Netgear EX6200 - a range extender made into a router?

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slidermike
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Joined: 11 Nov 2013
Posts: 1432
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 18:23    Post subject: Netgear EX6200 - a range extender made into a router? Reply with quote
Kong,
you mentioned in another thread recently that you had taken this great range extender & made it into a router.

Can you talk about how well it acts as a router compared to the r7000?
With the less powerful cpu, will it still push the packets through fast enough?
How well does it handle things like QoS or NAT & still function well as a router?

I am very curious what your thoughts are since you said it has the best wireless range by far.

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/32355-netgear-ex6200-ac1200-high-power-wifi-range-extender-reviewed

_________________
Router currently owned:
Netgear R7000 - AP mode
1st gen i7 pc running pfSense as WAN firewall/IPS.

R7000 specific Tips/Tricks.
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=264152
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<Kong>
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Joined: 15 Dec 2010
Posts: 4202
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:02    Post subject: Re: Netgear EX6200 - a range extender made into a router? Reply with quote
slidermike wrote:
Kong,
you mentioned in another thread recently that you had taken this great range extender & made it into a router.

Can you talk about how well it acts as a router compared to the r7000?
With the less powerful cpu, will it still push the packets through fast enough?
How well does it handle things like QoS or NAT & still function well as a router?

I am very curious what your thoughts are since you said it has the best wireless range by far.

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/32355-netgear-ex6200-ac1200-high-power-wifi-range-extender-reviewed


The cpu (BCM4708A0) is the same as in the AC68U/R6300V2, thus it is a bit slower then the R7000. I didn't measure wan-lan performance but it should be around 300MBit without CTF.

It has 2 primary antennae + a third internal antenna that is directed upwards. The rp-sma antennae look short but the internal design is a bit different.
Also the second radio of the EX supports 2.4 and 5G, but it doesn't output as much power on the 2.4G part of the second radio.

While the 8MB flash is small and can't take a lot of features it is a spi flash and those are very reliable.

I like the form factor, you can stack it better with other things. Top cover is pretty cool it got little ventilation holes. It is also possible to read/write the flash in circuit without any JTAG setup. Right now I have no idea how to fix a corrupt flash or cfe on the other dual arms, since they have either one small spi + nand or only nand and at least all the units I had (except the WRT1900AC) do not have a jtag connector. And flashing a nand will be more difficult if not impossible, at least in circuit.

The cooling on the R7000 is also better.
Compared to the R6300V2 the EX6200 costs less and has better range. Thus R7000 is still the better unit, but it also costs more.

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XenonKilla
DD-WRT User


Joined: 25 Sep 2009
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 20:55    Post subject: Reply with quote
Comparing just the Wireless ONLY, would one see better wireless range when using the EX6200 vs an R7000?
slidermike
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 11 Nov 2013
Posts: 1432
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 22:45    Post subject: Reply with quote
more powerful amps in the range extender than the router.
_________________
Router currently owned:
Netgear R7000 - AP mode
1st gen i7 pc running pfSense as WAN firewall/IPS.

R7000 specific Tips/Tricks.
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=264152
XenonKilla
DD-WRT User


Joined: 25 Sep 2009
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:41    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hmm, think I'll go pick one up today and see how it compares against the R7000. Cool
slidermike
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 11 Nov 2013
Posts: 1432
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 14:39    Post subject: Reply with quote
XK,
let us know what your results are.
Kong had mentioned testing with it & really liking the superior wireless range vs the true routers available.

Here is the statement by kong that led me to open this thread.
"By the way.

I just have ported another unit which is also dual arm but has much better range, then the WRT 1900AC/R7000/AC68U.

I have to finish a few things, but soon you will know what unit kicks ass if it comes to range:-)"
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=256298&start=165

_________________
Router currently owned:
Netgear R7000 - AP mode
1st gen i7 pc running pfSense as WAN firewall/IPS.

R7000 specific Tips/Tricks.
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=264152
XenonKilla
DD-WRT User


Joined: 25 Sep 2009
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 19:29    Post subject: Reply with quote
I honestly didn't see a big enough difference to justify replacing my R7000 with it.

======
EX6200
======
~Wired WAN/LAN~
Upload: 276mbps
Download: 267mbps

~Wireless~
Band: 2.4GHz
Distance: 3'
Upload: 65mbps
Download: 59mbps

~Wireless~
Band: 2.4GHz
Distance: 24'
Upload: 65mbps
Download: 66mbps

=====
R7000
=====
Firmware Kong 24345 OLDD, Not Overclocked.

~Wired WAN/LAN~
Upload: 339mbps
Download: 363mbps

~Wireless~
Band: 2.4GHz
Distance: 3'
Upload: 90mbps
Download: 87mbps

~Wireless~
Band: 2.4GHz
Distance: 24'
Upload: 72mbps
Download: 61mbps



One thing I will say about the EX6200 is that it performs much better when placed horizontally rather than vertically. When I tested from my Living Room which is 24' away, I was having issues getting the test to complete because it would cut in and out really bad. After switching the EX6200 to the horizontal position the test was able to complete. My house is a single story so everything is on the same level.

I didn't do any testing on the 5GHz band because I don't use it. I also noticed a comment that Kong had made in THIS POST where he stated that the second radio of the EX6200 doesn't output as much power on the 2.4GHz band, so perhaps that's why I didn't see much improvement.

I would say that the EX6200 is probably more suited as an Extender than a Router. Kong's DD-WRT port seems to work great and has all the basic features one would normally need. I would say if you don't need all the extras of the R7000 and you can't afford the R7000 then the EX6200 would be a great alternative.


Last edited by XenonKilla on Mon Jun 30, 2014 19:32; edited 1 time in total
slidermike
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 11 Nov 2013
Posts: 1432
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 19:31    Post subject: Reply with quote
Xk,
thank you for the write up.
Can you speak to the range enhancement?
I believe that kong was inferring the range on this extender was superior to the true routers we have.

_________________
Router currently owned:
Netgear R7000 - AP mode
1st gen i7 pc running pfSense as WAN firewall/IPS.

R7000 specific Tips/Tricks.
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=264152
XenonKilla
DD-WRT User


Joined: 25 Sep 2009
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:29    Post subject: Reply with quote
The range was surprisingly disappointing! Maybe I'll have to try to test on stock firmware and see what happens Confused

EX6200
-23dB 3' away
-43dB 36' away
-56dB 53' away

R7000
-13dB 3' away
-46dB 36' away
-50dB 53' away
<Kong>
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 15 Dec 2010
Posts: 4202
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:58    Post subject: Reply with quote
The public build only uses netgear defined params.
The unit can do much better though:-)

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slidermike
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 11 Nov 2013
Posts: 1432
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:22    Post subject: Reply with quote
Kong is holding back the secret sauce to making the extender a great wireless device?
You have to share the secret sauce!
Smile

_________________
Router currently owned:
Netgear R7000 - AP mode
1st gen i7 pc running pfSense as WAN firewall/IPS.

R7000 specific Tips/Tricks.
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=264152
XenonKilla
DD-WRT User


Joined: 25 Sep 2009
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 19:59    Post subject: Reply with quote
<Kong> wrote:
The public build only uses netgear defined params.
The unit can do much better though:-)


What do you suggest that needs to be tweaked? TX Power? If so what value do you suggest?
Gingernut
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Jul 2007
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 23:23    Post subject: Reply with quote
<Kong> wrote:
The public build only uses netgear defined params.
The unit can do much better though:-)


Will the private defined params make their way into the public builds Kong?
Gingernut
DD-WRT User


Joined: 29 Jul 2007
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 23:29    Post subject: Reply with quote
XenonKilla wrote:
What do you suggest that needs to be tweaked? TX Power? If so what value do you suggest?


I think he's referring to other params that can only be changed in the source code or over a command console.
XenonKilla
DD-WRT User


Joined: 25 Sep 2009
Posts: 111

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:01    Post subject: Reply with quote
Gingernut wrote:
XenonKilla wrote:
What do you suggest that needs to be tweaked? TX Power? If so what value do you suggest?


I think he's referring to other params that can only be changed in the source code or over a command console.


That's cool, I know my way around the command console just fine Laughing
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