The Boost You Need: Linksys AC1200 Amplify Wi-Fi Range Extender

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 Linksys AC1200 Amplify Wi-Fi Range Extender
Linksys AC1200 Amplify Wi-Fi Range Extender

My family and I cut the cord nearly ten years ago and have been subsisting on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime in succession ever since. To say that we rely on internet access for our entertainment is a given. When we moved into a bigger home just over two years ago, everything seemed fine. However, gradually over time we began to notice more lagging and interruptions in our streaming. Recently in the past few months, for reasons unexplained, we have been experiencing significant disruptions when viewing media over our wireless network, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review a wi-fi range extender to see if just such a product could be a solution.

Linksys Wi-Fi Range Extender in use
This unassuming wall unit can boost your wireless signal up to 10,000 square feet!

In reviewing the new Linksys AC1200 Amplify Wi-Fi Range Extender, I was anxious to see if the sheer distance between our wireless antenna and our bedroom where we watched most of our online entertainment was the main culprit in our streaming interruptions, and, if so, could the signal boost from the range extender be enough to bring us up to speed? To do a true test I needed to get a baseline for comparison.

Wi-fi download speeds
I haven’t seen speeds this slow since DSL lite!

I have cable internet. It’s not the best in the world, but it isn’t the worst either. Using an internet speed test site, I was able to verify that from the wired connection in my home office (where the wireless router is kept) I can get download speeds of nearly 20 megabits per second (Mbps). However, when I conducted the same speed test on my laptop in my master bedroom, I was only getting close to 4Mbps. No wonder I was having trouble streaming video! Time to see if the Linksys AC1200 Amplify Wi-Fi Range Extender could help.

If you’re intimidated by range extender technology, don’t be. The Linksys unit is so easy to set up, I think even my mom could do it. The box only contains three items: the range extender unit, the instructions, and a regulatory information booklet thicker than the instructions which only consisted of three steps! I plugged the unit up, looked for the extender setup in my list of wireless connections, connected to it and went to a web page to enter my wi-fi password.

Internet Connections: Regular home wi-fi vs. range extender
Five bars sure looks better than two bars!

I could see right away that the signal from the extender was stronger than my wi-fi already. Like I mentioned before, my wireless signal originates from my office, which is on the other side of the house on the main level. My bedroom is on the opposite side of the house and upstairs. A cool feature about the Linksys Wi-Fi Range Extender is that the app shows you how well your placement of the unit is. I selected an outlet in the center of the house halfway up the stairs.

Range extender placement guide
A handy guide lets you know if your unit has proper placement.

After securing proper placement and entering my password, I was able to simply stay logged on to my normal wireless connection that was now at a full five bars! Now it was time take another test and see if the extender had any effect. Score! After taking the internet speed test, I could see that my download speed doubled to 9.28Mbps! Granted, this still isn’t as much as a wired connection, but it certainly is a drastic improvement to my current download speed.

internet speed test: speeds doubled!
Still not as fast as a wired connection, but the range extender doubled my download speed!

Linksys AC1200 Amplify Wi-Fi Range Extender works with any wi-fi router to expand your wireless coverage area up to 10,000 square feet inside and outside your home. To be fair, the Linksys never advertised increased download speeds, just increased wi-fi coverage. Well, it certainly did both of those well! One thing I haven’t mentioned until now is that in addition to the unit being sleek and non-intrusive, the unit has a pass through electrical socket so you don’t have to waste an outlet!

All in all, this unit certainly does what it advertises it can do. It is easy to operate, easy to figure out where to place, works with any router, and makes sure your wireless signal is stronger. For me, the increased coverage and better download speeds meant that my wife and I could watch a movie uninterrupted and without any lagging for the first time in months! If wi-fi coverage was an issue in your home before, Linksys has your solution!

Disclosure: I was provided with a unit for review purposes.

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