Amped Wireless’ High Power Wireless-N 600mW Gigabit Dual Band Access Point (AP20000G) is a piece of networking hardware that can either be used to bring wireless access to an existing network, or to upgrade wireless networks with legacy 802.11x technology to the more modern 802.11n standard. The access point (AP) delivers excellent throughput, especially on the 5GHz band and provides very good coverage but lacks some more business-oriented features of some SMB access points on the market.
The AP20000G operates at the 2.4 and 5GHz bands. The device supports up to 600Mbps of theoretical throughput. Dual amplifiers on both the 2.4 and 5GHz wireless radios help the access point with wireless signal coverage. Two high gain 5dBi dual band antennas screw into the antennas ports on the casing.
The access point features five Gigabit Ethernet ports—one for wiring to a router or switch and four for connecting other networking devices to leverage Gigabit speeds. There’s also a USB 2.0 port for sharing data on connected USB storage drives.
Users can operate the access point on an included stand, or flat on a desktop. The device is also wall-mountable.
Set Up and Configuration
There’s very little to set up; the process is very easy. I powered the AP and connected its port labeled “network” to a switch on my network. I also connected a laptop to one of the ports on the AP labeled “Wired Devices.”
The AP takes a few seconds to configure itself. There are several LEDs on the device’s front panel that light up when power is on, when a device is connected to one of the Ethernet ports, and when there is an active network connection.
Once the LEDs were lit, I could see two new SSIDs, created by the AP20000G in my laptop’s list of wireless networks. The AP creates an SSID for each band. The security key for each is printed on the bottom of the access point.
Of course, you will want to change the default SSID password and the AP’s admin password. To configure the AP, I just opened a browser on my laptop and pointed to the URL: setup. ampedwireless.com. The interface has the same neat, intuitive-to-navigate design of Amped Wireless’ High Power Wireless-N 600mW Gigabit Dual Band Router (R20000G).
The AP20000G shares some features that are built-in across Amped Wireless’ product line. One such feature is the ability to control the wireless coverage area. Radio buttons allow you to set coverage at 100 percent (which is the default setting), down to 15 percent. Lowering the coverage area means lowering the range area in which the AP broadcasts itself, which may be desired for security reasons, and lowers the overall output power.
Users also have the option to disable the wireless radios based on a schedule by day and time Access to the AP can be granted or denied based on a MAC address control list.
The AP is designed to extend wireless network connectivity in small business networks and homes. I would recommend it as an AP more for consumers and for smaller business networks not requiring a lot of security or controls. This is because, aside from RADIUS authentication support, there are fewer business-class features in the AP20000 than some other SMB APs we’ve tested. For instance, there’s no native firewall or Active Directory integration, as there is in a true SMB AP such as the Meraki MR16.
While the AP20000G supports up to eight guest networks, you can’t create a custom splash page for guests that access the AP as you can with the Meraki MR16 device. However, each guest network on the AP20000G can be set with its own login credentials and you can limit bandwidth for each network.
Also, there’s no AP isolation preventing wireless clients from communicating with one another when they are connected to the AP which may be a security concern for some.
These lack of features may be fine for smaller businesses especially ones with routers that have these features such already, such as a built-in firewall. However, those needing APs with more business controls may want to look into business-class APs from Meraki or HP.
I found the same lengthy reboot required for just about changing any settings in the AP20000G as in Amped Wireless’ R20000G router. A settings’ change requires a 70 second reboot of the device which can be slightly annoying when you are first configuring the AP the way you want.
Amped Wireless’ main focus is on range. You get good range and very good throughput, in fact the top throughput we’ve tested for an AP at 5 GHz, with the AP20000G.
The speeds are more on par with a dual-band wireless router. In 5 GHz mode at 30 feet, the AP2000G clocked a very impressive 113 Mbps. In comparison, many of the SMB APs on the market have tested quite a bit slower. For example, Meraki’s MR16 AP— also a dual-band 802.11n AP— only managed 49 Mbps at the same distance in 5 GHz mode.
As expected, the AP20000G was slower, albeit, still with decent throughput in 2.4 GHz-N only mode, achieving an average throughput of 74 Mbps. Below is a chart comparing the AP20000G with other APs at 5 GHz:
AP20000G Throughput Test Results
Speedy, But Biz Feature-Light
For home users looking to extend a wireless network in a coverage area where a less-powerful wireless extender wouldn’t get the job done, the AP20000G is an ideal piece of networking hardware.
Although this is a fast access point with very good coverage, business networks that need more control over security and user access may need to look into access points specifically marketed to the SMB. On its own, the AP20000G is solid hardware showcasing Amped Wireless’ commitment to delivering network products that are fast-performing and able to cover large areas. The AP20000G is a 3.5 star earner and is a very good access point.
More Wireless Networking Reviews:
|Networking Options||802.11n (2.4+5 GHz Dualband)|
|Access Control Lists Based on MAC Addresses||Yes|
|Security||WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup), WPA2-Enterprise, RADIUS Server|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc