Rock Space AC2100 extender review
Rock Space AC2100 WiFi Range Extender: Specifications
Wi-Fi Rating: AC2100
Cut: 5.9 x 4.7 x 4.3 inches
Number of antennas / removable: 4 external / No
Wi-Fi Specifications: 802.11ac dual band
Ports: Gigabit Ethernet
Performance at 30 feet on the same floor: 122.2Mbps
Extension range: 60 feet
It might not be the best performing, but the Rock Space AC2100 Wi-Fi Range Extender can be an inexpensive and efficient way to animate Wi-Fi dead zones. Easy to set up and use, the Extender can be inexpensive, but it delivers reliable mid-range performance. It may not surpass the best Wi-Fi extenders on the market, but our review of the Rock Space AC2100 WiFi Range Extender shows that it may be worth buying for many homes.
Its three-pin plug can get in the way of an older home, and the use of Wi-Fi 5 technology is a step back from the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard, but it is well suited for extending an older 802.11ac network into a remote room. Plus, if you register it with Rock Space, you’ll get an extra year of warranty, making it a winner for turning a house into a house full of data.
Rock Space AC2100 WiFi Range Extender Review: The Costs & What’s Covered
The AC2100 WiFi Range Extender is priced at $ 63 on the Rock Space website. On Amazon, it’s listed for a bit more, at $ 69.99, but is currently offered with a 30% off coupon, which brings the price down to $ 21, to a nice price of $ 48.99.
That puts it at a good mid-range price point compared to other Wi-Fi expansions we’ve reviewed, like the TP-Link RE650 AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender, and the D-Link DAP-1720 AC1750 Wi-Fi Range Extender.
If it’s too steep, his little brother, the AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender, costs $ 40.
Rock Space AC2100 WiFi Range Extender Review: Design
Crafted from no-frills black plastic, the Rock Space AC2100 WiFi Extender has a basic design, but dresses it up in a sculpted design on the front of the plug-in device. With its 5.9 x 4.7 x 4.3 inches, the Rock Space AC2100 black WiFi repeater is gigantic compared to the small Netgear EX6120 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender and requires a three prong plug which will require an adapter for use in older buildings with two prong sockets.
The extender has four antennas which can be rotated to pick up the strongest signal. When fully extended, the antennas increase the height of the extension by 2.8 inches.
There are LEDs that show the Rock Space AC2100 WiFi Range Extender is powered on, its Wi-Fi Protected Setup has been enabled, and the signal strength of the connection. It only takes a glance to see that it is online: blue indicates a good connection and red indicates a bad connection; no light means it is offline.
Rock Space AC2100 WiFi range extender review: performance
Using the ixChariot reference software and a TP-Link Archer C5400X router on my home network, the Rock Space AC2100 WiFi range extender was reliable and had a range of 60 feet, 15 feet less than the 75-foot range of the TP -Link RE650. It was able to fill areas where the router couldn’t reach everything from online gaming to viewing 4K video.
I plugged in the extender 50 feet and two walls from the host router with the Samsung GalaxyBook test system placed 30 feet away. The extender was able to move at 122.2 Mbps, well behind the Netgear Nighthawk X6S (at 326.8 Mbps) or the TP-Link RE-650 (215.2 Mbps).
When the repeater was placed one floor above the host router and the test system was installed 30 feet away, it generated 169.3 Mbps. This is half the speed of the Netgear Nighthawk X6S (338.5 Mbps) and between the TP-Link RE650 (153.1 Mbps) and the Linksys RE7000 (219.5 Mbps).
Finally, I installed the repeater one floor below the host router with the test system 30 feet away on a low table. It delivered a disappointing 22.1 Mbps bandwidth, barely enough for online gaming or 4K video streaming.
When moving data back and forth, the extender used 5.5 watts of power, which puts it on a par with the RE650 extender. Over a year, it will cost around $ 6.30 to use. It performed flawlessly for a week of heavy use, but its casing topped 130 degrees Fahrenheit, making it warm but not hot to the touch.
Rock Space AC2100 WiFi Range Extender Review: Features
Based on Wi-Fi 5 technology, the Rock Space AC2100 Wi-Fi Range Extender is a step behind Wi-Fi-6 extenders. Still, it includes everything from beamforming to MU-MIMO and can connect over 100 devices at a time.
The extender, however, lacks something as simple as the on / off switch provided by the TP-Link RE650. It has a recessed reset button at the bottom next to its gigabit per second Ethernet port. This connection allows the Rock Space AC2100 WiFi Range Extender to function as an access point with a wired connection.
Rock Space AC2100 WiFi range extender review: configuration and software
Unlike many of its peers that rely on an app for setup and customization, the Rock Space AC2100 WiFi Range Extender can only be configured using a connected browser. After connecting to the extender’s local network (“rockspace_EXT”), I typed “re.rockspace.local” into the address window of the browser. Alternatively, I could have used the extender’s default IP address 192.168.0.254.
After the login page appeared, I entered the password I wanted to use for the repeater. To make roaming easier, I used the same name and password as the rest of my home LAN.
Then the screen showed me the networks available for the extension. After choosing one, I added the network password and clicked extend. I could have configured it as an access point or in Bridge mode by selecting Switch Mode.
Ended. From start to finish, it took four minutes. If that sounds like too much work, the WPS button works just as well using Wi-Fi Protected Setup.
There are a few customization options through the internal web pages of the AC2100 WiFi Extender. Accessible via the repeater’s IP address, the Status page indicates if it is connected, the number of clients online and allows blacklisting of banned computers. If you wish to change the repeater into an access point, the Operating mode page allows it.
The WiFi Settings page allows me to combine the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. Unfortunately, the Administration page only allows you to change the password and restart the extender.
The admin pages of other devices allow you to do things like adjust the transmit strength and turn off the LEDs.
Rock Space AC2100 WiFi Range Extender Review: Warranty and Support
The Rock Space AC2100 WiFi Range Extender comes with a one-year warranty that can be extended to an additional year by registering. In addition to 24/7 phone and email support, there are self-service options with setup videos and a comprehensive FAQ section. Either way, Rock Space cancels Netgear’s 90 days of included support.
Rock Space AC2100 WiFi Range Extender Review: Verdict
It might not be the fastest or longest Wi-Fi extender available, but the Rock Space AC2100 Wi-Fi Range Extender is easy to set up and does the basics well. Based on the older Wi-Fi 5 technology, it offers an inexpensive alternative to competitors like the TP-Link RE650 but cannot match them in terms of speed and range.
If you’re looking to extend the range of a newer router, you’ll want to look for Wi-Fi 6 extenders that match the latest technology, but the Rock Space AC2100 is well suited to pair with an older 802.11AC router. This is for those who care more about their bank balance than top speed.