Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Linksys N300 Wireless Dual-Band Range Extender (RE1000)
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Update: I am dropping my rating on this product to two stars because adding the extender causes the signal to drop, come back, drop again, back and forth and it drives me crazy. This product would have been much better if you could specify a different SSID for the extended portion of the network. I think this unreliability is caused by some devices being confused about which signal to choose for the same SSID (see explanation below).

Two things were not obvious reading all the product specs, so thought I'd share it after some research:

1. The RE1000 creates a duplicate SSID (the name of your wireless network that pops up in your list of wireless connections). So the SSID assigned to the RE1000 will be the exactly the same as the SSID on your base router. The password will also be the same. Laptops usually just roll the two SSIDs into one, so depending on your OS you will probably see just one SSID / wireless network (the OS picks the strongest signal).

2. It wasn't clear from the product description whether it's ok to use more than one range extender. I confirmed with Linksys:

It will work fine when using more than one RE1000 on the same network, but something to keep in mind is that the maximum bandwidth will cut in half for each extender. So for example if the base router is capable of 300Mbps, clients connected to one extender will be able to reach a max bandwidth of 150Mbps. If a second RE1000 is added, then clients connected to each extender will be limited to a max of 75Mbps.

Right now I'm using two extenders and they work fine together.
0Comment| 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The manufacturer commented on the review below
on December 26, 2011
No problems installing or configuring, the fact that it duplicates the SSID causes all our wifi connected devices to constantly drop the connection and switch between the original AP and the extender. Without an option to specify a unique SSID, there is no solution to this problem, rendering the extender worthless to anyone in the same situation.

Since devices that were closer to the original AP now alternate between the two as well, connections that were previously fine are now dropping every few minutes, making the situation worse than before we bought the device.

Tested on Windows 7, Linux, and several peripheral devices that use wifi for connectivity.
33 comments| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Thanks for your feedback. There is a firmware update that has a few fixes. Go to:
http://homesupport.cisco.com/en-us/support/rangeexpanders/RE1000
Click on the "Downloads" tab and select your hardware version - firmware update is Ver.1.0.01 (Build 2)

Please let me know if this helps. You can also contact us
http://homesupport.cisco.com/en-us/contactus
And we are on Facebook for further trouble-shooting support (facebook.com/ciscolinksys).
on January 13, 2012
Exactly what I was looking for. Simple set up, beautiful signal recieved. I am in the opposite end of the house from router, and I only used to get a very low signal on my devices, and dropped connections. Now my tablet, my playstation 3 and a pc all get excellent signals, Amazing!
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on February 17, 2012
My home wireless network runs on a Cisco Lynksys Wireless-N Gigabit Router WRT301N. Highly recommended.
The literature of the Cisco Lyksys RE1000 states clearly that it works best with other N-devices.

I read another review that indicates that RE1000 does not work well with a WRT54G wireless-G router.
That technology is at least 7 years old. That kind of behavior is EXPECTED even before opening the box.

Follow the three points of instructions that come in the CD Installer package.
1- Ran setup.exe from the CD.
2- The wizzard asked me to plug extender to the wall where the signal is weak. I was lazy and plug it by the router where the signal is strong.
- New network device detected immediately. McAffee Network Security module indicated the presence of a new device and asked for permission to let it be part of the network.
- The wizard told me to move the device to the place where the signal is weak. I moved it. The internet browsing experience on the other side of the house improved considerably.

The signal is steady for video streaming, internet browsing, uploads and downloads.

In summary: Easy quick dummy-tested installation, smart detection of strong/weak signal during installation, great steady experience. More than what I expected from a $70 investment.
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on November 26, 2011
This is the third extender I've tried and finally the one that works. It was a bit of an adventure getting the setup to run so there's definitely room for improvement there. Here's the rundown of the steps I took...

1. Ran the setup CD on my desktop computer. Message: should be on run in a computer with a wireless connection. That's fair but it wold be nice to tell me this beforehand.

2. Ran the setup on a MacBook with Lion. Message: setup does not support the operating system version. No excuse for this.

3. Next attempt - run setup on a netbook. Netbook doesn't have a CD drive so copy the files to a flash drive and install from that. Message: DLL missing. Frustration starting to set in.

4. Map my desktop CD drive on the network and connect to it from the netbook. Finally, setup runs. But wait, Dell has it's own network utility on the netbook that's incompatible with the setup software. Disable dell utility so the default Microsoft network utility runs.

5. Setup finally runs to the end and after a few minutes staring at a message about configuring the extender I get an message with error code: 82BE010D.

6. Now I'm seeing red. I get on a support chat session with a Cisco rep. After disabling the wireless connection on the netbook and connecting an ethernet cable to the extender, I find that I can still see my network. The only explanation for this is that the extender was actually connected to my network and was functioning properly.

7. I then moved the extender to a better location for full coverage and all seems well. I'm still not sure what the error message was about but I'm not complaining at this point. Ok, maybe a little. But this baby works on my WPA2 network which is more than I can say for the Diamond and Netgear extenders I've tried before.

I hope this helps someone else who encounters the same or similar problems.
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on April 17, 2012
I just wanted to post this review to make everyone aware that it does extend range, however, nothing comes free and there is a tax. The tax is that the throughput is halved. If you speed test your connection and get 10 Mbps without the extender, you will get 5 Mbps with the extender. I knew this going into it, but I feel they could include this fact in their description so people are not confused by the drop in throughput.
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on May 15, 2012
I used one of these devices at work and decided I would try it at home after pricing out other options such as connecting through the house electrical wiring or using an access point as a bridge. It is a simple enough device that I felt safe ordering a refurbished unit for a 33% savings over a new one. It works very well and increased the reported network speed from 24mbps to 54mbps on my G network from a system at the opposite end of my home. Setup is easy as long as you follow the instructions, but requires a machine with a wireless network device connected to your existing network and a cd player to get setup. When the cd is inserted, it starts the setup program which first checks the internet for software updates for the device. You are then prompted to plug the device into power somewhere near, but not too near, the computer. The software locates the device using wireless networking and prompts you for your wireless network encryption or login key. Once configured, you can unplug it and move it where you want it. From then on, it will retain your settings and continue to operate until unplugged. It also retains the configuration through power outages. If you need to move it to a different wireless network, you have to reset the unit to factory defaults and then rerun the setup on a system that is located on the new network. To reset to factory defaults, just plug it in and hold the reset button for about 8 seconds. The only reason I don't give this 5 stars is that it has a bright lighted Cisco logo on it when plugged in which is wastful of energy and limits placing near a bedroom where the light will keep one awake. A small inconspicuous LED would have been better if there needs to be a power indicator.
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on December 10, 2013
So, as I've seen everywhere on the CISCO support forums, and in the FAQ about the product, the RE1000 does not support assigning a different SSID than the SSID that it is extending.

i.e. If I have a router with the SSID of "MyHomeRouter", the RE1000 will use the same "MyHomeRouter" SSID.

This is a major design flaw for several reasons:

1. Multiple identical SSIDs are NOT recommended for consumer electronics. The IEEE 802.11 standard does not require the client to connect to the AP with the best/strongest signal strength.

2. Most home electronics will connect to an AP on a "first heard" basis, meaning that when the RE1000 is broadcasting on the same SSID as your main router, the chances of a device connecting to one or the other is about 50/50.

3. CISCO, by choosing to not allow a different SSID has left the decision on which AP to connect to up to the client device. This means that you'll get different behaviors across different devices, as the clients implement their wireless roaming in different ways.

4. Since you're not allowed to change the channel the RE1000 uses, either, it is likely you'll run into a situation like I have... Where one side of my house is saturated by channels 1 and 6, and the other side by everything above... in order to make communications efficient, and avoid massive amounts of retransmissions, I would need to run the RE1000 and my router on different channels, which is not possible.

What does all of this mean? It means that when you buy a RE1000 to extend the range of your home wireless network, you are likely to only spend time and money on a solution that will get you nowhere in the long run. Your home electronic devices have a good chance of connecting to your main router instead of your extender, and you will see no benefit in your purchase.

Until CISCO replies with a reasonable explanation for this lack of forethought, or updates the firmware to allow different SSIDs, my recommendation is to return, or don't purchase in the first place, this product and buy from someone else that has put some brain time into their design.

Your move, CISCO...
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on February 19, 2012
Good product but tricky to set up correctly for the best coverage. A little patience and study was worth the effort. My house has thick old walls and floors, and with a new AT&T U-verse Motorola Gateway (internet only - not TV) at one end of the house, broadband coverage was spotty in some areas. We use the internet for laptops, smartphones and television (Netflix and Amazon, etc.) The RE1000 virtually set itself up. It connected itself to the network as soon as soon as I entered the password on the internal web page. Then, over several days I used a free smartphone app (wifi analyzer)and my laptop to map out where I could get the best signal from the RE1000. This required placing it in different locations and trying it out for a while. Your speeds can slow down dramatically if the RE1000 is in the wrong location even in a single room. Eventually I discovered that placing it next to the wifi enabled Blu-Ray player in a middle room and linking them with an ethernet cable provided great internet TV speed and the RE1000 still broadcasts a strong signal that can be used by laptops and smartphones over the rear of the house and even outdoors. If you use firewall and security programs that scan every packet of data (Norton Internet Security 2012 - 1 User 3PC), be sure to study those programs to reduce your network overhead and increase speed. I read the Linksys forums to see what problems other people had with the device, but none of them happened to me. Fortunately it worked right out of the box. The only trick was figuring out where to put it for my family usage pattern. The Linksys website is excellent but it does not answer some basic questions I had as a newbie so it was difficult to decide between the RE1000 and some other extenders - especially the NETGEAR Universal WiFi Range Extender WN2000RPT. The Netgear website emphasizes how important and tricky it can be to correctly place an extender and is emphatic that incorrect placement will degrade the signal. It would be helpful if these devices had their own meters to show signal strength from the router. Consider using software to measure your signal strength and your LAN speed before picking a final location. In the end, the RE1000 is so compact that you can always pick it up and plug it into a socket in another room whenever your signal needs a boost, but it's best to know the ideal location. The RE1000 is working well for me simultaneously as a extender/wired AP for the TV (I think that's called a "bridge") and a wifi extender for wifi devices.
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on December 3, 2011
Given the generally positive reviews I had hoped this range extender would work quickly and easily, since I'd had trouble with one a few years back. We have a common Linksys "n" router, no Mac filtering, simple Windows XP and Mac laptops, and despite multiple attempts following the incredibly short Troubleshooting Guide, the software was never able to even find the range extender. I suppose I could spend more than the couple of hours I've already wasted on this by contacting Cisco tech support to walk me through an installation, but you shouldn't have to do that for a simple consumer device. The software and the device has no built in troubleshooting to help trace any problems. This one is going back.
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