Amped Wireless' touch-enabled TAP-EX2 AC750-based dual-band range extender is now shipping. You can purchase the device for $159.99 online via the Amped Wireless website or from brick-and-mortar retailers in the coming weeks.
A range extender like the TAP-EX2 works by signing in to the local router. Typically, in the setup process, users get a list of networks broadcasting in the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz bands in the surrounding area. Like any other device, users provide a password so that the range extender device can sign in, grab the signal, and broadcast the network up to 10,000 square feet.
During the setup process, users also create a password on the range extender so that devices can connect securely. The thing to keep in mind with range extenders is that they provide a separate SSID; thus, PC gamers wanting to play with or against each other can't do so unless they're connected to the same network device. That means Fred, who is connected to the router, can't play StarCraft 2 with John, who is connected to the range extender.
The setup process is completed using the extender's touchscreen display. By accessing this screen, users can easily establish a guest network, control a user's access to the network, adjust the strength of the Wi-Fi signal, block access to specific users, and more. When in sleep mode, the screen sports a digital clock by default. The extender even comes with its own stylus.
According to Amped Wireless, the new TAP-EX2 provides up to 800mW of Wi-Fi output power, meaning that the signal will poke through walls and ceilings without much effort. On the 2.4 GHz band, the extender promises speeds of up to 300 Mbps, whereas the 5.0 GHz band promises speeds of up to 433 Mbps. That should be good news for customers with Wireless N devices.
The TAP-EX2 contains two 2.4 GHz amplifiers, one 5 GHz amplifier and three Low Noise amplifiers. There's also one internal High Gain antenna and one detachable High Gain antenna. Other notable hardware features include three 10/100 Ethernet ports for wired devices and one USB 2.0 port for sharing files. Wireless security options include WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA mixed and WPS.
The product page pointed out that this new range extender is compatible with Wireless AC devices. As previously noted, the networking speeds of the TAP-EX2 aren't exactly supersonic, but the company's "high power technology" should make for an extremely reliable connection. The TAP-EX2 is also compatible with Apple's AirPlay and AirPrint.
The TAP-EX2 is the latest entry in Amped Wireless' TAP family of range extenders.