Amped Wireless R20000G Router and UA2000 Adapter Review
Amped Wireless R20000G Firmware and Software
I went to Amped Wireless’ support site and grabbed the latest firmware available for the R20000G which is v184.108.40.206 dated 9/26/2012. Once everything is physically hooked up, I installed the latest firmware and was greeted with Amped Wireless’ “Smart Setup Wizard” that walks you through the initial setup and configuration of the router.
The initial landing page reminds you to make sure the router has been rebooted and your modem is hooked up to the WAN port. A big green “START” button waits for you to continue.
You can choose Automatic configuration for your Internet connection and the router will attempt to grab an address from the modem connected to the WAN port. If you prefer, you can set the connection up manually, you are given the option for that as well.
Next up you set the router’s internal clock, and a handy “Synch with your computer” button lets you just pull the info right from your PC.
The next two screens let you set up the your Wi-Fi networks, entering SSID’s and security keys for both your 5 and 2.4 GHz networks.
Once you hit next, that’s it for setup. The router goes through about a 90 second reboot sequence and you should be all set. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy for me. The R20000G would count down to 0 and then just sit there. If I would manually refresh my browser window I would get a “Page not found” error. Strangely I was able to ping the router, but no matter how long I waited, the only way to get back into the interface was to pull the plug, wait a few seconds, and then plug it back in. This happened any time I made any changes to the router that required a reboot.
Luckily, this issue gave me an opportunity to test out the touted “Elite Support.” I sent Amped a support request through email using my personal email address as opposed to my PC Perspective address to see what a real end user would experience. I received a response from an “Amped Wireless Concierge” within a few hours and they were actually pretty helpful. We exchanged a few emails, and they generally responded within a few hours. According to the Concierge, the reboot problem was “Not normal operation,” and they offered to RMA the device if I could no longer return it from where I purchased it. Since the router was working fine other than the reboot issue, I decided to just push on with the testing and not worry about it.
Email support is not the only “Elite Support” option available. Had I been within the hours of Monday to Friday from 7 AM to 6 PM PST, Saturday from 7 AM to 4 PM PST or Sunday from 8 AM to 4 PM PST there was also the option to either call Tech Support directly through a toll free number or open up a Live Chat window though their website to get help. Of course this wouldn’t help an individual if they couldn’t get online, but included in the box with the router is a postcard with the toll free Tech Support phone number and email address on it, so someone having problems getting online can still get some help.
That’s enough talk about support. Hopefully you won’t need to see how Elite the support is, and once you’ve walked through the initial setup you’ll be up and running. Looking through the firmware you see all the expected settings available including Wi-Fi Settings for both the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz networks.
You can configure security settings, wireless output power, and access schedules to enable/disable the Wi-Fi networks at specific times.
You have your basic LAN/WAN settings available to setup your LAN IP addresses including DHCP.
Next up you have what Amped Wireless calls “Smart Features” including basic URL, MAC and user filtering.
USB Storage options include the capability to attach storage to the USB port on the back of the router and set it up to act as a Local File Share or a FTP server. I did not see any options to use the USB port with a printer and have the router act as a print server.
Additionally there are features to configure a various firewall, QoS and routing/port forwarding features.
Finally, to wrap things up, there is a management interface where you can view your current status, set Dynamic DNS, System Clock, view and clear logs and update the firmware.
While the firmware doesn’t have some of the advanced features/capabilities that we saw in the ASUS WRT-N66U, it does have just all the basic features you would expect in a router today. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the Amped Wireless R20000G supports flashing to any 3rd party firmware such as DD-WRT, OpenWrt or Tomato if you are not happy with the included firmware.