Or, you can try the range extension method, which will let you boost speeds and range throughout your premises by installing a range extender.
In this category, Linksys has surprised us with an AC-compatible range extender, the Linksys RE6500 AC1200 WiFi Range Extender (above), allowing a long or tall home to spread the 802.11ac network throughout the building and not just rely on a signal that gets weaker as you move further away from it.
Helping this along is Single SSID technology, which links up with your existing WiFi network and makes it so that you don’t have to connect to a separate network the way you would with a conventional range extender. In quite a few range extenders, the extension occurs with a different name, such as with “Network name” being the original network and “Network name_EXT” being the range extender, a setup that forces you to connect to the extension network separately if you want to make use of the connection.
The Linksys RE6500 Range Extender also includes support for 802.11n on a 2.4GHz band, with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports for plugging in wired networking devices, making it ideal for a home theatre setup, and cutting out any extra switches or Ethernet hubs you might have in your living room.
All up, we’re intrigued, especially since range extenders have been pretty much made only for 802.11n in the past year, even though 802.11ac has been out in the marketplace alongside the older 802.11n networks.
A price of $160 isn’t necessarily cheap for what it offers, but if you have a large house and the 802.11ac network isn’t quite going as far as you expected, this could totally fill the gaps, and with audio streaming built in, could also turn the router into a basic music streamer when a speaker is plugged in.
If you don’t have 802.11ac yet, or you’re just looking at extending your current 802.11n network, Linksys will have two N extenders, with the $100 RE4000W (above) running on dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) 802.11n technology with two 10/100 Ethernet ports, while the RE3000W will be single band (2.4GHz) and include 1 Ethernet port.
Both can be plugged directly into the wall, taking up no table space and extending the network ID thanks to the same single SSID functionality as the RE6500 802.11ac Range Extender.