The Amped Wireless Athena-EX RE2600M is the company's top-of-the-line range dual-band WiFi extender with AC2600 capabilities. You can see from the four antennas it means business and underneath that smooth black exterior its serious power continues.
Thanks to all the power this made in on our list of the best WiFi boosters. It offers MU-MIMO, multiple ports and is backed by lots of amplifiers. As such it isn't cheap but you definitely get what you pay for.
Before you buy a WiFi booster you should consider whether that's really going to solve your problems. It could be that your internet problems are caused by your wireless router, or even just that you're not with the best internet provider.
Assuming that you do need one though, is this the best WiFi extender for you? Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Amped Wireless Athena-EX RE2600M.
Amped Wireless Athena-EX RE2600M review: Design and build
The Amped Wireless Athena-EX RE2600M looks pretty serious as extenders go, toting four rear mounted removable antennas which can be angled as needed and all finished in sleek black. While this is a desktop extender it can be wall mounted in an upright position too.
The whole unit stands at 10 x 8 x 1.5 inches. That space packs in four Gigabit LAN Ethernet ports in the rear along with a USB 2.0 port and buttons for power, reset, LED and WPS. On the side is a USB 3.0 port for easy access to the high-speed interface.
The top of the extender features a selection of subtle-small LED lights. These give you quick glance information on the status of power, both radio bands, signal strength, and USB activity.
Powering this beast is a dual-core processor backed by 512MB of RAM and 802.11ac networking through 16 amplifiers.
WiFi rating: AC2600
WiFi spec: 802.11ac dual-band
Antennas: Four removable
Ports: Four Gigabit LAN Ethernet
Range: 15,000 square feet
Amped Wireless Athena-EX RE2600M: Features
The Amped Wireless Athena-EX RE2600M features those four removable and vari-angle antennas. But it's what they're backed by that is important, in this case 16 advanced amplifiers. As such each dual band 5dBi high gain antenna can offer the maximum amount of throughput.
The extender uses MU-MIMO tech meaning it's able to stream directly to multiple devices at the same time. That is designed to offer maximum bandwidth for each device so having a 4K video stream on the TV while downloading on your laptop should not affect each other.
The extender uses AC2600 rated WiFi meaning you get 2.4GHz up to 800 Mbps as well as a 5Ghz channel with up to 1733 Mbps. Backed by up to 800 mW of literal power, this is able to cover an area as large as 15,000 square feet, claims Amped Wireless.
BoostBand technology is something that this extender offers. This is the company's name for a back channel between the router and the extender. By streamlining dual-band traffic through a single WiFi frequency it allows for greater speed of file transfers and less lag for the user.
The extender can also be used as a network bridge thanks to those four Ethernet ports that allow devices to hard wire connect directly. This will then get the maximum rate of speed directly from that BoostBand data delivery, without being sent out again over WiFi.
A nice feature is the ability to create additional networks. You can create up to eight networks, each with its own login and password. There could be one for each room, for example – ideal for shutting the kids off at night but continuing to stream 4K video to your TV.
Amped Wireless Athena-EX RE2600M: Performance
The Amped Wireless Athena-EX RE2600M is simple to set up with a dedicated web console dashboard which scans your current network for you. The whole setup takes under two minutes.
The addition of a signal LED was helpful as this allows you to see how strong the signal from the router to the extender is, before you enter setup. This lights up green, yellow, or red, so you can workout the best place to put your extender.
Once up and running you can expect up to 390 Mbps, achieved in a close range 5GHz test. Further away, at 25 feet it was hitting 290 Mbps. For 2.4GHz, also at close range, it topped out at 83 Mbps but on longer range at 25 feet it was at 69 Mbps.
The MU-MIMO data streaming meant that even when using multiple devices, the level of data output was still high to each device simultaneously.
Should I buy the Amped Wireless Athena-EX RE2600M?
The Amped Wireless Athena-EX RE2600M is a super simple to set up and powerful WiFi extender which will allow you to get fast repeated signals into dead zones and reach far wider than the router alone can manage. The four antennas are removable and the settings for various networks are great for customization. But it's expensive compared to some of the competition.
There are cheaper options but, simply put, they won't be as fast or as easy to setup. This is one of the best WiFi extenders in our best WiFi boosters list.