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Wireless Reviews

Setup

The RE6700 has a browser-based setup similar to the RE6500. You to connect a wireless client to a setup network named Linksys Extender Setup-XXX, where XXX is the extender's last three MAC address characters. Opening a web browser redirects you to http://extender.linksys.com and brings up the setup wizard start page. The default IP appears to be http://192.168.1.1, which you can also use to connect.

The RE6700's wizard includes the "Spot Finder" feature illustrated below, which helps guide proper extender placement. Unfortunately, it is available only in the setup wizard, which is itself available only by resetting the RE6700 to factory defaults. Spot Finder would be much more useful if you could bring just it up, for when you want to experiment with extender placement on a network that is already set up.

Linksys RE6700 Spot Finder setup tool

Linksys RE6700 Spot Finder setup tool

Linksys has addressed the setup quirks noted in the RE6500 review. The extender came with 1.00 firmware, which should automatically update to 1.0.01.010 (or higher) during setup if you link the extender to an internet-connected network. This new firmware automatically appends -Ext to your SSIDs on both bands, making it easy to ensure you connect to the extender and not your base router. The 1.00 firmware doesn't modify the SSIDs.

In either case, you can change the SSIDs by logging into the admin interface. Linksys has made this easier than on the RE6500 by providing a fixed URL—http://extender.linksys.com—available only when your device is directly connected to the extender. Admin connection is HTTP only.

You can also set up the RE6700 using WPS, which I didn't try. The User Guide describes the process and also how to connect devices to the extender after it is set up, also using WPS. The gallery below shows the key steps in the setup wizard.

In Use

Once you're set up, you can log into the extender's admin and poke around. A few things are worth specific mention. First, you can't use the extender as an access point. The Ethernet port is to bridge wired devices only.

Second, you can independently control channel width both on backhaul (to base router) and extended (to device) connections in the Basic Settings page. The screenshot shows the 2.4 GHz settings; you also get a 5 GHz set. Not shown are fields to set the Extender name and "Friendly Name", Time Zone setting and Reboot button. The extender is set to receive its address via DHCP by default.

Linksys RE6700 Spot Finder setup tool

Linksys RE6700 Basic Settings

There is lots of useful information on the WLAN Statistics page. But I would have preferred actual RSSI readings for Signal Strength and like to know what Signal Quality is actually indicating. Connection link rate would be helpful too, for troubleshooting.

Linksys RE6700 Spot Finder setup tool

Linksys RE6700 WLAN Statistics

The Wireless Clients table is the only place where hovering over the wireless symbol brings up an actual number. I'd like to see this implemented on the WLAN Statistics page. I like that you can see which band is being used for Uplink (backhaul). Client link rate here would again be helpful.

Linksys RE6700 WLAN Client Statistics

Linksys RE6700 WLAN Client Statistics

The gallery shows most of the other admin screens with descriptions.

More Wireless

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