With the extender turned on, all you have to do is run the installation CD on a computer connected to the current Wi-Fi network, and the software will tell you the quality of the signal the extender is receiving. A few more clicks and you’ll have your wireless range extended that instance. It’s not entirely convenient, though; you DO need to have a computer in the wireless network, and if the RE1000 is in a place with an unsatisfactory signal, you’ll have to restart the entire scanning process.
You don’t have to worry about wires or how to hook it up, either. The RE1000 can be set up either as a desktop placement (using the power cable), or be plugged directly into the wall socket. There’s a single Ethernet port for you to connect into a networkable printer; too bad there’s no USB support for certain NAS setups.
It helps that the design and aesthetics of the RE1000 is meant to blend into your home or workspace. It’s rather small, and while it does take up some space if plugged to a socket, it’s not too large to be cumbersome. The simple dark-grey design is also inconspicuous, though the Cisco logo does light up when plugged.
You can expect the RE1000 to do what it’s supposed to do: extend your network. The range is rather good, and while it’s natural to expect some throughput drops when using an extender, the RE1000 manages some respectable results, with a stable 79Mbps in our test. Unfortunately, it only runs on 2.4GHz bands, which isn’t a concern unless you intend to stream HD content among tasks, which may cause bottlenecks.
CHIP CONCLUDE: While it’s easy to say that the Cisco Linksys RE1000 does it job and does it well, the main charm of it is its superb ease of setup and two different ways of usage. It’s not without a few hitches, but it’ll certainly let you reach further than usual.
(previously published in issue July 2012)