Category Archives: Device Type

Synology RT1900ac review: A great router and NAS server (in one) at an excellent price

Synology RT1900ac review: A great router and NAS server (in one) at an excellent price

The Synology RT1900ac delivers excellent Wi-Fi performance. It ia a great router that has lots of features and can work as a capable NAS server when hosting an external hard drive. The router is cheaper than most competing devices.

But its range on the 5GHz band is a little short, and you need an external drive to enjoy its NAS features.

Synology RT1900ac review: A great router and NAS server (in one) at an excellent price

The RT1900ac is a Wi-Fi router, also it is a network-attached storage server. The fact that it’s the first router from Synology — a company that’s known for making NAS devices — probably has something to do with it.

When hosting an external hard drive connected to its USB 3.0 port, the RT1900ac is indeed a formidable storage server. And in testing, as either a Wi-Fi router or a NAS server, the device was excellent, for the most part edging out more expensive competitors, such as the Asus RT-AC68U or the Netgear R7000. It’s not perfect, however, with a relatively short range on the 5GHz band and only average network storage data rates. But at the current cost of just $150 (converted, that’s about £105 or AU$200), it’s the least expensive AC1900 router.

That said, if you want a router that delivers excellent Wi-Fi performance and can also work as a host for Time Machine backup, file sharing, media streaming and pretty much anything else you can do with a typical NAS drive, the RT1900AC is an excellent buy.

For more excellent home network router options, check out CNET’s list of best 802.11AC routers.

Synology RT1900ac review: A great router and NAS server (in one) at an excellent price

Hardware

As the name suggests, the RT1900AC is an AC1900 router. It has a top on-paper speed of 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. On the inside, it’s powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor and 256MB of DDR3 memory. The router has more powerful specs than the Asus RT-AC68U (which runs a dual-core 800MHz predecessor) but weaker than the Linksys WRT1900ACs (dual-core 1.3GHz.)

The router has one USB 3.0 port and one SD card slot on its left side. You can use these ports to host an external hard drive and an SD card to take advantage of the router’s storage features. Using a storage device allows you to add even more features to the router. (More on this below.) And though it’s designed to lie flat, the router can also be mounted on a wall.

Synology RT1900ac review: A great router and NAS server (in one) at an excellent price

Software

What makes the RT1900ac stand out from other AC1900 routers is its Linux-based operating system (also known as the firmware) called Synology Router Manager (SRM). This firmware is a variation of the DiskStation Manger (DSM) operating system used for all of Synology’s NAS servers. If you’ve used a Synology NAS server before, you’ll find the interface of the RT1900ac extremely familiar.

And even if you’ve never used a Synology product, the SRM is easy to figure out. The router’s interface, accessible via a browser, is very similar to that of a traditional desktop operating system, like Windows or Mac OS. In fact it’s the most comprehensive interface for a router I’ve seen, with items tied together and organized in an intuitive way.

Linksys LAPAC2600 Vs Netgear WAC740 Wireless AC Access Point

Linksys LAPAC2600 Vs Netgear WAC740 Wireless AC Access Point

For many people, they need a high performance wireless network in offices to support your businesses with the emerging of mobile devices with built-in wifi adapters to connect to existing wifi network. With high density clients in your businesses, home wifi AP such as TP-link AP500 is not appropriate to accommodate business need. Linksys LAPAC2600 is one of business class wireless ac access point to meet your businesses.

What this product does

Linksys LAPAC2600 is a compact device, wall mount or ceiling mount model blending with your wall or ceiling decoration, good looking in offices environment.

4x data streams

The equipment is based on wireless AC2600 with 4 data streams technology delivering aggregated bandwidth of up to 2,530Mbps; up to 800Mbps @2.4Ghz plus up to 1,1750Mbps @5Ghz band. The previous model is LAPAC1750 which comes with 3x data stream technology (see also Negear WAC730 and Linksys LAPAC1750 wireless AC access point with 3 data streams). They are all based on traditional 80Mhz channel width data streams technology.

Linksys introduces new Linksys WRT AC3200 routers based on 3 data streams of 160Mhz channel width technology delivering total bandwidth of 3x867Mbps (2.6Gbps) @5Ghz band.

MU-MIMO

LAPAC2600 supports Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology to deliver multiple data to multiple wifi clients (with MU-MIMO compliant devices) simultaneously as contrarily to non MU-MIMO product that delivers data to multiple clients one by one. In new wave 2 wireless technology, MU-MIMO is one of its feature to boost the performance of data rate throughput in high density clients.

Linksys LAPAC2600 Vs Netgear WAC740 Wireless AC Access Point

Linksys LAPAC2600 wireless ac2600 Access Point

New models of next generation of wireless AD routers such as TP-link Talon AD7200 and Netgear Nighthawk X10 come with this MU-MIMO feature. and new models of home wifi system Orbi by Netgear is also featuring MU-MIMO.

As a nutshell, the following lists the highlights of this product.

Highlights LAPAC2600

  • Based on wireless AC2600 with MU-MIMO technology
  • 4x data streams technology
  • 4×4 dual band delivering total bandwidth of up to 2.53Gbps (1,750Mbps + 800Mbps)
  • Single point control for clustering and captive portal
  • 1x Gigabit POE port and 1x Gigabit uplink port
  • Multi mode operations – WAP; WDS and wireless bridge

With POE supports, you need a POE switch to support all of the POE access point devices to connect to the switch to eliminate the hassle of providing power outlet on ceiling or on the wall. One UTP CAT5e or CAT6 cable for transmitting both data and power makes installation is easier.

Linksys Vs Netgear

Now, let’s compare Linksys LAPAC2600 with its competing product Netgear WAC740 which is the ultimate wireless ac access point product offered by Netgear. To help you compare the two products, the easiest way is to present the spec comparison in the following comparison table.

Wifi technology

Unlike Linksys LAPAC2600 which is designed based on wave 1 wireless ac technology, Netgear WAC740 is designed based on wave 2 wireless ac technology. Wave 2 standard could open the door for gigabit wifi thus supports more connected devices with MU-MIMO technology. Wave 2 is also available option of 160Mhz channel width for higher bandwidth support.

Ethernet Ports

So far, you might not find a single Ethernet port that deliver data speeds up to 2Gbps unless in some high end routers you can configure two teaming ports for two gigabit port aggregation such as Asus wireless AC5300 router and Netgear Nighthawk X8 wireless AC5400 router. But Netgear WAC740 offers 1x 2,500Mbps Ethernet POE port in addition of 1x 1,000Mbps Ethernet uplink port. With the wave 2 ac technology the availability of 2.5 Gigabit POE Ethernet port is valuable for more data rate throughput to the network, more connected wifi clients to network with high performance connection, eliminating network bottleneck and saturation.

Management

Netgear WAC740 offers better performance with wave 2 wifi technology and with multi-gigabit Ethernet port. However, you need separate hardware controller to manage the APs, you need either WC7500/7600/9500 for management controller. Linksys doesn’t need hardware controller. You may also consider Ubiquiti Unifi series – business class wireless ac access point with affordable price that allows you manage multi-site networks easily with controller software such as Ubiquiti UAP-PRO-AC.

Take a look more detail on the table, other spec differences if any between Linksys LAPAC2600 and Netgear WAC740.

Table 1 Linksys LAPAC2600 Vs Netgear WAC740

Model Linksys LAPAC2600 Netgear WAC740
Wireless technology Wireless ac2600 Wireless ac2400 wave 2
Streams 4 data streams 4 data streams
MU-MIMO Yes Yes
Management Single point control: clustering Controller managed by WC7500/ WC7600/WC9500 (not included)
Speeds Up to 800Mbps @2.4GhzUp to 1,750Mbps @5Ghz Up to 600Mbps @2.4GhzUp to 1,750Mbps @5Ghz
Ethernet Ports 1 x Primary Gigabit LAN Port with IEEE 802.3at PoE+1 x Secondary Gigabit LAN Port for Link Aggregation 1x 10/100/1000/2500Mbps Gigabit port with auto uplink POE support (Multi-Gigabit switch needed)1x 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit port with auto uplink
Antennas Internal PCBA Antenna4.4 dBi @2.4GHz; 5.2 dBi @5GHz Four (4) reverse SMA antenna connectors for dual band 2.4 and 5GHz external antennas (not included)
Mode Wireless APWDS

Wireless Bridge

Wireless APP2P wireless WDS

P2MP wireless WDS

Repeater mode

Security features 16x SSID, SSID broadcast, SSID to VLANWPA/WPA2 personal/enterprise

RADIUS, Rogue AP detection

WPA/WPA2, 802.11i; Block SSID broadcast; secure SSH Telnet.MAC filter; Rogue AP detection,

Remote mngnt login

Peer-to-peer blocking

 

Price $355.00 $599.99

 

You may also consider Aruba IAP-205 for medium business that may contain up to 16 APs and with single AP to act as the primary virtual controller that will failover to another AP when this primary AP fails. Or you may also consider Cisco Meraki M32 for enterprise – a cloud managed AP with multi sites.

Summary

Linksys LAPAC2600 is business class wireless ac access point delivering aggregated bandwidth of up to 2,535Mbps dual band with 4×4 MU-MIMO technology with business class security features. Unlike Linksys, Netgear WAC740 requires hardware controller for networking management.

Our Picks for Best Fire TV Stick Bluetooth Headphones

Our Picks for Best Fire TV Stick Bluetooth Headphones

It is good option to choose the Amazon Fire TV Stick, as you can watch TV shows and movies but also has other features built-in.

With such one, you can pair with other devices such as keyboards, wireless speakers, and headphones.

Using headphones can be an advantage in many situations from not bothering a partner or just able to hear better.

With that in mind here is our picks of the best headsets to use with a Fire TV Stick. As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon or elsewhere to be sure a set is the right unit for you.

They are a mid-range unit so while not top of the line thy wont break the bank, and are much better than ht many low cost units available.

Pairing them is easy with the Fire Stick by going to Settings–>Controller & Bluetooth Devices–>Other Bluetooth devices. The Fire Stick will start scanning for Bluetooth devices. The Archeer settings button is held for 5 seconds with puts it into Bluetooth mode.

They are a nice unit with good sound and a over-ear design that block out unwanted noise.

Sony makes the SBH60 Stereo Headset that also works great with the Fire TV Stick.

Our Picks for Best Fire TV Stick Bluetooth Headphones


They are a over-ear set so they keep noise in and help block outside noise. The batter life is around 7-8 hours and the sound quality is very nice.

Small sleek and stylish they are a mid-range unit that has a good price for the value.

For those on a budget and looking for a good set the Kinivo BTH240 work very well with the Fire Stick at a low cost.

They have a 10 hour battery life and can be used up to 33 feet away like most Bluetooth devices.

If your on a budget than they are worth a look and a good buy for the money.

Our Picks for Best Fire TV Stick Bluetooth Headphones

Summary


Using wireless headphones with a Fire TV Stick is a good option in many scenarios. Most often they are used to not bother a partner but can also be used in many other situations.

Paring a unit is very easy and quick task that most anyone can do with limited skill.

If you have a old set around than they likely will work since the New Fire Stick uses Bluetooth 4.1 which is backward compatible with most older versions.

Some wireless headsets can have a small sound delay which often isn’t noticeable until watching a TV show or movie.

Unicomp Ultra Classic Review

Unicomp Ultra Classic Review

Pros
Superb for typing. Extraordinarily configurable. Made in America.
Cons

May require an adjustment period. Extremely loud. No special features. Unsteady plastic construction.
Bottom Line

For the hardest of hard-core typists, the Unicomp Ultra Classic pegs the quintessential PC typing experience like no other keyboard on the market.

Few tech products can truly be called legendary, but the original IBM Model M keyboard is such one thing. It was developed and released in 1985 and has been held up by many (including yours truly) as the ultimate typing device for its unparalleled responsiveness, finger feel, and sound. In fact, many companies making the mechanical imitators of the last decade have been trying to replicate it by other means, and have more or less succeeded. But if you crave the real deal, whether because you were there, because you’ve long wondered what all the fuss was about, or because you simply care that much about typing, you don’t have to troll eBay. You can, instead, go with the Unicomp Ultra Classic ($84). It’s made by the company that bought the licensing, tooling, and designs for the Model M, it could not be more authentic. And don’t be surprised if you discover, as I did, that this keyboard lives up to the hype.

Design and Functionality
The Ultra Classic looks like a plain old keyboard, which you may not find anything new.  With an emphasis on the old: big (about 1.7 by 18 by 7 inches, HWD), bulky (3.18 pounds), plasticky (the deck creeks and flexes a bit if you apply too much pressure, which may not instill confidence), and utterly lacking any kind of visible frills. There are no dedicated media keys, no function key that allows the F1 through F12 keys to double as media keys, no volume adjuster, no USB pass-through, no backlighting. Two pop-out feet let you prop up the keyboard at two different angles, if you wish, but the biggest contemporary advances are the Windows and Menu keys (daring additions prime for Windows 95) and the presence of a cable terminating in a connector designed for USB rather than AT. But it’s not the externalities that are supposed to define the Ultra Classic, but rather the uncommon (if not thoroughly unique) mechanism inside.

Unicomp Ultra Classic Review

Many keyboards use silicone dome switches, which create characters from the contact that occurs when two membranes are joined when you push down on a key. Newer mechanical keyboards accomplish this instead with physical switches that can be adjusted to provide different amounts of tactile and auditory feedback, depending on the intended usage model. The Ultra Classic dispenses with any such fakery: Once you’ve applied a certain amount of pressure to a key, a hammer beneath it creates an electrical contact that registers your keystroke at the same time the spring beneath the cap buckles and hits the outer key shaft with enough force for you to hear. This design is called, quite descriptively, “buckling spring.”

This means that, unlike with even the best mechanical keyboards, the feedback you receive (to both your fingers and your ears) occurs precisely when the switch is activated. It’s for this reason that serious typists have so adored the Model M keyboard: Everything else has felt, however slightly, false and manufactured. With a keyboard like this, the relationship of the creation of characters you see to the motion of your fingers is every bit as intimate and uninterrupted as was the case during the heyday of the manual typewriter.

Unicomp sent us a version of the Ultra Classic with a black body and light-gray keys; a more staunchly traditional version, with off-white (“Pearl”) coloring for its deck and some keys and other keys in a brownish gray, is also available for the same price. For a $10 fee, you can custom design your own keyboard with any of 34 different languages and layouts (among them United States variations of Dvorak, Mac, and Linux, and blank keycaps are an option). A number of other styles—with additional terminal keys, for example, or sporting a TrackPoint-like pointing stick—can also be purchased at varying prices. No matter which you buy, all of the keyboards are made at Unicomp’s facilities in Lexington, Kentucky.

Unicomp Ultra Classic Review

Performance
I moved from dome-switch to mechanical keyboards nine years ago, after the tragic, soft-drink-induced death of the model I’d been using for years because it was the closest I’d found that mimicked the feel (if not the sound) of the Model M keyboards that had guided me through my first forays with PCs. Since then, I’ve become very much a mechanical keyboard evangelist, willing to preach and demonstrate to anyone who will listen—and many people who won’t—exactly what they’re missing if all they know are the cheap desktop and laptop keyboards that have become so prevalent. So I thought I was prepared for what the Ultra Classic would feel like. It would be, to use a phrase that will enrage our executive editor but nonetheless applies here, a mechanical keyboard on steroids, right?

Wrong. Compared with the Cherry MX Blue, essentially the typist’s switch and the one with which I’ve most versed (it’s used in many products from mechanical keyboard company Metadot, such as our Editors’ Choice Das Keyboard 4 Professional$165.99 at Amazon), the buckling spring switch has a much higher actuation force (65 centi-Newtons, or cN, versus 50cN), a deeper actuation point (2.3mm versus 2mm), and a shallower full travel distance (3.7mm versus 4mm). This combination of factors means you can’t expect the same result if you move your fingers the same way. Though I loved how clean and real it felt to type on as soon as I started using it, at first, I found myself making unusual mistakes because the Ultra Classic just wasn’t doing what I thought it should be.

I slowly realized that my brain had given expecting a direct connection between my fingers, ears, and eyes, and was letting me phone in my typing. Once I focused on what I was doing, and made the necessary adjustments for how the buckling spring behaved, typing became thrilling and organic once again in a way it hadn’t been for years. My fingers bounced around less than they do on keyboards using Cherry MX Blue switches, but it didn’t matter that the buckling-spring keys’ activation force was even higher than that of Cherry MX Black switches (60cN, making them ideal for applications where precision trumps speed, such as gaming or medicine)—the springs provided the lift my typing needed to be comfortable, zippy, and accurate nonetheless.

Some personal preference comes into play here, of course, as the Cherry MX Blue switches seem more effortless to use, and if you’re accustomed to them, you’ll need a couple of weeks or so to transition to buckling-spring switches. But others in our office who have not previously displayed any keyboard-snob tendencies, including our staff photographer and two editors at Computer Shopper, tried it and were captivated by its natural feel, too. The difference really is one you can detect immediately, even if you’ve never thought about it before.

The only potential downside? Even more than super-clicky Cherry MX Blue, buckling-spring key switches are loud. They also have a much deeper, baritonal sound—think of Cherry MX Blue switches like professional tap dancers, and buckling-spring switches are sumo wrestlers in training. When used for long periods of time by a fast typist (like, uh, me), the Ultra Classic produces a constant “ka-thunking” that could be distracting or irritating to coworkers or significant others. Hopefully they’ll understand, but maybe warn them first.

Unicomp Ultra Classic Review

Conclusions
The Unicomp Ultra Classic earns its name: It really is every bit as good as the IBM Model M keyboard it’s been designed to so closely emulate. True die-hards have kept those keyboards for decades, and that there are many reports of them still working as well as they did when they first came out of the box is a tribute to their timeless construction. I can’t say for sure that the Ultra Classic will enjoy that kind of longevity, but I do know that you’re unlikely to find a keyboard that’s much better for typing than this one. The Das Keyboard 4 Professional combines terrific typing with standalone media keys and even a volume wheel, but it costs twice as much as the Ultra Classic. And any gaming keyboard, whether one as basic as the SteelSeries Apex M500$96.99 at Amazon or as fully decked-out Corsair K95 RGB$169.99 at Amazon, will offer a lot more functionality but an inferior typing experience. With an unadventurous design and an impressive lack of post-1995 features, the Ultra Classic can’t do anything but type, but at that it excels. If that’s what you need, and if those around you are tolerant of sound or have exceptional headphones, the Ultra Classic delivers it as few other keyboards are, and have ever been, capable of.

What is The Fastest USB WiFi Adapter for Windows 10?

With each release of new WiFi protocols there have been USB dongles that stand out as the fastest available along with reliability. Among these products,The ASUS USB-AC68 Dual-Band AC1900 is  the best that is very impressive when it comes to speed and wireless connectivity.

If you have a specific need for a fast wireless USB adapter for a desktop, or upgrading a laptop it is best to go with a good cheap unit, you can get one.

The ASUS USB-AC68 is for those looking to have the fastest possible USB WiFi dongle available.

What is The Fastest USB WiFi Adapter for Windows 10?

To do the testing we used Windows 10 with a Core i5-4300U, running at 1.9 GHz, 8GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD drive.

The first thing noticeable about it is the different design with two external antennas that fold out like a butterfly.

What is The Fastest USB WiFi Adapter for Windows 10?
The fold out antennas help to improve wireless coverage.
What is The Fastest USB WiFi Adapter for Windows 10?

It also comes with a USB cradle to extend it out if needed.
What is The Fastest USB WiFi Adapter for Windows 10?

The USB-AC68 uses Realtek’s RTL8814AU chipset which has the newest technology, 3×4 MIMO and AiRadar beamforming.

The theoretical speed is 1900 Mbps split between 2.4Ghz and 5 GHz frequencies. 2.4 Ghz at 600 Mbps, and 5 GhZ at 1300 Mbps.

Of course theoretical speeds are never reached and anyone wanting the fastest WiFi possible will be using the 5 GHz range with 802.11AC.

To test it we connected to Dlink 802.11AC router. ASUS does suggest using one of their newest routers for the best results.

To test the speed we used a 300Mbps Down, and 50Mbps UP internet connection with speedtest.net.

What is The Fastest USB WiFi Adapter for Windows 10?
The download speed was at 219 Mbps.
What is The Fastest USB WiFi Adapter for Windows 10?

The UP speed was also good at 23 Mbps.

The speed results were impressive, even beating out the fastest PCI card we have in a desktop. We do wish we had a new ASUS router to see if the result improved or not.

The router was set 10 feet away with a clear line of sight. Keep in mind the more distance to the router the slower the time will be.

Summary
When it comes to new USB wireless adapters it is rare that we get that excited about a new dongle.

While each generation of USB WiFi dongles always are an improvement over previous versions the boost is often not that spectacular.

The ASUS USB-AC68 Dual-Band AC1900 is an exception to that and was doubling and tripling speeds from other new WiFi dongles.

It of course is also more expensive so may not be the best for everyone.

Also we did see some reviews from others about installation problems. Mainly with USB 3.0 drivers.

Another downside is no Linux support, at least right now there are no drivers.

If you need speed from a wireless USB adapter and Windows 10 than the ASUS USB-AC68 will be tough to beat.

As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon or elsewhere to be sure it is a good fit for you.

Top 5 Wireless AC Access Point Products

D-link DAP-2660

Here are top 5 affordable wireless ac access point products for businesses available in the market recommend for you.

WAP AC for businesses

Business class WAP typically comes with single mode of operation as the wireless AP that connects to the Ethernet port of your network switch, that has a big difference with wire access point(WAP).

POE

Business class access point comes with POE support to help you easily install the product in location,  where no power outlet is available such as on ceiling or on the height of  the wall. Access point with POE supports you just run a single network cable either CAT5e or CAT6 type UTP cable.

Manageable

The other feature that business class WAP supports is the capability of being managed centrally together with tens or hundreds of other WAP products via something like a wireless management software, and even some models have the capability of managing the WAP products multi-site multi-tenancy. This feature is ideal for enterprise or corporation with multi business units spread all over the world.

Top 5 models

There bunch of wireless ac access point models in the market today from different networking vendors including EnGenius, Linksys, D-link, Ubiquiti and Alfa. Upgrading your existing wifi network with next generation of AC network is more advantage the fact that AC networks provide you higher bandwidth that can accommodate more clients than legacy wireless N networks. For long range wifi network you may consider affordable products by TP-link – the CPE510 long range wifi outdoor AP.

Here are top 5 models of business class wireless ac access point you may consider for upgrading your current business network.

  1. EnGenius EAP1200H

EnGenius offers you various models of WAP products including those that based on latest wireless AC technology and one of them is this one – the EnGenius EAP1200H. as you might guess that this product based on wireless AC1200 technology, the EAP1200H delivers dual band simultaneously with total bandwidth of up to 1,200Mbps both 2.4GHz and 5GHz band. Each of the device is tag with affordable price of around $100.

EnGenius EAP1200H

Engenius EAP1200H wireless ac access point

Main features

  • Based on 802.11ac wifi standard simultaneous dual band
  • Speeds up to 867Mbps on 5GHz band and up to 300Mbps on 2.4GHz band
  • High power long range coverage
  • Transmit power up to 26dBm for both band for extending wifi coverage
  • POE supports and gigabit Ethernet port
  • Optimizing WLAN bandwidth
  • Industry standard wifi security including guest network
  • EnGenius EZ controller for wireless network management
  • VLAN support with SSID to VLAN tagging

This model like other business class wireless ac access point devices is ceiling mountable. With POE supports you can connect the devices easily with single CAT5e or CAT6 UTP cable up to 100 meters to the nearest POE switch.

  1. Linksys LAPAC1200

Linksys introduces three models of WAP products for businesses including LAPN600 based on N600, LAPAC1200 based on wifi AC1200 and LAPAC1750 based on AC1750 network segments. Linksys LAPAC1200 is one of affordable business class wireless ac access point to support your business network. The good thing with this product is that it comes with single management control software for clustering. Features are almost similar with the one offered by EnGenius above, ceiling mountable and POE supports and more.

    Linksys LAPAC1200

Linksys LAPAC1200 wireless AC access point

Main features

  • Based on latest 802.11AC technology in AC1200 segment
  • Dual band simultaneous speeds of up to 860Mbps on 5GHz band and up to 300Mbps on 2.4GHz band
  • POE supports for easy deployment on ceiling
  • High security standard including WPA/WPA2, rogue AP detection and more
  • IPv6 supports
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • High power amplifiers for better wifi coverage
  • Clustering for single point control

Price tag is currently not much different with EnGenius, slightly more expensive than EnGenius as discussed above.

  1. Ubiquiti UniFi AC Lite AP

It’s gone the day when you used to use the hardware wifi controller to manage multiple WAPs, today you can manage thousands of WAP devices even unlimited numbers by using a single unified management system. Ubiquiti comes with intuitive unify controller software to let you manage and control thousands of WAP devices centrally, even spread in multi-site globally. Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LITE-US is one of the best business class wireless ac access point products you may consider to upgrade your existing wifi network.

Ubiquiti UniFi AC Lite AP

Ubiquiti Wireless ac access point

Main features

  • Based on wireless 802.11ac in AC1200 segment
  • 2x 3dBi dual band internal antennas with 2×2 MIMO technology
  • Speeds up to 867Mbps on 5GHz and up to 300Mbps in 2.4GHz band
  • Supports MIMO technology
  • POE supports
  • Intuitive Unifi controller software
  • Expandable unlimitedly from small to large network with single management unified software
  • Gigabit Ethernet port

This is one of  the best wireless access point ac products available in the market today for businesses, you can start from single device to unlimited numbers with single management software.

Building a large scale wifi network is easier today with multiple wireless ac access point devices and is easier to manage with central management software.

  1. D-link DAP-2660

D-link DAP2660 is one of business class wireless ac access point products you may consider for upgrading your aging wifi network. The good thing with this product is the load balancing and band steering features. Like the other business class WAP products offered by EnGenius, Linksys and Ubiquiti this product comes with free central management software. It’s based on AC1200 in addition of AC1750-based WAP such as DAP-2695 AC1750 AP.

    D-link DAP-2660

Main features

  • Based on wifi AC1200
  • Simultaneous dual band speeds of up to 867Mbps on 5GHz band and up to 300Mbps on 2.4GHz band
  • Advanced features such as QoS, load balancing, band steering and airtime fairness
  • High security business class features
  • POE supports with Gigabit port
  • Wall/ceiling mountable housing with 2x 3dBi internal antennas for 2.4GHz and 2x 4dBi internal antennas for 5GHz band
  • Comes with free D-link central wifi manager controller software with bandwidth optimization, captive portal and radio frequency optimization
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

The management software is like other central wifi management offered by Ubiquiti, EnGenius and Linksys can be used to control up to 500 AP devices in multi-site, multi-tenancy wireless networks. You can host the software on local computer or hosted in cloud.

  1. Alfa AP120C

The last top 5 wireless ac access point products you may consider is Alfa AP120C, product made in Taiwan. Like other business class wireless access point ac products, it’s wall/ceiling mountable model.

    Alfa AP120C

Alfa AP120H wireless ac access point

Main features

  • Based on wireless AC1200 technology
  • Simultaneous dual band total bandwidth of up to 867Mbps + 300Mbps
  • Multimode AP; point-to-point and point to multi point WDS
  • VAP supports up to 16SSIDs with traffic control each SSID
  • Dynamic Channel Selection for noisy environment

The price tagged is under $100, cheap for business class network. Click the following link for product details and shop from Amazon.

For homes you may consider one of best seller top 10 range extender products including TP-link RE590T touch screen extender should your network is limited and to eliminate dead zones.

Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200

Netgear nighthawk x10

Netgear released a new generation of wireless ADrouter – the Nighthawk X10 wireless AD7200 multi band router delivering total bandwidth of up to 7200Mbps with three distinct bands. It was powered by high end 1.7GHz dual core processor.

What this product does

You’ll be surprised how the wifi technology is evolving so fast in wireless AD based router if you haven’t taste how the speed of wireless AC router when your current aging wifi router is still based on wireless G or wireless N150 technology. Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 and TP-link Talon AD7200 are both new generation of wireless routers based on the next generation of wireless 802.11AD technology.

Multi band

Nighthawk X10 is designed with the three distinct bands, like the most crowded 2.4GHz band with speed up to 800Mbps, the clean 5GHz band with the speed up to 1733Mbps and the high frequency 60GHz band.

We know that the current AC5300 routers such as Linksys EA9500 and Netgear R8500 and AC3200 routers such as TP-link Archer C3200 or Linksys EA9200, they are also three band routers, the 2.4GHz band and two separate 5GHz bands.

Up to 4600Mbps @60GHz

Routers based on wireless AD technology delivers ultra fast wifi speeds up to 4600Mbps in 60GHz band, high frequency band. The bad thing is that this 60GHz band cannot penetrate the wall, it must be in a line of sight between the router and the wifi compatible clients. So far, there are couple of clients that work in 60GHz band such as new Acer TMP648 laptop.

Aggregation Ethernet ports

Like the previous AC5300 model – the Netgear Nighthawk X8, Netgear Nighthawk X10 is also equipped with dual aggregation port to deliver 2Gbps data rate throughput. This is ideal for connecting to something like high speed NAS storage.

netgear nighthawk x10

Main features

  • Next generation of wireless AD7200 technology based on 802.11ad, 802.11ac
  • Multi band router speeds up to 4600Mbps @60GHz; up to 1733Mbps @5GHz and up to 800Mbps @2.4GHz band
  • Plex media server and Amazon drive cloud backup
  • Beamforming for 2.4GHz and 5GHz band
  • MU-MIMO ready
  • ReadyCloud and ReadyShare vault
  • 6x Gigabit LAN ports and 1x Gigabit WAN port
  • Dual port aggregation
  • Powered by 1.7GHz dual core processor with 512Mbps NAND Flash and 1GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports

Many people are wondering that this model of wireless AD-based router is beneficial at a moment particularly with the 60GHz band, at least lack of the wireless client adapter based on wireless AD standard and the shortage of the range distance.

Comparison X10 Vs Talon

Talon AD7200 was introduced and released earlier than Nighthawk X10, and generally the product that comes later is featured richer than the first model. X10 is designed with richer features than Talon as you can see from the following spec comparison table.

Antennas

Talon model is similar like its TP-link Archer C5400 wireless AC5300 model, designed with eight external antennas. On the other hand, Nighthawk X10 is designed with 4x active external antennas like its predecessor model Nighthawk X8 to deliver more powerful signal strength and longer distance coverage.

Processor

Nighthawk X10 is powered by high speed 1.7GHz dual core processor as opposed to only 1.4GHz dual core processor in Talon. As comparison, you can find Linksys WRT AC3200 is powered by the fastest dual core processor – 1.8GHz dual core processor for its DD-WRT firmware router, the fastest dual band router in the market today.

Take a look at the following comparison table for easy to read spec comparison between the routers.

Table 1 Netgear Nighthawk X10 Vs TP-link Talon AD7200

Nighthawk X10 Talon AD7200
Wifi technology Wireless 802.11ad/ac Wireless 802.11ad/ac
Wifi speeds 4600Mbps @60GHz; 1733Mbps @5GHz and 800Mbps @2.4GHz 4600Mbps @60GHz; 1733Mbps @5GHz and 800Mbps @2.4GHz
Beamforming technology Yes Yes
MU-MIMO Yes Yes
Antenna 4x active external antenna4x internal antennas 8 external antennas, 1 internal antenna
Ethernet Ports 6x 10/100/1000Mbps LAN Ports,1 10/100/1000Mbps WAN Port

Dual Gigabit Ethernet port aggregation

4 10/100/1000Mbps LAN Ports,1 10/100/1000Mbps WAN Port
USB Ports 2x USB 3.0 ports 2x USB 3.0 ports
Processor 1.7GHz dual core processor 1.4GHz dual core processor
Price $499.99 $349.95

 

Summary

Netgear Nighthawk X10 is new multi band router based on next generation wireless AD technology delivering total bandwidth of up to 7200Mbps for its three distinct bands. Compared with Talon AD7200, Nighthawk is more superior regarding the processor speed, the active antenna and dual aggregation Gigabit Ethernet ports.

TP-Link AP500 Home Wireless AC Access Point

tplink ap500

TP-link  releases AP500 wireless AC1900 Access Point, so you can use to upgrade your legacy wireless N network with high speed wireless AC1900 network in homes, ideal for high speed 4K video streaming or smooth online gaming in home or any other bandwidth intensive application tasks.

Why Access Point

Many people prefer a wireless cable modem gateway which is a single compact all-in-one device that integrates wireless router with built-in cable modem device to provide wifi network in homes or small offices. Such as high speed Arris Surfboard SBG7580AC cable modem with wifi – the fastest 32/8 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem with wireless AC1750 router, Arris Surfboard SBG6700 cable modem wifi,  or entry level TP-link TC-W7960 cable modem gateway. The first two products are based on wireless AC technology, while TC-W7960 is still based on wireless N300.

Upgrade options

A single device cable modem with wifi router is easy to manage, easy to install and save space on your table no clutter of devices. However, when you require to upgrade the wifi speed you have to replace the whole thing. For example, with TP-link TC-W7960 which is based on wireless N300 technology your upgrade options are replacing the whole thing or adding a wireless AC access point connected to the modem gateway.

AP500

TP-link AP500 is wireless AC 1900 access point you can add to your cable modem gateway to provide high speed wireless AC1900 network instead of replacing your gateway. AP500 comes with gigabit Ethernet port you can connect to Ethernet port of your modem gateway or connect to your Ethernet switch.

AP500 wireless ac access point delivers dual band speeds of up to 1300Mbps @5GHz band and up to 600Mbps @2.4GHz band simultaneously. It supports Beamforming technology for targeted wifi clients with solid wifi signal while roaming within the network.

To get the benefit of beamforming technology your wireless adapters should support Beamforming technology too. There are some models of wireless AC USB adapters supports Beamforming for example D-link DWA-192 and Edimax EW-7833 USB adapter.

tplink ap500

TP-link AP500

Main features

  • Based on wireless AC1900 dual band
  • Speeds up to 1600Mbps @5GHz band and up to 600Mbps @2.4GHz band
  • 3x dual band detachable external antennas
  • Ready with beamforming technology
  • 1x Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Can be configured as wireless AP, repeater/ bridge, client, multi SSID
  • Powered by 1GHz dual core processor

TP-link AP500 wireless AC1900 access point can be configured in multiple mode of operations including AP mode when you connect it to the router LAN port via UTP network cable or you can configure it as wireless repeater, wireless client or multi SSID mode.

This product is ideal for homes, or small home office with broadband internet connection including cable, DSL and fiber optic services. For businesses, this product might not very effective. TP-link offers business class wireless access point with its EAP series either N or AC based access point.

 

Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LITE

If you need to build a wireless network for your offices to share broadband internet connection, adding home wireless ac access point might not be appropriate particularly when you are planning to expand more clients in line with growing of your business. Instead of adding TP-link AP500 home wireless ac access point connecting to the modem gateway, adding business class wireless ac access point is a better idea.

ubiquiti uap-pro series

Ubiquiti UAP series

Ubiquity UAP-AC-LITE is one of most popular business class AP you can start from a single device and you can add two, three and up to thousands AP devices in line with the expanding of your business. The good thing is that you can control all of them from a single unified management system.

Main features

  • Dual band 802.11ac AP
  • 2×2 MIMO technology with 2x 3dBi dual band antennas
  • 4 SSIDs each band
  • 1x Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Unifi non-dedicated software controller in a local computer, private cloud or public cloud
  • Unlimited scalability, start from one device to unlimited AP devices
  • POE supports

The price each of the device is not costly, it’s around $80 each. It is worth of adding one Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LITE to build a wireless network in your office. Invest your time by hassle of running UTP network cable from the router to each of the wireless ac access point. When the requirement of adding more AP devices exists, you can easily add more devices and manage them from a single computer anywhere. When you expand to remote sites, you still can manage in a single management system anywhere.

 Summary

TP-link AP500 is one of high performance wireless AC access point for homes with dual band simultaneously with speeds of up to 1300Mbps @5GHz and up to 600Mbps @2.4GHz. To start for a small office, adding Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LITE is ideal solution for businesses.

Review: MARSEE ZeroX Bluetooth Speaker with 8 Watt Drivers

MARSEE ZeroX Bluetooth Speaker with 8 Watt Drivers

The MARSEE ZeroX is a small low cost mini wireless Bluetooth speaker with a nice sound and Iit has Bluetooth 4.0 which allows it to play music from most any Bluetooth device. A built-in mic allows phone calls to be answered over the speakers for the times it is paired to a smartphone.

The box  including the unit, power cable, instructions, and a audio line-in for any non-Bluetooth device.
review marsee zerox bluetooth speaker

The package is small at 7.4 x 3.9 x 2.2 inches, here it is next to a Galaxy S6.
review marsee zerox bluetooth speaker

The button layout is simple and easy to use with power, play, skip, phone, and mic.
review marsee zerox bluetooth speaker

The side has a power port, SD-card slot and audio line-in for non Bluetooth devices.
review marsee zerox bluetooth speaker
You can copy your favorite songs to a SD-card and play directly from it.

The build of the unit is solid with the core made out of hard plastic. The corners and edges are rubber giving it some protection in case of a drop.

It has a rechargeable 2000 Ah battery which takes 2-3 hours for a full charge, and last around 7-8 hours of playing time.

The waterproof rating is IPX6 which can survive splashes and briefly being dipped in water.

Pairing it is easy by simply going into Bluetooth options and selecting Pair.
review marsee zerox bluetooth speaker

The sound is surprisingly good for such a small unit. The 8 Watt Drivers really can get loud with some decent Bass. I paired it to my phone and did a quick overview and sound sample below.

Quick Overview and Sound Sample

 

Hands on: Linksys WRT 1200AC with ExpressVPN review

Linksys WRT 1200AC with ExpressVPN

Our Early Verdict

To build a VPN service with a customisable router appears to be a no-brainer as they both target the same audience and in this particular case, the WRT 1200AC and ExpressVPN make a great pair.

Like pretty much every other piece of computing hardware, routers have reached a maturation peak with very little disruptive innovation now happening.

Some vendors are trying new things to differentiate themselves from the rest of the competition, often by offering fine-tuned, bespoke services.

 Linksys WRT 1200AC with ExpressVPN

Certainly, it came as a surprise when one VPN provider, ExpressVPN, offered to send us the Linksys WRT 1200AC router with its services baked in by way of a customised firmware.

Note that in our case, the router was already preconfigured, but owners of the WRT 1200AC or the WRT 1900AC/S (the only two Linksys routers that support the native ExpressVPN option) will be able to install this particular firmware.

A couple of points here: changing the firmware of your router is not for the faint hearted and there’s a small chance that you could brick (break) your device during the process.

Doing so with a third-party firmware will invalidate your warranty although you can always go back to the original Linksys firmware.

ExpressVPN told us that, while this is the case, Linksys has done a good job to make this device a lot more reliable than anything else on the market.

Linksys WRT 1200AC with ExpressVPN

Speaking of the WRT 1200AC, this is a relatively mature device that was launched well over a year ago; although the one that was sent to us is the v2 incarnation.

You can nab it for as little as £102 (around $125, AU$165) including delivery from online retailer Ballicom

Those who have used the now legendary WRT 54xx series will recognise the device’s blue-black colour scheme. The WRT 1200AC is the heir to that line with some pretty bold lines and a futuristic design.

There are plenty of holes in its enclosure, a sign that the hardware inside may well get warm under near-constant use. As expected, it sits comfortably on four big plastic feet and carries two detachable antennas at the back.

As with the vast majority of routers on the market, there are plenty of status lights up front (11 in all), a lot of ports at the back, and all the admin details about the router are on its base.

Overall, the 1200AC has a very solid feel to it with an air of nostalgia; it won’t wobble or fall off a flat surface thanks to a low centre of gravity.

The original router had 256MB of RAM while the new version 2 we evaluated doubles that to 512MB. There’s still a Marvel 88F6820 ARM system-on-chip at its heart, a dual-core model clocked at 1.3GHz. It has a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 900Mbps on 5GHz; you can of course use both at the same time, depending on your devices.

Linksys WRT 1200AC with ExpressVPN

Note that the WRT 1200AC incorporates beam forming technology which means that it can focus its wireless signals on devices connected to it.

At the back of the router you’ll find a switch, a reset button, a power connector, one USB 3.0 port, one eSATA/USB 2.0 connector and four Gigabit Ethernet ports.

You must have an ExpressVPN subscription for the VPN to work, something that can cost you as little as $99.99 (around £80, AU$135) for a year. You’ll need to enter your 23-digit activation code to use the router, and the VPN service will work on all the devices connected to it.

You will not need a subscription to use the router if you do not plan to use the VPN service, but presumably if you’re buying this product, you’re doing so for the bundled VPN. Still, if you change your mind down the line, the hardware will still work without the subscription.

Linksys also encourages you to register for its free Smart Wi-Fi service which allows you to monitor and manage your router using a mobile app from anywhere in the world. Very useful if you want to reset or troubleshoot when you’re not physically near the device.

The router’s user interface is well laid-out with some clear options that even include a speed test feature, one which connects with the popular Speednet service. You can configure the modem to run on OpenWRT or DD-WRT, two popular alternative router operating systems.

Linksys WRT 1200AC with ExpressVPN

This, however, would require you to get rid of the ExpressVPN firmware (which is itself a customised version of OpenWRT).

While ExpressVPN usually enforces a limit of three simultaneous connections per account, that limit doesn’t hold for this router, and as we mentioned earlier, you can connect as many devices as your broadband can support, a real boon for households with loads of devices.

It’s worth noting that the only type of split tunnelling support is VPN (single location) or No VPN. Individual devices cannot have individual servers.

Users can select which devices they want to connect through the VPN, and which devices they do not want to be protected.

Connecting the router to our existing Virgin Media Superhub 2ac directly (without switching on the router mode) worked, with the WRT 1200AC consistently providing a better browsing experience than Virgin Media’s bundled router.

Early verdict

There are two parts to this verdict. The first pertains to the router itself which is a decent model that delivers a strong showing in terms of transfer rate and stability.

The user interface and the free mobile app are a welcome change from what you usually get with the router bundled with your broadband line. Sure, it doesn’t have features like MU-MIMO or triple band but then again, it is a £102 (around $125, AU$165) router and one of the cheaper AC1200 models.

And secondly, as for the ExpressVPN option, it is unfortunately a flawed one as it invalidates the hardware’s warranty (as confirmed by Linksys). If you’re happy to take this risk, there’s one incentive and that’s the fact that everything is done transparently.

Experienced users can always install VPN clients on their own devices and swap between providers as they see fit, either because features have evolved or they feel they could get better value-for-money elsewhere.