Review

Review: Amped Wireless' R10000G high power router [Update]

When most people need a wireless router, they simply go to their local electronics store and pick up the cheapest device they can find.  While there’s nothing wrong with that approach, I’ve experienced several less-than-stellar routers with this method: either the range wasn’t very good or the box stopped working after a few months. That’s why we were intrigued when we read about Amped Wireless's R10000G wireless router that allegedly can cover a 10,000 square foot home with ease.

In addition to the four gigabit Ethernet ports and an uplink to connect the device to your cable modem, the wireless router also sports a pair of high power 600mW amplifiers, a pair of high power wireless reception amplifiers, and a pair of high gain antennas. According to the literature, the R10000G has over 10 times the Wi-Fi output power and five times the antenna power of a standard Wi-Fi router. The device supports 802.11b, g, and n.

The device itself is rather nondescript: A basic black box with a couple of antennas that screw onto the back and some standard Ethernet ports. Setup of the box is also relatively straight forward compared to other similar devices. Users hardwire a PC with DHCP to the router, enter a default URL to get to the setup screen, and answer a few questions to finish the configuration. After rebooting, the basic configuration is complete although there are many more features to play with.

After the initial setup, we were extremely disappointed with the router’s performance. Signal strength was low and download speeds from the internet were slow. This seemed counter-intuitive to us, so we decided to try out their Wi-Fi analytics tool that can be found on the Android marketplace and is a free download.

The app is not limited to Amped Wireless products and is a good way to see what other routers are sending their radio waves through your house.  After running the app, we saw our problem: There were a half-dozen devices all using the same channel as we were. The scanner showed us that nobody else in the neighborhood was using channel nine, so we changed the setting on the router and instantly our performance increased to where we expected it. Even though we wish the router would’ve been smart enough to put itself on a non-cluttered channel automatically, the scanner is a very handy tool and we highly recommend everyone check it out to see what your own setup looks like. Unfortunately, it is only available for Android devices.

We used four different devices to test: An IBM Thinkpad, a Motorola Xoom, an Amazon Kindle Fire, and a wireless Playstation 3. The Amped Wireless router lives in the basement of our two-story, 1,700 square foot home while the PS3 is two floors higher in the master bedroom. While many reviews focus on synthetic benchmarks and make note that one device is X% faster than another, we decided to go with more real-world usage tests to see how the R10000G compared to our old D-Link DGL-4300 108G Gaming router.

Hardwired performance on the Thinkpad was on par with other gigabit routers on the market, but the company makes no claims that their wired speeds surpass their competitors. Where the router shines is with its wireless capabilities.

The first thing we noticed was the fact that all of our test devices had full bars no matter where in our house we went. From the basement to the first floor to the second floor, all rooms registered the maximum signal strength. This was in stark contrast to our D-Link DGL-4300 108G Gaming Router that struggled to provide two bars on the second floor of the house. Streaming Netflix with our original router produced buffering errors, but with the Amped Wireless router we never had an issue during any of our tests and all programs began in HD. This alone was a great improvement and although it doesn’t prove the “10,000 square foot coverage,” houses that currently have poor signals in certain areas can certainly improve with the R10000G.

Next, we decided to see how well performance worked outside of the house. We had visions of being able to visit our neighbors and still connect to the device, but these hopes ultimately fell short. Roughly 20 feet from the house our signal fell to half. Surfing the web was still possible, but was noticeably slow. Streaming from Netflix was not in high definition and we experienced some buffering issues. Overall it was usable in a pinch, but not a great experience.

Moving another 15 feet towards the street reduced the signal to a single bar and we were unable to load Google’s search page, making it unusable. This is actually the best of both worlds - exceptional coverage in our own house, but not so good service for potential war-drivers passing by. We suspect that we’d get much better coverage if we moved the R10000G to the second floor of the house so that the signal didn’t have to pass through poured concrete walls to get out into the world but had no reason to test this as our main use is in the house or maybe as far as the attached patio, all of which worked great.

It’s usually a good idea to upgrade the firmware on a device to the latest revision before you start using it, so that’s the first thing we did after the initial configuration.  Unfortunately, the process was not as streamlined as some other wireless routers we’ve seen. While there is a “firmware” button in the interface, all it does is take you to the company’s website. From here, the user is expected to determine whether the update is required or not, and if it is, it must be manually downloaded to the host PC and then selected from a browse menu. It would’ve been nice to see this streamlined where a click of a button automatically goes out to the site and downloads the latest version if required.

After upgrading the firmware, we were unable to access the network from our connected device anymore. We hardwired a DHCP client directly to the router again and realized that the firmware upgrade deleted all of the settings we previously configured. We reached out to Amped Wireless about this issue and they confirmed that there’s a bug with the latest version of the firmware and that there “should be a firmware soon to address this issue.”  Until then, it’s recommended that users save their configuration and then simply reload it later. This is probably a good idea after your initial configuration, even if you’re not upgrading the firmware.

We were also disappointed with the overall setup of the user interface. Each time you connect to the interface you’re greeted with a “Welcome to the Smart Setup Wizard” screen and that’s very confusing when you’ve already set the device up. In order to dig into the other features you have to look for the “More Settings” button on the left hand side of the setup screen, and that will open up your common functions such as port forwarding and logging. In addition we were surprised that there’s no option in the GUI to reboot the device – in order to power cycle it, you need to physically access the router.

The R10000G also offers some interesting configuration options such as reducing the signal output, thus reducing the range (to avoid war-driving as previously mentioned), the ability to block specific URLs (to stop your kids from accessing Facebook, for example), and the option to turn Wi-Fi off completely at certain times. While none of these are particularly groundbreaking, they’re nice touches to an overall great product.

Although we couldn’t validate Amped Wireless’ 10,000 square foot coverage claims, we can say without a doubt that this is the most powerful wireless router we’ve had the pleasure to use. Although there are a few issues, notably the somewhat kludgey interface and the loss of settings after upgrading firmware, these issues should be updated in a future software release. The overall hardware is top notch and does what it’s supposed to – gets you online without a worry.  We highly recommend the Amped Wireless R10000G.

UPDATE: Based on user comments, we reached out to Amped Wireless to ask about their (lack of) support for DD-WRT. We received the following response from the company:

Our firmware has been specifically designed and tuned to  maximize the speed and range of the router using our amplifiers and antenna combinations.  Any 3rd party firmware can cause a severe reduction in performance or cause the amplifiers to malfunction and/or overheat.  We do not support 3rd party firmware such as DD-WRT for the protection of our customers and our product performance.

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56 Comments

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asellus said,

600mW is about 27dBm, which is over FCC regulations of 21-22dBm.


The "FCC approved" logo is clearly printed on the box, right above the barcode, and since I assume they actually check things before approving them, I doubt it's outside of their specs.

http://www.fcc.gov/logos

Fezmid said,

The "FCC approved" logo is clearly printed on the box, right above the barcode, and since I assume they actually check things before approving them, I doubt it's outside of their specs.

http://www.fcc.gov/logos

Well as long as the out-of-the-box setting doesn't exceed 21dBm (22dBm is actually only for b/g wireless routers) then it should be OK.

The Smallnetbuilder review of this router said it failed to reach their hardest location, where some other routers reviewed did reach. So I highly doubt their long range claim. Its more like they are just pumping power into it trying to force range.

"We do not support 3rd party firmware such as DD-WRT for the protection of our customers "
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Yeah right. What are they protecting you from, features?

I wonder if it can handle 100/100mbit internet routing into LAN since it is a gigabit router.
Some other routers can barely go 40mbit...

FuhrerDarqueSyde said,
Wish it was a Broadcom chip and not the Realtek RTL8198. No tomato firmware support as a result, this highly saddens me.

I have the *original * (pre-L) Netgear WNR3500v1. This router came with the Marvell TopDog chipset (unlike the current-model v2, which, like the L, uses a newer Broadcom router chipset - the L supports USB external devices such as printers and ReadyNAS, which the V2 does not; otherwise, the two routers are feature-identical and both support DD-WRT). Other than the lack of DD-WRT support, I have zero issues with the router (and it's headed into the third year of use).

"Amped's marketing materials claim up to 10,000 sq. ft. of coverage, which the company backs with a guarantee of 35% off your next router if it fails to meet that promise."

Lol.

eh, I'll jus stick to my 802.11ac devices I just had installed *cough* 1300Mbps wirless and its working great at 100 Ft (drops to about 450Mbit at that distance)

neufuse said,
eh, I'll jus stick to my 802.11ac devices I just had installed *cough* 1300Mbps wirless and its working great at 100 Ft (drops to about 450Mbit at that distance)

And how many devices on the market support that?

Oh yeah, 0.00001%

neufuse said,
eh, I'll jus stick to my 802.11ac devices I just had installed *cough* 1300Mbps wirless and its working great at 100 Ft (drops to about 450Mbit at that distance)

Why would you jump the gun and get .11ac devices now? Don't you remember the **** that was draft .n?

Razorfolds said,

Why would you jump the gun and get .11ac devices now? Don't you remember the **** that was draft .n?

because I get these devices for free... we're a major test partner for some companies that develop the chips and devices

Quite a crappy review indeed. "Signal bars" are so unreliable, you could've at least used inSSIDer (which is free) to show the signal graph and a proper channel graph, perhaps compare it with another AP. And you should state what WiFi-hardware your computer has, otherwise the information is completely invalid too. WiFi signal quality depends on both sides of the link.

Ambroos said,
And you should state what WiFi-hardware your computer has, otherwise the information is completely invalid too. WiFi signal quality depends on both sides of the link.

Agreed in principle -- but that's why most of our tests were done with the Kindle Fire, Playstation 3, and Motorola Xoom. The IBM Thinkpad was used sparingly, and would be the only device this statement makes sense on.

As for methodology, I made very clear that weren't going to use synthetic benchmarks and the like and focused on real-world usability:
"While many reviews focus on synthetic benchmarks and make note that one device is X% faster than another, we decided to go with more real-world usage tests to see how the R10000G compared to our old D-Link DGL-4300 108G Gaming router."

I personally think it's more important to see, "I used to have a problem with Netflix buffering on my PS3 but with the new router, I don't," than, "Router 1 provides 24.3 Mbps whereas router 2 provides 26.7 Mbps, meaning router 2 is 10% faster." Different people want different things from a review, and I can respect that; I just wanted to focus on real-world usage and what you're going to experience from a day-to-day usage perspective.

I hope that at least explains why we went the way we did with the review, even if you would've preferred more hard-core data.

But still, nothing stops you from doing both. You can do an in-depth review that also talks about real-world performance. One doesn't have to exclude the other, and just giving some touchy-feely performance estimates makes this review in it's current state simply useless.

Story title:

"The Amped Wireless R10000G promises to cover a 10,000 square foot building. Does it live up to that claim?"

End of Story:

"Although we couldn't validate Amped Wireless' 10,000 square foot coverage claims"

Come on guys...

xendrome said,
Story title:

"The Amped Wireless R10000G promises to cover a 10,000 square foot building. Does it live up to that claim?"

End of Story:

"Although we couldn't validate Amped Wireless' 10,000 square foot coverage claims"

Come on guys...

TBH this review was a waste of time, when reviewing a specific product as such - documenting perceived "real world" performance and not backing it up with hard numbers or alternate graphs of synthetic performance at your test locations is pointless.

It's like me buying a router on the recommendation that you said it works well but had no proof what so ever.

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com...d-wireless-r10000g-reviewed

That is how you do a review, take some note and work some tests/graphing into your review and you could be onto a winner but until then...

Also, its all very well your router or access point 'shouting loudly' but if the end device can't 'shout back' (or effectively be heard at a distance from the router) then this product is pretty pointless

Well Done Chris, you have just hurt the performance of your neighbours wireless, yes channel 7 was 'free' for a good reason, you should only really be using 1, 6 or 11. You should look into http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11 particularly the part about channels and international compatibility. Essentially 802.11 channels in the 2.4Mhz range are spaced 5Mhz apart, but the transmissions are actually 22Mhz wide, meaning that by using channel 9 you are bleeding into 7 & 8 and 10 & 11. Radio's that are on their own channel can communicate and back off when other devices are transmitting on their own channel, but anything that is bleeding just becomes a source of interference reducing the throughput and range of all other neighbouring devices.

Also, is this device even legal, review doesn't state what the antenna gain is in the 'high power antenna' (and I can't be bothered to look) but the review states '600mW high power amplifiers' with an antenna gain of 2.2dBi max power for the radio in the US is 100mW, 50mW in EMEA and 30mW in Japan

daflex said,
Well Done Chris, you have just hurt the performance of your neighbours wireless, yes channel 7 was 'free' for a good reason, you should only really be using 1, 6 or 11. You should look into http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11 particularly the part about channels and international compatibility.

Maybe you should try reading the articles you yell at others to read. Specifically this:

"Even now, many devices are shipped with channels 1, 6 and 11 as preset options even though with the newer 802.11g standard there are four non-overlapping channels - 1, 5, 9 and 13."

And from my review:
"The scanner showed us that nobody else in the neighborhood was using channel nine, so we changed the setting on the router and instantly our performance increased to where we expected it."

Looks like we're following the standards just fine, thank you very much.

Fezmid said,

Maybe you should try reading the articles you yell at others to read. Specifically this:

"Even now, many devices are shipped with channels 1, 6 and 11 as preset options even though with the newer 802.11g standard there are four non-overlapping channels - 1, 5, 9 and 13."

And from my review:
"The scanner showed us that nobody else in the neighborhood was using channel nine, so we changed the setting on the router and instantly our performance increased to where we expected it."

Looks like we're following the standards just fine, thank you very much.

Yes, you have totally missed the point of what I have said, by using channel 9 you are now a source of interference for the neighboring WLAN's in your area.
Yes, because of the slightly smaller 20Mhz wide 802.11g channels you could "in theory" use 1,5,9 & 13 (although you couldn't chris as channel 13 is not allowed in the US). However as your own site scan showed everyone of your neighbors is using one of the recommended 1,6 & 11 channels, if you take a look at this http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi...annels2.4GHzWLAN-en.svg.png and transpose and transpose the 802.11g graph up to the 802.11b above it you will see that the redblock from your channel 9 is sitting smack bang over the neigbouring 6 & 11 channels. Still, your WLAN works much better, so I suppose thats all that counts, especially as its pumping out lots of power....... who cares about everyone else.........

daflex said,

Yes, you have totally missed the point of what I have said, by using channel 9 you are now a source of interference for the neighboring WLAN's in your area.
Yes, because of the slightly smaller 20Mhz wide 802.11g channels you could "in theory" use 1,5,9 & 13 (although you couldn't chris as channel 13 is not allowed in the US). However as your own site scan showed everyone of your neighbors is using one of the recommended 1,6 & 11 channels, if you take a look at this http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi...annels2.4GHzWLAN-en.svg.png and transpose and transpose the 802.11g graph up to the 802.11b above it you will see that the redblock from your channel 9 is sitting smack bang over the neigbouring 6 & 11 channels. Still, your WLAN works much better, so I suppose thats all that counts, especially as its pumping out lots of power....... who cares about everyone else.........

Thank you at least someone knows what they are talking about. I'm surprised someone with 15 years of experience in the industry doesn't know about wireless 101.

Breach said,
SAR figures?

Are highly irrelevant. If you don't want radiation, stay out of the sun, don't get a phone, don't get WiFi, and definitely don't use a microwave.

There is a reason emissions are regulated. If you don't care about living under a cell tower and getting cancer for example, well, I do.

Breach said,
There is a reason emissions are regulated. If you don't care about living under a cell tower and getting cancer for example, well, I do.
Ionizing vs. Non-ionizing - look it up. Or go to school/join the military and become trained in the subject. Do you even know what the active mechanism is that causes cancer from radiation? When radio waves have enough joules to start knocking off chromosomes you let me know. Then I'll get worried.

KCRic said,
Ionizing vs. Non-ionizing - look it up. Or go to school/join the military and become trained in the subject. Do you even know what the active mechanism is that causes cancer from radiation? When radio waves have enough joules to start knocking off chromosomes you let me know. Then I'll get worried.

Guess you haven't heard of skin cancer due to UV exposure? Non-ionising radiation affects cells on a different level than gamma rays for example. Whether microwave towers/wi-fi/gsm cell towers cause cancer is still up in the air - personally I'd err on the side of caution for the time being.

Can you say radiation much? "Standard" WiFi APs have a power limit for a reason. I am not a nutter who says that all WiFi gives you cancer, but once you go over the safe limits, yes, it does. Even with an illegal amount of power I doubt it would get the range advertised even if you put it up on a mast with 3rd party antennas (which is the only safe spot at this power level).

Simon- said,
Can you say radiation much? "Standard" WiFi APs have a power limit for a reason. I am not a nutter who says that all WiFi gives you cancer, but once you go over the safe limits, yes, it does. Even with an illegal amount of power I doubt it would get the range advertised even if you put it up on a mast with 3rd party antennas (which is the only safe spot at this power level).
Can you say "non-ionizing radiation" much? For a lack of expertise in the medical field or any NBC knowledge you sure do talk a lot...

I hate to inform you but 0.6 watts isn't much considering the power of the average radio station transmission. But of course those radio waves don't cause cancer, just these other ones. You're right, 0.6 is the sweet spot for causing cancer. To hell with the fact that only ionizing radiation causes cancer.

Simon- said,
Can you say radiation much? "Standard" WiFi APs have a power limit for a reason. I am not a nutter who says that all WiFi gives you cancer, but once you go over the safe limits, yes, it does. Even with an illegal amount of power I doubt it would get the range advertised even if you put it up on a mast with 3rd party antennas (which is the only safe spot at this power level).

I questioned this also. the fcc has a high limit set for routers power output. one of the reasons is if you have a screaming loud router, and a regular laptop, sure you can hear the router, but you still can't talk to it, because you're not screaming at the same level.
So they can amp it all they want, if the router can't hear the laptop, it's useless.

Taking off of the score because the device is not supported by dd-wrt is dumb. Dd-wrt is not a savior. on my router my performance dropped with dd-wrt. my range was cut in half and downloads would not complete. I tried 5 different versions and all the same thing (a wrt-610n)

Non techies dont even know what dd-wrt is. Thew world does not revolve around techies.
If you want a dd-wrt router you should only be looking at buffalo routers since their firmware is dd-wrt.

also for a non techie they only care about setting up the security ,and the ssid. Only techies want the other things so a 8.5 interface is good.

I wish people would realise that non nerds visit this site also.

majortom1981 said,
Taking off of the score because the device is not supported by dd-wrt is dumb. Dd-wrt is not a savior. on my router my performance dropped with dd-wrt. my range was cut in half and downloads would not complete. I tried 5 different versions and all the same thing (a wrt-610n)

Non techies dont even know what dd-wrt is. Thew world does not revolve around techies.
If you want a dd-wrt router you should only be looking at buffalo routers since their firmware is dd-wrt.

also for a non techie they only care about setting up the security ,and the ssid. Only techies want the other things so a 8.5 interface is good.

I wish people would realise that non nerds visit this site also.


Buffalo routers aren't the only ones that support DD-WRT. In fact most not crappy routers are supported by DD-WRT.

majortom1981 said,
my router my performance dropped with dd-wrt. my range was cut in half and downloads would not complete. I tried 5 different versions and all the same thing (a wrt-610n)

Thats not DD-WRT fault. Thats that you got a ****ty router, were obviously too dumb to return it and ask for a replacement.

htcz said,
No DD-WRT support.
I could be wrong, but shouldn't DD-WRT support the router, rather than the router supporting DD-WRT? If so then that doesn't seem to be a problem with the router.

Intrinsica said,
I could be wrong, but shouldn't DD-WRT support the router, rather than the router supporting DD-WRT? If so then that doesn't seem to be a problem with the router.

The software interface wasn't very good, hence the need/desire for DD-WRT. If it didn't have such a clumsy setup page and firmware update procedure then DD-WRT would be less of an issue.

Or to put it another way - the hardware is great, the software is not. I don't think hardware alone warrants an 8.5 score.

Kushan said,
Or to put it another way - the hardware is great, the software is not. I don't think hardware alone warrants an 8.5 score.
Ok, so in a month or so (I'm guessing about that though) when DD-WRT can be installed on this router, you'd be happier with the 8.5 score?

htcz said,
No DD-WRT support.

You review the product based on the claims that company makes - using your logic you would complain that it didn't cover a 20,000 square foot house even though it only says a 10,000 square foot house. You get the product, you look at what the company promises, you review it and decide whether it lives up to the promise THEN maybe at the end talk about limitations but even then lets get one thing straight - the software in the device is good enough for 99.9999% users so why should the company pander to the extreme minority?

Intrinsica said,
I could be wrong, but shouldn't DD-WRT support the router, rather than the router supporting DD-WRT? If so then that doesn't seem to be a problem with the router.

Nowadays routers are actually made to be DD-WRT compatible and/or ship with DD-WRT preinstalled. Its just that good.


You review the product based on the claims that company makes - using your logic you would complain that it didn't cover a 20,000 square foot house even though it only says a 10,000 square foot house. You get the product, you look at what the company promises, you review it and decide whether it lives up to the promise THEN maybe at the end talk about limitations but even then lets get one thing straight - the software in the device is good enough for 99.9999% users so why should the company pander to the extreme minority?

Using your logic, Im being sold a 20,000 square foot house but I cant remodel it and/or put things were I want even after I buy it. If I want to put a microwave in the bathroom, I cant do that.


A router not supporting a 3rd party firmware, should no way earn it a bad review.

I take it you have never tried DD-WRT.

Shame the software on the router seems a little lacking. As someone has already commented, no DD-WRT support is a bit of a dealbreaker for me, even though I love the sound of how good its range is.

Kushan said,
As someone has already commented, no DD-WRT support is a bit of a dealbreaker

Not only for you but for anyone else on this site

Kushan said,
Shame the software on the router seems a little lacking. As someone has already commented, no DD-WRT support is a bit of a dealbreaker for me, even though I love the sound of how good its range is.

It would be a dealbreaker for most newer routers, as DD-WRT doesn't support a LOT of the newest routers (usually because Broadcom does not exactly go out of their way to supply either chipsets or specifications to third-party firmware providers - let alone completely open-source providers such as the DD-WRT team; unfortunately, non-Broadcom router-chipset providers are either as bad as, or worse than, Broadcom in this regard).

I hope it can be upgraded to the new standards when they come out. But otherwise *drool*. Be cool if you can use it as wireless adapter to see other networks.

Interesting. I was back at my mum's house last weekend and she was having connectivity issues downstairs. I imagine this would solve the problem straight away.

Search shows nothing so we are going to assume it is not current supported so Id change that 8.5 to a 6.5 or including 5.5

First thing you should have said in your review: Does it or does it not support DD-WRT?

(Will search now and comment myself....)