TP-Link RE650 AC2600 Range Extender

Article Index
TP-Link RE650 AC2600 Range Extender
Features and Specifications
Setup and Testing

Product: TP-Link RE650 AC2600 Range Extender
Provided By: TP-Link
Price: ~$130USD at time of publication

 

Introduction:

Wireless networking is both a blessing and a curse. It works great at short ranges - and the speed over the years has certainly improved. The downside is that with higher frequencies that carry more data faster, the range has suffered. Companies try and beef up the antenna and use high-gain units to push signal farther, but high frequency radio waves don't penetrate obstacles as good as low frequency radio waves. The solution is to have range-extenders and that can often create a whole new set of problems.

Traditional range extenders have used a different SSID and require switching to the new "network" when you get out of range of the main wireless signal. This results in dropped connections, clunky password management and often interference and hot-switching between networks if you're in a spot that has similar signal from both networks. Recent solutions have included "mesh" networks, but they are pretty expensive. The solution we are looking at today is quite affordable, claims to be very fast and works without disrupting your current network hardware. Take a look below as we uncover the TP-Link RE650.

 

First Look:

The TP-Link RE650 is a bit of a physical upgrade to the previous models as it supports MU-MIMO and dual band connections. As such, it packs in a bunch of antenna (four) and overall, some pretty sleek looks.

Box Front Box Back

 

Inside the box, the RE650 is nestled in a form-fitting cutout and comes with everything you need - which isn't much. There are no cables, power-cord or anything other than a few brief instructions. It's super simple to install and setup thanks to WPS.

Open Box Included Papers

 

Closer Look:

As we take a quick look around the device, you'll see that everything about the unit is pretty straight-forward. The one side contains a easy-to-press Power button as well as LED On/Off button. Also located on this side is a recessed Reset button that will require a pin, paperclip or even a SIM eject tool to reset the device should you need to. The other side contains a single 1GB Ethernet jack so you can run a direct line to this device if you have a piece of equipment that doesn't have a wireless connection. Later in the review, we'll test the speed of this port as well.

Side View 1 Side View 2

 

The front and back of the device are super basic with the back only containing the 3-prong plug. The front has a single large button and a series of LEDs that indicate power, connection status to both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks as well as an indicator for overall connectivity and WPS setup.

RE650 Back RE650 Front

 

On the next page, we'll take a look at the product overview, specifications and features before we cover setup and testing.