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Wireless Reviews

AC1200 AMPLIFY Dual-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender
At a glance
ProductLinksys AC1200 AMPLIFY Dual-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender (RE6700)   [Website]
SummaryAC1200 class Mediatek based wall-plugged wireless extender with Gigabit port and audio streamer
Pros• Easy setup
• Browser-based placement tool
• Pass-through AC power socket
• Streams audio from DLNA sources
Cons• Have to reset to defaults to access placement tool
• AP mode not supported

Typical Price: $55  Buy From Amazon

Introduction

I didn't realize how long it's been since our last wireless extender review, which was Linksys' RE6500 last September. It's purely coincidence that I'm looking at Linksys' latest wireless extender, the RE6700 AC1200 AMPLIFY Dual-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender today.

Like the RE6500, the RE6700 is a simultaneous dual-band AC1200 class wireless range extender that supports maximum link rates of 300 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band and 867 Mbps in 5 GHz. The RE6700 also shares the RE6500's "Crossband" feature that uses the radio on one band as the "backhaul" to the router while the other radio connects to the client device.

Crossband is enabled automatically if you have created connections on both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz band to your dual-band router or access point. This eliminates the 50% retransmission and higher latency penalties imposed by single band extenders and dual-band extenders that don't have a similar feature.

Linksys Wireless Range Extender Products

Linksys Wireless Range Extender Products

The callout diagram below shows the top, rear and bottom of the RE6700. The Linksys promo photo above shows the extender doesn't block the second outlet in a standard U.S. duplex outlet and shows the built-in AC power pass-through socket in use. The AC socket is pass-through only; it's neither filtered nor fused.

Linksys RE6700 callouts

Linksys RE6700 callouts

Note the single front panel light changes color and blinks to indicate wireless connection quality. But Linksys also has a better method to aid in extender placement I'll touch on shortly. The single Ethernet port is Gigabit and the audio jack is meant to be used with powered speakers. The screenshot below is taken from this support article detailing supported music playback apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android OSes.

Linksys RE6700 music playback apps

Linksys RE6700 music playback apps

Inside

Linksys suppressed internal FCC photos until this fall, so I opened the RE6700 up after testing was completed. The image below shows the view after removing the front cover. There is a lot crammed into a pretty small space, so there is generous heatsinking, which is needed to handle the heat generated by the two radio SoCs.

The black plate is a heatsink that couples via a thermal pad to the RF can below it for the 5 GHz radio. The metal strips surrounding the pass-through power socket are tied to a plate that is heatsinking the main board bottom side components.

The RAM, wireless SoCs and power amplifiers are all coupled to their respective RF can tops via thermal pads, which are in turn coupled to heatsink plates with pads. The gallery below has other internal pictures.

Linksys RE6700 inside

Linksys RE6700 inside

The table below compares the major components of the Linksys RE6700, Linksys RE6500 and NETGEAR EX6100 dual band wireless range extenders. The NETGEAR is AC750 vs. AC1200 for both Linksyses. According to WikiDevi, the Mediatek MT7621AT has a dual-core MIPS32 processor clocked at 880 MHz, while the MT7620A has a single-core 32 bit MIPS processor clocked at 580 MHz.

  Linksys RE6700 Linksys RE6500 NETGEAR EX6100
CPU Mediatek MT7620A 802.11bgn 2x2 WiSoC Mediatek MT7621AT WiSoC Mediatek MT7620A 802.11bgn 2x2 WiSoC
Switch / Ethernet Realtek RTL8211E Gigabit Ethernet PHY In Mediatek MT7621AT Realtek RTL8211E Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver
RAM 64 MB Nanya NT5TU32M16EG-AC 64 MB Etron Tech EM68B16CWQD 64 MB Winbond W9751G6KB DDR2
Flash 16 MB DDR2 Winbond 25Q128FV2G
8 MB Macronix MX25L6406E 8 MB Macronix MC25L6406
2.4 GHz Radio - In MT7620A
- Skyworks SKY85303-11 2.4 GHz 256 QAM WLAN / Bluetooth Front End (x2)
Mediatek MT7602 2x2 11n In MT7620A
5 GHz radio - Mediatek MT7612EN 2x2 11ac radio
- Skyworks SKY85717 5 GHz 802.11ac Front End (x2)
- Mediatek MT7612 2x2 11ac - MediaTek MT7610EN 1x1 11ac radio
- Skyworks SE5003L1 5 GHz power amp (x1)
Audio Cirrus WM8960G Codec with Class D Speaker Driver Wolfson WM8960 Codec with Class D Speaker Driver N/A
Table 1: Linksys RE6700 key components

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