Review

Review: Amped Wireless SR20000G repeater [Update]

We’ve recently done reviews on the Amped Wireless R10000G and R20000G wireless routers and have been very impressed with the quality, features, and functionality of the devices. So when the company asked if we’d be interested in reviewing the SR20000G wireless repeater, we assumed we would be seeing more of the same high quality. Turns out, we were right.

The device works by taking an existing wireless signal and then rebroadcasting it. This allows you to put your wireless router some place convenient, and then add the repeater to cover an even larger area like your yard. You have the option of using the same SSID or changing it so you can specifically tell when you’re connected to the repeated signal. We found testing which network we were connected to was difficult if we left the SSIDs the same, so most of our tests were done using a secondary SSID.

Setup of the SR20000G is done via a simple setup wizard. Connect the repeater to a PC using the included Ethernet cable, point your web browser to the new device, and then follow three easy steps: Scan for and select the signal you want to repeat; type in the wireless key for that signal; and then pick what you want the name of your new SSID to be.

We did encounter two small issues setting up the SR20000G. The first is that with the base firmware, the textbox to enter the wireless key is limited to only 30 characters. This gave us problems in our setup since our wireless key is much longer than that. When we contacted Amped Wireless, they provided us with an updated firmware the next day, so this is no longer an issue. The second thing we noticed was that the wireless password is displayed in cleartext and is automatically stored by the browser. This seems like another minor issue that can be easily addressed by a firmware patch, but it’s a little sad to see such minor issues slip through the QC process.

We tested this setup in a real-world situation: trying to get Internet access in a boat house and at the end of the boat dock, far from the router itself. In our test, the wireless router was in the back of the house, the repeater was at the front of the house roughly 40 feet away, the boat house was 50 feet from the repeater and the dock was another 30 feet past that (for a total of 80 feet) from the repeater. It was a clear, sunny day when we ran our tests, so it’s possible inclement weather could change the test results.

Getting a wireless signal from the router to the boathouse has never worked – you usually can’t even see the original signal. Once the repeater was in place, we could get a good signal and even stream video from Netflix. We then went one step further and walked 30 feet to the end of the dock. Once there, our signal remained strong – in the mid 60s according to the Wi-Fi Analytics tool – and we were still able to surf the web, albeit slightly slower. Streaming from Netflix was hit-and-miss (more miss than hit), but streaming via TuneIn Radio worked fine.

We tested the repeater with both the R20000G and a D-Link DGL-4500 and the setup and use were identical for both. We’ve read that some companies force you to use the same branded router/repeater, and we’re glad to see that Amped Wireless gives users the flexibility to choose.

The repeater has a USB port that provides basic filesharing capabilities when a drive is connected, but we doubt this is a feature most people will use. The device also has five gigabit Ethernet ports, making it a useful bridge to connect wired-only devices to your wireless network. If you have an Xbox 360 or an A/V receiver that has an RJ-45 connector but lacks built-in WiFi, this device could be used. In our limited experience, we saw no noticeable performance degradation from the additional network hop.

Overall we came away impressed with both the ease of setup and the range of the device. In short, the device works out of the box with a minimal amount of fuss. Does it justify the $159.99 price tag? If you need the extra range, we’d say it probably is. There are cheaper devices on the market that we haven’t had a chance to test, but we know this one works.

UPDATE: We reached out to Amped Wireless to ask about whether a user can connect to the 5Ghz channel on the repeater but have it go to the 2.4Ghz back to the router, and the answer is yes and it happens automatically behind the scenes. From the vendor:

It happens automatically.  There is actually a lot of intelligence within the repeater that works behind the scenes…

Here are the following setup options that it supports:

Home Network > Extended Network

2.4GHz only > 2.4GHz AND 5GHz (or any single freq)

5.0GHz only > 2.4GHz AND 5GHz (or any single freq)

2.4GHz AND 5GHZ > 2.4GHz AND 5GHZ

2.4GHZ AND 5GHz from TWO DIFFERENT ROUTERS > 2.4GHZ (From router 1) AND 5GHZ (from router 2)

The advantage of having these functions is that it gives the advanced users a lot of options. Say if they have a very strong 2.4GHz connection but wish to change it to 5GHz on the back end for connection quality purposes they can connect to the 2.4GHZ home network and 5GHz extended network.

The repeater also lets you set which Home Network the WIRED ports will pull from.  For example, if you want devices connected to the wired ports to route through your 5GHz network you can do that (default).  Otherwise you can go to Wired Port Routing on the interface and change it to 2.4GHz if you wish to do that.

In addition the Repeater also has a lot of checks that go on in the background to make sure each one of these connections is running properly.  If either the 2.4 or 5GHz Home Network connections, drop, change channel, have a power outage etc… the repeater will identify it and attempt to reconnect to the network automatically, regardless of a changed channel etc…

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18 Comments

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I wonder how these compare with Wireless Extender Homeplug kits, which would be best for extending Wi-Fi? A repeater or the former?

I like the use of metro interface in the verdict image xD Anyway yeah it's pretty expensive. My router has a dedicated repeater function, cost me 50 bucks. I'll buy another, hardwire it through the walls and put it by the back door to reach the guest house.

Although I'm curious, what's the USB version on this featured repeater? Could that be contributing to it's price?

Izlude said,
I like the use of metro interface in the verdict image xD Anyway yeah it's pretty expensive. My router has a dedicated repeater function, cost me 50 bucks. I'll buy another, hardwire it through the walls and put it by the back door to reach the guest house.

Although I'm curious, what's the USB version on this featured repeater? Could that be contributing to it's price?


does it do anything to help the wifi spam the world is getting engulfed in ?
Received packets with crc error is almost the same amount as what i have received 24/7.
What causes this ? Interference basicly. picking up packets from other connections than my own.. And this has to be just the tip of the iceberg, i wonder how bad it will get.
..digital pollution on an epic scale and devices like this in the story sure won't help lol
we'll all probably get cancer from emf related activity saturating us on every inch of the globe lol

I am Not PCyr said,
does it do anything to help the wifi spam the world is getting engulfed in ? Received packets with crc error is almost the same amount as what i have received 24/7.

The Wi-Fi Analytics tool is great to help identify this - and it works with all WiFi, not just Amped products but is Android only. You can use the tool to find what channel has the least amount of interference in your neighborhood.

https://play.google.com/store/...ImNvbS5waW5hcHBzLmFtcGVkIl0.

Ouch that is an expensive repeater for how litlle it "Amps" the wireless. :-( 120Ft??? My NETGEAR WGR614 has a range of 80FT usable for youtube streaming and it's only got one little nub antenna and it's 6 yrs old. I paid 35 for it back then. I have another I can use as a repeater if I wanted to.

Amped also needs to slow down a bit and quit releasing products too fast with bad firmware. Thier last router offering had terrible firmware that actually made it have really terrible range, and lots of bugs. They need to slow down and make sure they have good firmware before the device is launched, or it will really hurt them in the end. People will return and get another brand that day and never look into amped again... even though they could have upgraded, however the upgrades came too late, as many returned them promptly, as you don't want to be without internet.

remixedcat said,
Amped also needs to slow down a bit and quit releasing products too fast with bad firmware.

Agreed - I haven't run into any major bugs, but there seem to be minor annoying ones in most of the products I've reviewed - little things like only allowing 30 characters for the wireless key is a crazy oversight IMHO.

Fezmid said,

Agreed - I haven't run into any major bugs, but there seem to be minor annoying ones in most of the products I've reviewed - little things like only allowing 30 characters for the wireless key is a crazy oversight IMHO.

Not to mention passwords are in plain text, the file sharing is wonky from what I've heard, and you need to reboot the firmware for every setting.... needs a lot of work

So let me see if I get this, 120ft overall coverage is what you got for your $160? I've seen people get extension well beyond that with old Linksys routers running DD-WRT. If that was all line of site testing then I'd have expected a bit more out of these things.

Richeemxx said,
So let me see if I get this, 120ft overall coverage is what you got for your $160? I've seen people get extension well beyond that with old Linksys routers running DD-WRT. If that was all line of site testing then I'd have expected a bit more out of these things.

I really wish I had thought to take a picture of the landscape I was testing in. It's not quite line of sight -- the yard drops down a good ~12' to the shoreline, which is where the boat house is. In addition, the tests with the boat house are obviously inside -- the building is up against solid dirt as well, so I'm assuming the signal was going through the roof of the boat house.

Hope that helps explain it a little better.

SuperKid said,
Looks cool until i saw the price I need something like this to boost the WiFi upstairs

use an old router you have lying about that what i did lol

Lamp Post said,
Is it able to rebroadcast a 2.4GHz signal on the 5Ghz range?
Or does it only do 2.4GHz -> 2.4GHz and 5GHz -> 5GHz?

Based on the way the interface is setup, it appears that it only rebroadcasts over the same frequencies. I'll see if that's really the case and if they're planning on changing that in the future.

Lamp Post said,
Is it able to rebroadcast a 2.4GHz signal on the 5Ghz range?
Or does it only do 2.4GHz -> 2.4GHz and 5GHz -> 5GHz?

I reached out to Amped Wireless and got an answer for you - looks like the answer is YES, it does. Check out the update at the bottom of the article.