Last year saw most consumer networking brands launch routers supporting the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard that promise faster wireless speeds. Some vendors have also added Wi-Fi 6 (or 802.11ax) to their other networking products. A recent example is the TP-Link AX1800 Wi-Fi Range Extender.
- Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) support
- Up to 1.2Gbps via 5GHz channel
- Gigabit Ethernet port
Also known as the RE605X, this range extender connects to your home router’s existing Wi-Fi network and extends it to areas with poor Wi-Fi. Thanks to Wi-Fi 6, the RE605X’s download speed caps out at 1.2Gbps compared to 867Mbps for a similar Wi-Fi 5 range extender. Of course, you’ll need a Wi-Fi 6 client device — a smartphone or notebook from the last two years — to enjoy the difference.
Installation is a breeze. Power up the RE605X near your home router, download the Tether mobile app (available for iOS and Android) and follow the instructions. Once configured, the range extender can be relocated — for instance, somewhere in between your router and the area with poor Wi-Fi coverage. You can either use the built-in tool in the Tether app or rely on the range extender’s signal LED (green is good) to find the best spot. Be warned that the size of the RE605X means that it will likely encroach into the neighbouring outlet in a power strip.
The RE605X can also form a mesh network with several TP-Link routers, but not the Deco series of mesh routers, such as the AX60. Dubbed OneMesh, such a mesh network is smarter than a typical router and range extender setup. For one, the network name is the same for all the devices in the mesh network, which results in a seamless transition when you move around the home with your devices. However, I did not have a suitable router to test this.
Using the Ookla Speedtest, the average download speed in my bedroom with the RE605X was around 100Mbps compared to 76Mbps (without the range extender). Seeing as a good Wi-Fi connection is more crucial than ever with the work-from-home trend, I feel the S$105 price for this range extender is a small one to pay. It is available from e-commerce platforms Lazada and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by TP-Link.