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Wireless Reviews

High Power AC1200 Wi-Fi Router
At a glance
ProductAmped Wireless High Power AC1200 Wi-Fi Router (RTA1200)   [Website]
SummaryQCA-based AC1200 router with Gigabit Ethernet ports and USB 2.0 storage sharing
Pros• Port-based VLANs
• Multiple DoS firewall options
Cons• Slow attached storage sharing
• USB 2.0 vs. USB 3.0
• Not Wi-Fi Certified
• Expensive for an AC1200 router
• No wireless bridging

Typical Price: $61  Buy From Amazon

Introduction

Updated 2/25/16 - Router performance retest due to measurement process error

The RTA1200 High Power AC1200 Wi-Fi Router from Amped Wireless was originally going to be included in Part 1 of our AC1200 router roundup, but didn't have a valid FCC ID registration. The product now is properly registered, so here's the review.

The chart below, taken from the Amped Wireless website, shows the RTA1200 one step below the RTA1750 that Tim recently reviewed.

Amped Wireless product lineup

Amped Wireless product lineup

The RTA1200 and the RTA1750 are almost identical except for a few differences in radio components to produce the RTA1200's 2X2 design. Both routers use external antennas and about the only difference in the cases is the additional antenna on the RTA1750.

The case has a dark charcoal color and a matte finish. The router is designed to sit flat on your desktop, but there are mounting holes should you wish to mount it vertically on the wall. The top panel has nine white LEDs. There are plastic light pipes from the top panel down to the board to redirect and concentrate the light. The company name as well as the designation for the LEDs appears to be molded in glossy finish so there's very little contrast between the case itself and the markings, making the LED designations difficult to see. The chart below shows callouts for the front panel LEDs.

Amped Wireless RTA1200 Front Panel Callout

Amped Wireless RTA1200 Front Panel Callout

The rear panel of the RTA1200 is identical to the RTA1750 with the exception of having only two antenna ports.

Amped Wireless RTA1200 Rear Panel Callout
Amped Wireless RTA1200 Rear Panel Callout

Inside

The RTA1200 is powered by a Qualcomm Atheros QCA9957 2X2 abgn SoC WLAN, which also serves as the 2.4 GHz radio. The 5 GHz radio is a separate QCA9882 2X2 802.11ac radio. If this architecture sounds familiar, it is. The RTA1750 uses a QCA9558 3X3 abgn SoC and a separate Qualcomm QCA9880 3X3 802.11ac radio. Both routers have the same amount of RAM (128 MB) and Flash (16MB) and use a QCA8337 for the five Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The main PCB for the RTA1200 shares much of its design with the RTA1750.

Amped Wireless RTA1200 Component side of the main PCB

Amped Wireless RTA1200 Component side of the main PCB

While board sizes and layouts are similar, the RTA1750 PCB shown below has more components because of the additional amplifiers for its 3X3 design.

Amped Wireless RTA1750 Component side of the main PCB

Amped Wireless RTA1750 Component side of the main PCB

Table 1 below summarizes the key components of the RTA 1200 and the RTA1750. Both devices use the same Skyworks amplifiers and LNAs - the RTA1750 just uses three of each of the chips instead of two.

  Amped Wireless RTA1200 Amped Wireless RTA1750
CPU QCA9557 2X2 abgn WLAN SoC QCA9558 3x3 abgn WLAN SoC
Switch QCA8337 QCA8337
RAM 128 MB 128 MB
Flash 16 MB 16 MB
2.4 GHz Radio In QCA9557
- Skyworks SKY65900 2.4 GHz power amp (x2)
- Skyworks SKY15971 2.4 GHz LNA (x2)
In QCA9558
- Skyworks SKY65900 2.4 GHz power amp (x3)
- Skyworks SKY15971 2.4 GHz LNA (x3)
5 GHz radio - QCA9882 2x2 802.11ac radio
- Skyworks SE5023L 5 GHz power amp (x2)
- Skyworks SKY85601 5 GHz LNA + switch (x2)
- QCA9880 3x3 802.11ac radio
- Skyworks SE5023L 5 GHz power amp (x3)
- Skyworks SKY85601 5 GHz LNA + switch (x3)
Table 1: Key components for the Amped Wireless RTA1200 and RTA 1750

Features

The feature set as well as the user interface on the RTA1200 is essentially the same as what you'll find in Tim's review of the RTA1750, so I won't duplicate it here. The review includes a slideshow showing many of the admin screens.

The screenshot below shows the landing page for the RTA1200. I've also included a gallery with just a few screenshots that I thought showed some of the interesting features of the router. I'll also briefly comment of a few features.

Amped WirelessRTA1200 Dashboard

Amped Wireless RTA1200 Dashboard

Here are a few interesting features I discovered going through all of the menus:

Network settings - The local network setup supports 8021D spanning tree. The options are enabled or disabled.

Firewall - you can set up each port on the router as an individual VLAN. For each VLAN, you could enable/disable, tag, set the VID and set priority. The firewall supports port filtering as well as port forwarding. Port triggering is not supported. The firewall also features Denial of Service protection for eight different types of attacks (see gallery above).

Quality of service - You can create quality of service for a range of IP addresses, individual MAC addresses or IPv6 addresses. You can choose one of two operating modes: Restrict maximum bandwidth or guarantee minimum bandwidth. QoS is fairly basic and is not protocol based.

Dynamic DNS - only one DDNS provider, DynDNS is supported

You can control wireless output power to restrict the range of you coverage. There are five power levels ranging from 15% to 100%. 100% is the default.

The RTA1200 supports both local logging as well as logging to an external Syslog server.

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