Cisco Linksys RE1000 Wireless-N Range Extender: Truly A ‘Piece of Cake’, Plug-and-Play Device; 4 Minute Setup.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

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We have had a high-end Cisco Linksys EA3500 Wi-Fi router since September last year. It is a dual-band wireless-N router and it does give us Wi-Fi right through the house.

While everything is relative (and I think of it as a small house) this is a 4-story, full-size New England colonial with all four floors in use. The top floor, the 4th floor, is a large open room that we use as our office. The Linksys EA3500 is mounted on the side wall in this 4th floor room. Since we have two 15Mbps fiber links coming into the house, one comes in on one wall the other on the other side.

Cisco Linksys RE1000.

Cisco Linksys RE1000.

Our ASUS and Toshiba laptops as well as the two Google Nexus 7 pads don’t have a problem picking up a decent Wi-Fi signal anywhere in the house. Even the DirecTV Wi-Fi box works fine — though it is as far from the EA3500 as you can get. Our family room, with the ‘big’ computer is on the bottom floor — three (3) flights of stairs down.

But, I decided we need a stronger Wi-Fi signal on the lower 2 floors.

So, I looked around. I kind of knew that there were range extenders.

I am savvy enough to know that it makes sense to stick with the same vendor, if possible, though, of course, Wi-Fi, based on rigorous standards, is vendor agnostics. But, given that we now have a Linksys (after a decade of swearing by D-Link) I looked at the Linksys offerings. As is my wont when looking for ‘accessories’ such as this, I started with Amazon.

I quickly spotted the Linksys RE1000 Wireless-N Range Extender. I also saw that there were Cisco-refurbished units for $39 — with a 90-day warranty (though I don’t worry about such things with Amazon since they are so good about returns).

Wi-Fi extender has no moving parts. I knew that ‘refurbished’ meant that customers had just returned it — possibly because they couldn’t get it to work.

I have had great luck with refurbished electronics and this was the simplest of these devices. So I ordered a refurbished for $39 and got the FREE shipping.

I placed the order last Friday night and it arrived in the mail on Thursday.

I went to install it this evening. It was a piece of cake. About 4 minutes start to finish. All I had to supply, as I expected, was the Wi-Fi password for our network. Bingo. Done. Bob, was my uncle.

That really was plug-and-play. OK, there was one hitch. You have to use a supplied CD to get it up and running. The setup application on the CD does not run on Windows 8. That was annoying. So I had to swap laptops. That was the only hitch.

It has noticeably increased Wi-Fi bandwidth in the lower flows. The laptops are getting 65Mbps — and I think that that they are gated by their chip sets.

So for $40 this was a worthwhile investment. I am particularly delighted by how easy it was to set up.


Extend this two-fold to get a rough idea of our setup. But the same basic idea — our router right at the top and three floors below it.

Now in the interest of full disclosure I have to admit that Cisco was a long-term client of mine and that over nearly a decade I had a kind of on-again, off-again near incestous relationship with Cisco — my loyalties sometimes torn by my ‘lifelong’ association with IBM. Yes, I actually do have a Cisco employee badge — because I was theoretically employed by them for a few months. Yes, Cisco bought a token-ring startup I was involved with — after I made a phone call. Yes, I got stock options. But this was in the 90s. Yes, I used to own a fair number of Cisco shares. No longer. So in reality I don’t really have a conflict of interest — other than a chequered, and interesting, history. 

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