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LINKSYS RE6300 AC750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Dual Band (2.4 and 5.0 GHz) but has a firmware bug 11/16/2015

This review is from: LINKSYS RE6300 AC750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender

Pros: Supports Dual Band (2.4 and 5.0 GHz). Many range extenders only support the single 2.4 GHz band. Due to physics, the 5.0 GHz band range is more limited, and therefore can better benefit from range extenders.

Supports "Cross Band" i.e. where the Range Extender connects to your Router using one band, and your Client Devices connect to the Range Extender using the other band.

The status pages include "Attached Clients" tables, but it took me awhile to find them. The Wired Clients Table is under Ethernet Statistics. The Wireless Clients Table is under WLAN Statistics.

The WLAN Statistics status page also shows the 2.4 and 5.0 GHz Channel selections (but not the connection speed in Mbps).

Supports Firmware updates both automatically and manually. Current Firmware Version: 1.1.00, build 10, Aug 20, 2015.

Acquires the local Time Zone setting from your Router.

Cons: Expensive. You can buy other Range Extenders for a fraction of the price, however most inexpensive range extenders only support the single 2.4 GHz band.

Performance can be finicky. At first I thought performance was influenced by the physical locations of my Router, RE6300, and Clients. However, later experiments indicated its mostly due to Auto Channel selection in "Cross Band" mode.
My laptop (2.4 GHz only) connects at 150.0 Mbps when the RE6300 is using the same channel as my Router. However, my laptop would only connect at 72.2 Mbps when the RE7300 used Auto Channel selection (which by the way, always ended up on channel 11).

I measured good transfer rates 13.0 MB/s (on large files) when my laptop connected at 150.0 Mbps and the RE6300 connected "Cross Band" 5.0 GHz as the Uplink to my router. I measured half optimal 7.0 MB/sec if my laptop connected at 72.2 Mbps (Auto channel 11) or the RE6300 connected 2.4 GHz as the Uplink to my router.

The most annoying thing I found with the RE6300 is, the MAC address of the RE6300 (not the Client Device) is passed and stored in your Router's Attached Clients List. The same MAC address is repeated for each Client device connected to the RE6300.
This means you can not use the "DHCP with Address Reservation" function of your Router, since it requires the unique MAC address of each Client (including the RE6300).
The RE6300 does not pass a Device Name to your Router (nor the Name of any of its Clients). I view both the MAC and Name as "firmware bugs" making the Client Table in your Router far less useful.

Minor, but when setting up your admin password, you have to type it in twice (even though your entry is shown in the clear).

Other Thoughts: The 2.4 GHz WiFi Channels can be confusing. In the USA there are 11 channels available (1-11). There are actually three additional channels (12-14) but these have unique regulations beyond the scope of this discussion.
The Channels are 5 MHz apart (i.e. 2412, 2417, ..., 2452, 2457, 2462 MHz). However, the protocol requires 16 to 22 MHz of Channel separation.
Therefore 22 MHz / 5 MHz = 4.4 (or up to 5) Channels of separation is recommended when using multiple channels (e.g. channels 1, 6, 11 or 2, 7, 12 but 12 isn't available, or 3 and 8, etc.).

Higher speed protocols require up to 40 MHz of channel separation (aka 20/40 MHz Coexistence). In this case 40 MHz / 5 = 8 Channels of separation is recommended (e.g. channels 1 and 9, 2 and 10, or 3 and 11).

The 5.0 GHz WiFi Channels are 20 MHz apart (i.e. most equipment only list channels 36, 40, 44, 48, and 149, 153, 157, 161).
Of course, the channels in use by your close proximity neighbors must also be considered when making your WiFi channel selections.

With some reservations I recommend this Range Extender (assuming you do NOT use the "DHCP with Address Reservation" function of your Router).

I'd like to see a firmware fix from Linksys to pass the Client's MAC address (and Name) to the Router at login.

TP-LINK TC-7610 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Another TP-LINK winner 10/19/2015

This review is from: TP-LINK TC-7610 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

Pros: Installation is simple: [a] add a splitter (not included) to the coax cable attached to your TV, [b] connect the splitter coax cables (not included) to the modem and TV, [c] run the provided Ethernet patch cable from the modem to your PC or Router, [d] attach the A/C adapter to the modem, and plug it in.
When you open your web browser, you should see the "walled garden" modem activation web page from your ISP. Login and enter the modem's MAC address; after the modem reboots once or twice, you should be all set.
If you are a Business Class subscriber, you need to call Comcast and give Tech Support the modem's MAC address over the phone.

I tested the TC-7610 modem with Comcast business class 16/3 Mbps service. I ran the modem for two weeks before writing my review. My previous modem was an Arris/Motorola SB6121.

The Status Pages of the TC-7610 are laid out in tables, making it easy to read and understand (unlike the SB6121). The Status URL is (same as the SB6121).

The modems Software Version is: v1.0.1 Build 20150308 Rel62000.

The (downstream) Signal to Noise ratio is a stable at 39.4 to 39.9 bD. That's about 2.0 dB higher (better) than the SB6121.

The downstream Power is a stable -0.6 to -1.2 dB (similar to SB6121). The upstream Power is a stable 51.0 dB, about 1-2 dB lower (better) than the SB6121.

The TC-7610 supports Eight Channel Bonding (downstream). My older SB6121 only supports Four Channel Bonding (downstream). Both modems support Four Channel Bonding (upstream).

Download speed is a stable 19.8 Mbps (about 2.0 Mbps higher than the SB6121). Upload speed is a stable 3.8 Mbps (similar to the SB6121).

In two weeks of near constant use, the modem experienced only 509 Correctable Errors, and 3 Uncorrectgable Errors. Easily 10X fewer (better) than the SB6121 would have in two weeks. Only one Event was Logged, it was a T3 time-out (likely caused by my ISP).

The Modem places "Time Not Established" in the Logs (prior to acquiring the correct time after a reboot). The SB6121 puts a bogus 1970 date/time.

An Ethernet Patch Cable is included in the box (48" in length, CAT 5, 26 AWG).

Cons: The Status page has a few minor firmware bugs in the "Time Information" section, under "CM IP Address":

- A constant "D: 24895 H: 01 M: 53 S: 04" is displayed in the "Duration" Section.

- The current time is displayed in the "Expires" Section. The same time is also (correctly) displayed in the "Current Systime Time" section.

- Obviously the word "Systime" in the "Current Systime Time" Section Header, should be spelled "System" (i.e. "Current System Time").

Other Thoughts: The TC-7610 is Certified by Comcast Xfinity up to "Extreme 150" (i.e. all speed levels except "Extreme 250").

If the engineers at TP-LINK read this review, a nice addition to the Status Pages of the modem would be to add "historical" Minimum and Maximum levels for the Upstream Signal to Noise ratio, and Upstream and Downstream Power dB. Then provide an interface for the User to reset the "historical" levels.

GIGABYTE G1 Gaming GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 (rev. 1.0) LGA 1151 Intel Z170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The board looks cool (white plastic covers with red lettering over most of the components). The board is heavy (34.4 oz) over two pounds.

Based on the latest Intel Z170 chipset:
- Supports the latest Intel Skylake-S (LGA 1151) CPUs.
- Supports DDR4 Memory (4 DIMMs, 64GB).
- Supports up to 14 USB ports (10 USB 3.0).
- Direct Media Interface (DMI) version 3.0, supporting 8 GT/s transfer rate per lane to/from the Platform Controller Hub (PCH). PCH replaced the older I/O Controller Hub (ICH) with Intel's Sandy Bridge in 2011.
- 20x PCI-E 3.0

Intel USB 3.1 Controller (two ports, one is the new reversible Type-C). This is in addition to the five USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel, and the two 3.0/2.0 ports plus two USB 2.0/1.1 ports on internal headers.

Dual PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2, eight SATA 6Gb/s connectors (two support AHCI mode only), three SATA Express connectors.

Creative Sound Core3D. Up-gradable OP-AMP. HDMI 2.0.

Two Ethernet ports (Intel GbE LAN, and Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2400)

The heatsink/fan mounting is unchanged from socket 1150 (and sockets 1155/1156) so those older heatsink/fans are still compatible with this board.

Reset Switch and Debug LED directly on the board.

Four SATA cables, I/O Shield, 2-way SLI bridge, G-connector, and back I/O dust covers are included in the box.

Cons: Very few (i.e. only two) available LGA 1151 CPUs at this time. The Skylake i5-6600K (3.5GHz, 7.8K passmark) and i7-6700K (4GHz, 10.9K passmark). Both are quad cores. The i7 has Hyper Threading.

No support for the older Haswell/Broadwell (LGA 1150) CPUs, however this is common with Intel's "Tick-Tock" model (i.e. alternating: die shrink - new micro architecture).

While the Intel Z170 chipset supports the older DDR3, the board only supports the newer DDR4 Memory (DRAM). Not a big deal, the price of DDR4 is now competitive to DDR3.

The plastic covers restrict some heat dissipation (by restricting air flow) but protect the delicate electronic components from the fingers of the Gamer.

Other Thoughts: I hope the new USB Type-C connector catches on. It is reversible (i.e. you can plug the cable in either direction). It seems I always plug USB cables in backwards the first try.

If you can live with the limited availability of Skylake LGA 1151 CPUs, this makes a nice board.


Michael B.'s Profile

Display Name: Michael B.

Date Joined: 06/03/07


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  • First Review: 10/01/09
  • Last Review: 11/16/15
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