Rock Space wifi extender / repeater : test / reviewCategory: Tests / Reviews
[b][b]Whether at home or at work, wifi has become so essential that in case of failure, weakness or breakdown of the wifi, the situation can quickly become annoying. In the case of a weak wifi, there are easy solutions that can be put in place to extend the coverage of your wifi and make your wifi accessible everywhere in your home. This is probably the most common problem and to solve it, there are two types of solutions: the wifi repeater/amplifier or the wifi mesh. The product that I will test is to be classified in the first category and this type of product is often referred to under several names such as wifi amplifier, wifi repeater, wifi repeater, wifi extender or wifi repeater. In the end, it is a little bit the same thing.[b][b]
Problems wifi[b]Coverage of the wifi signal is probably the most common problem with wifi. When you move away from the router, the wifi signal weakens with distance and the problem gets worse if the signal has to go through many walls. This problem is fortunately easy to solve, simply install a wifi repeater / amplifier where you still have wifi signal to amplify the wifi signal over a greater distance. You must imperatively place the amplifier where you still have wifi signal otherwise the amplifier will not solve your problem. [b][b]
Mesh or amplifier?[b]As I mentioned above, there are two solutions to solve a wifi coverage problem. The amplifier is undoubtedly the cheapest solution but it has its limits especially if you want to cover a large area. The amplifier must always be close to your router to project the signal further, so your range will always be limited by the range of the base router. With a Mesh type solution, you have the possibility to create a mesh that allows you to cover a larger area, each Mesh device will play the role of a router. The Mesh solution is therefore more powerful but it is also more expensive.[b][b]
Rock Space Wifi - amplifier / repeater[b]There are many products to increase your wifi coverage, I tested the Rock Space Wifi 1200Mbps. It's an easy to use product and available at an affordable price (30-35€). This amplifier is compatible with 2.4Ghz (longer range but slower speed) and 5Ghz (shorter range but higher speed) frequencies. [b][b]
[b][b]Link to the manufacturer: RockSpace Wifi[b]Coupon: asgjyktv (variable value depending on product)[b][b]
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In the box[b][b]The product box contains the amplifier / repeater and several user manuals available in several languages. That's all you need to know![b][b][b][b]
Installation[b]The installation of Rock Space Wifi is very simple, just follow the instructions below:[b]1. Plug the Rock Space wifi into a socket but stay close to your current router.[b]2. Use a laptop or a phone, look at the available wifi networks and select the one that appeared for the Rock Space wifi (rockspace_EXT or rockspace_5GEXT). Your phone or computer will tell you that this device is not connected to the internet, this is normal, you can ignore the message.[b]3. Launch your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, ...) and go to http://re.rockspace.local you will arrive on a configuration page.[b]4. Choose a password for the amplifier[b]5. Choose your wifi (the one you want to improve in the list)[b]6. Enter the password of your wifi (often available at the back of the router)[b]After completing these 6 steps, you can move the amplifier a little further, for example by placing it in another room. The light of the repeater/amplifier should be blue, this means that the repeater/amplifier has enough signal to amplify it. If the light is red, you will have to move closer to your router.[b][b][b][b]
Performance test[b]I installed the repeater / amplifier about 10 meters from my router, the signal must pass through 3 walls (one of which is 40cm thick) with sometimes a door that will facilitate the passage of the signal. I measured the signal strength of my router at this location and I got a signal of -84 dBm, this is not a good signal level. I also tested the download speed at the same place and I got a speed of about 100 Mbps. I use a NetGear 6400v2 router. So these are the starting conditions, the goal now is to see if the repeater / amplifier will improve the situation. [b][b]I list the wifi networks with my phone used for the first measurement and I see a new wifi network appearing which corresponds to my old wifi name followed by "EXT". I connect and this network asks me for a password. You have to enter here the password of your wifi (the one on the router) and not the password you assigned to the Rock Space. I connect in 5Ghz as for the initial test and I do exactly the same test. I measured a signal level of -48dBm, which is a big improvement compared to the -84dBm signal obtained without the repeater/amplifier. I then measured the download speed where I got a speed of about 150 Mbps, this is a 50% increase compared to what I measured without the Rock Space. [b][b]
Distance test[b]Here are some measurements made to measure the impact of distance on the signal.[b][b]Nearby (1 m): -45 dBm[b]At 15 meters (in the house, several walls to cross): -74 dBm[b]At 25 meters (outside the house, few obstacles): -80 dBm[b][b]The range will therefore vary greatly depending on the obstacles, it will take about twenty meters if you don't have many obstacles. If on the other hand you have many walls to cross, the range will probably be effective up to 10m.[b][b]
Signal stability test[b]I measured the signal stability with an application I developed for my smartphone tests and on about fifty measurements, I obtained a signal between -51 and -57 dBm. So there are fluctuations but they are not very important. [b][b]
Test / review conclusion[b]The Rock Space Wifi has greatly improved the signal and download speed of the wifi near where it was installed. It can therefore bring you a real benefit in your daily life provided that you are not too far from the repeater. You can install several of them in your home to propagate the signal in several directions but you will always have to start from your router, the maximum range will always be limited to the range of your router + that of the amplifier. This should work in most cases if you don't have more than 10 to 15m to travel.[b][b][b]