Linksys RE6500 Wi-Fi Extender
Linksys RE6500 Dual-band WirelessAC Range Extender
The new Linksys RE6500 dual-band wirelessAC range extender is the company's latest flagship extender that supports the Wireless-AC standard and offers a maximum combined data rate of 1,200Mbps over both its 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. However, to be absolutely sure, the maximum data rate over Wireless-AC on the RE6500 range extender is in fact 867Mbps. Hence, if you want to maximize the value of your Wireless-AC router, it is advisable to try to adjust yourself or your router so that you are within the primary wireless range.
As for outputs, the Linksys RE6500 range extender provides four Ethernet ports and a single audio jack, which can be used with Smart TVs, HTPCs, media streamers or even speakers. However, USB output is conspicuously missing.
Setting up the RE6500 range extender is easy. It supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) so if you have a WPS-enabled router, pushing a couple of buttons is all it takes. Otherwise, simply connect to it via Wi-Fi and it will prompt you to enter the network that you want to extend and its password, and that is it.
However, finding the perfect spot to place the range extender can be tricky. The idea is to place it right at the point where the signal from your router begins to diminish so that it is still strong enough for the range extender to boost it. It cannot magically boost your signal if there is none to begin with in the first place.
Wi-Fi range extenders typically boosts signal strength at the expense of performance, so while this flagship range extender supports WirelessAC, we found that data throughput dropped by around 30% to 70% when connected to the RE6500 as opposed to the router directly. This is inevitable as data packets now have to go through multiple networks. However, in an area where the signal from the router was weak, we found that connecting to the range extender's boosted signal increased our data throughput by around 200% to 300%.
Overall, we liked the Linksys RE6500 range extender for its ease of use and decent performance characteristics. However, it must be noted that like Wireless-AC routers, Wireless-AC range extenders also cost a pretty penny. Though the RE6500 is slightly more affordable than its rivals; at RM439, some might be tempted to just draw a long Ethernet cable directly from their router to their device instead.