Rockspace AX1800 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Extender Review: Fix Wi-Fi Dead Zones

0

Wi-Fi dead spots happen in many homes and businesses, and they can be so frustrating. The Rockspace AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi Extender fills the empty slots in your wireless network, and thanks to Wi-Fi 6, it can provide up to 35 devices with fast connections.

I tested this access point in my home office. Here’s how it stood up to a battery of real-world tests.

This article contains affiliate links. Mac Cult may earn commission when you use our links to purchase items.

Rockspace AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi Extender Review

There is a patio at the side of my house which would be the perfect place to work in hot weather… if the Wi-Fi weren’t so weak and spotty. It’s not exactly a dead zone – it could be worse because I can get a connection sometimes, but it always seems to fail me when I need it.

This is exactly the situation for which Rockspace created its Wi-Fi Extender. I placed it near the dead zone of my wireless network and it filled the void.

It does this by creating its own Wi-Fi network that your devices can connect to. It is very convenient, but please note that it is different from a mesh router. The Wi-Fi extender needs its own SSID and passwords.

Material and design

The Rockspace AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi Extender plugs directly into a wall outlet. It’ll even share the outlet with another gadget, and there’s (usually) no cables to handle.

At 4.7 inches tall, 2.75 inches wide, and 2.2 inches thick, it’s not exactly small, but fits easily behind a chair. A pair of moving antennas make the device appear to be cosplaying as Sauron. Or just scored a touchdown.

A set of status lights let you know if the network add-on has a strong connection where you placed it. Make sure it’s somewhere where it can still get a solid connection to your main Wi-Fi network, but it’s close enough to the dead zone to be of use.

An Ethernet port at the bottom allows the repeater to transform into a stand-alone router. Plug this device into a modem or Ethernet network (and change a setting) and it becomes a Wi-Fi access point.

It’s not small, but this network range extender doesn’t take up as much space as many Wi-Fi access points.
Photo: Ed Hardy / Cult of Mac

Software and configuration

In my testing, setting up the Rockspace AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi Extender was as easy as pressing the WPS button on my regular access point and then pressing both WPS buttons on the add-on. network.

It’s not an option for everyone, so I also tried to just turn on the device, wait for it to create a Wi-Fi network, and then connect to it with my iPad.

A pop-up window appeared which guided me through the installation process. If you go this route, make sure you have your current network’s Wi-Fi password handy, as you will need it.

Once you have everything set up, you can still go to http://192.168.0.254 in any web browser to change your passwords, SSID, etc. The web interface is easy to use.

Rockspace AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi Extender Web interface web interface
The web interface used to configure the Rockspace Wi-Fi extension is quite easy to use.
Screenshot: Ed Hardy / Cult of Mac

Rockspace AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi Extender Performance

The AX1800 in the name is not a product number – it is the maximum bandwidth. This indicates that the router is capable of handling 1800 Mbps. In the case of Rockspace’s offer, it is split between 1201 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and 574 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band.

But the access point is not magic. If the main router you connect it to reaches a maximum of 1200 Mbps, that’s the maximum you can hope for.

The extender connects to your existing Wi-Fi network and uses it to create its own secondary Wi-Fi network. While there is potential for slowing down in turnaround, I used Ookla’s Speedtest app and found that a connection to the main router and add-on was essentially the same when they were right next to the secondary router.

When connecting to the Rockspace AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi Extender on the 5GHz band, the connection was solid 20-30 feet from the router, and Speedtest shows I’m getting almost the maximum speed available. Switching to the 2.4 GHz band slightly reduces the connection speed, but that’s okay.

Traveling about 100 feet behind a wall of the Rockspace Grid Extension results in only a moderate decrease in speed. In this situation, the 2.4 GHz band offers faster performance because this frequency passes through solid objects better.

Overall, the product does what it is supposed to do. And very well.

Remember, this is not a mesh router, so the network add-on has its own SSID and passwords, and your Mac, iPad, etc. will not always jump seamlessly between this and your regular access point. Or whenever you want. For example, I’ll connect to the Rockspace network when I’m on the patio I mentioned earlier, and later when I move inside, my iPad will stay connected to the extender even though it might get a connection. faster on main Wi-Fi. Fi network. It is up to me to choose the fastest network available.

One of the reasons this wireless network extender stands out from the cheap alternatives is the support for Wi-Fi 6. This is the latest version and is supported by recent iPhone models. , iPad and MacBook. It is not only faster than its predecessors, but also allows more devices to connect simultaneously without interference.

Final thoughts on the Rockspace AX1800 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Extender

The performance of this wireless network add-on is all that one can realistically expect.

A collection of mesh routers is easier to use because they will have a single SSID and you won’t have to worry about switching between them. But Rockspace offers a cheaper option than replacing a Wi-Fi router with a mesh system.

Price

The list price for the AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi Extender is $ 99.99 on the Rockspace website, but it is currently $ 79.99.

Alternatively, Amazon listed it for $ 64.38 at the time of writing this thanks to a 25% discount.

Will buy: Amazon

Rockspace provided Mac Cult with a review unit for this article. See our Notice Policy and see more in-depth notices on Apple-related items.

Share.

Comments are closed.