Amped Wireless - ALLY Plus AC1900 Dual-Band Mesh Wi-Fi System (set of 2) - White

ALLY is a Whole Home Wi-Fi System that delivers smart, safe, secure Wi-Fi controlled from your phone. The ALLY mobile app is equipped with advanced parental controls, including an online activity log, and alerts that can be sent when someone attempts to access a blocked site. ALLY also comes with built-in AVG security to protect your network devices from malware and harmful websites.

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Overview

What's Included


  • ALLY AC1900 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router
  • ALLY Range Extender
  • Ethernet cable
  • Power adapter (2 pcs)
  • Setup guide

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
68% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (38 out of 56)

Features


Whole Home Wi-Fi

Get up to 15,000 sq. ft. of Wi-Fi, every room of your home - even the patio - with the high power design of ALLY.

Parental controls

Manage what your kids can see online by blocking access to content, websites or apps.

Wi-Fi schedules

Set a schedule for each child or pause the internet during homework & dinner.

Activity reports

See a report of your kids' online activity so you can keep a tab on them.

Instant alerts

Get alerts when flagged sites are visited & block unknown devices that try to connect to your Wi-Fi.

Secured by AVG

Protect the devices on your network from malware and phishing attacks by blocking harmful websites with AVG.

Blazing fast Wi-Fi

Stream HD and 4K videos, game without lag and more with incredibly fast AC1900 Wi-Fi speeds.


Customer rating

3.7
68%
would recommend to a friend

Pros

Cons

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A Whole-Home WiFi System for EVERYONE...Finally

    Posted
    Panther68
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Originally, mesh WiFi systems were only used by large entities (businesses, higher education, government, etc). Over the past few years, consumer “mesh” systems entered the market (Google Wi-Fi, Linksys Velop, Netgear Orbi, Eero, etc). Each has “plusses” & “minuses”: Google Wi-Fi is simple to set up, but lacks multi-port Ethernet switches, security, & USB ports, plus it’s not a true “mesh”; Netgear Orbi has a 3-port switch on the router & 4-port switch on the mesh node, but isn’t a true mesh, & while it has USB, it’s only USB 2.0; Eero is small, easy to set up, has good overall performance, & a low-profile design, but lacks in security, has no built-in switch, & only USB 2.0 ports; Linksys Velop is easy to set up & maintain, a true mesh, very fast, & has good security, but no built-in switch, or USB ports, plus the $500 price is “out of reach” for most consumer. However, we have a new entrant in whole-home WiFi: the amped|wireless ALLY Plus. To start, the ALLY Plus sells for $299 (on sale, $250-270), so it’s already starting off on a decent note. Second, setting up the extender node is as simple as it gets…plug & play, baby…plus & play (I’ll cover this more, later). In truth, while the ALLY Plus is a whole-home WiFi system, it’s NOT a true “mesh”, but closer to a router/extender configuration (similar to several mentioned above). This is NOT necessarily a bad thing, as you’ll soon discover. At the same time, while amped|wireless advertises this as an AC1900 system, it’s actually an AC2100 system (800Mbps max on 2.4GHz & 1300Mbps max on 5GHz). Currently, the ALLY Plus includes only a single extender node…but, word from amped|wireless is that additional nodes could be made available in the future (explained later). UNBOXING, AND INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: The external package is your typical generic design, but upon opening it, everything inside is laid out in a neat, organized manner. You’re greeted by a large “Welcome sign”, followed by a “Let’s Get Started” pamphlet, which lays out the simple 6-step process of setting everything up. Below that, you find the two ALLY units, power cords, & Ethernet cable, with everything pre-labeled…call this “intelligent packaging”. SETUP: I set this up in my parent’s house, as the size & layout was better suited for testing. Setting up the router is simple, as all cables/connections are pre-labeled & color-coded, making it “idiot-proof”. Before doing ANYTHING, the first step is to download the app from Google Play or Apple Store, as the app is required for setup (but NOT for maintenance, see below), providing simple step-by-step instructions. Even your 3 year-old child, or 93 year-old grandmother, has a 99% chance of success. Initial setup is easily completed within a few minutes. I won’t provide a ‘step-by-step’ for each of the features, as there are several, but they are all equally-simple to configure. In addition to your primary 2.4GHz & 5GHz networks, you can enable guest access, with its own separate SSID & password. Once the router is up & running, connecting the extender is even easier. Earlier, when I said “plug & play”, I really meant it – plug the extender into your desired location’s outlet, and it immediately starts working (the two units are pre-programmed, using a proprietary signal, to connect with each other). Anyone failing this step needs to return to pre-school. Lastly, you will notice a WPS button on the router & extender. As mentioned above, additional nodes will (eventually) be made available, and, since these would not be pre-paired to the router, the WPS button will be used to pair them. SPEED & SIGNAL STRENGTH TESTS: Testing was done on both 2.4GHz & 5GHz, from three points: close to router, halfway between router & extender (no line-of-sight to either node), & far end of house (approximately 15ft from extender). Separate names were set for 2.4GHz & 5GHz bands, to allow separate tests. I mention this because most other whole-home systems auto-switch between 2.4GHz & 5GHz connections, giving you no control as to which band you’re connecting to. On the 2.4GHz band, throughput close to the router averaged in the 100-120Mbps range, while a 40ft distance achieved 80-100Mbps. Standing 15ft from the extender achieved 70-90Mbps. Moving to the 5GHz band, the results were 500-600Mbps, 350-400Mbps & 300-350Mbps, respectively. While quite good (compared to most other whole-home WiFi systems), if you’re looking for the best performance, the Linksys Velop is faster…but, at the same time, it lacks several features of the ALLY Plus…NO built-in switch & NO USB ports, plus you’ll spend $200 more. DATA TRANSFER TESTS: In terms of real-world data transfer speeds, thigs are always slower than throughput speeds. Using the same distances, the 2.4GHz band produced average results of 71Mbps, 62Mbps & 62Mbps, while the 5GHz band produced average results of 105Mbps, 74Mbps, 72Mbps. Again, while not the fastest (compared to true mesh systems), this is more than fast enough for the typical home-user. In fact, while your typical conventional router will achieve approximately equivalent results close to the router, said router will produce far lower results as distance from the router increases, which is the advantage of whole-home WiFi systems. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: This is where the ALLY Plus really starts to shine. First, while most other whole-home systems have but a single Ethernet port on each node, the ALLY Plus includes a 3-port switch on the primary router. Follow that up with a USB 3.0 port (other whole-home systems have USB 2.0, or none at all) on the router, PLUS a USB 3.0 port on the extender, and things are looking a lot better when compared to other whole-home systems. While other whole-home systems are set-up & maintained via app ONLY, the ALLY Plus can be maintained via the app AND/OR a web interface (setup still MUST be done via the app). Lastly, there are parental controls, activity logging, notifications, and the ability to schedule user’s access. You even have the ability to block access to specific sites, by category, or by content type…all on a per-user basis. If you realize you forgot to set a block, or user-access, there’s also a “Pause” button (accessible via the app), which instantly shuts off access for that user. THE GOOD: Simple set-up & configuration Easy to maintain Good data speeds (for a router/extender configuration) Built-in malware protection from AVG Parental controls Compact & low-profile Low price (comparted to other mesh Wi-Fi systems) 3-port switch on router USB 3.0 ports on BOTH nodes Can manage network via app OR web interface (other systems ONLY work via app OR web interface) THE BAD: Not a true mesh system Data speeds are considerably lower than a true tri-band mesh system THE UGLY: Northing that I’m able to determine CONCLUSION: Is the amped|wireless ALLY Plus the whole-home WiFi system for you? Unless you have super-high speed needs, the probable answer is “YES”. If you have kids, that “yes” becomes even more prominent, as the ALLY Plus has the best parental controls of any whole-home system. Add in AVG’s security, and it only gets better. The system has features advanced enough for most seasoned users, but is also simple enough for anyone to set up. At $299, it’s reasonably priced…plus, with the security & parental features, that only adds to its overall value. In short, this is an excellent choice for those looking to set up a whole-home WiFi system. It contains features & functions lacking in most other whole-home WiFi systems, and only lacks in one major area – being a true mesh system. Even though it’s not a true mesh system, its speed capabilities are equal to, if not better than, what most home users would need. The router’s built-in 3-port switch is a huge plus (you can always plug a switch into the single Ethernet port on the extender, adding additional Ethernet ports), and the USB 3.0 ports on both nodes gives it a huge advantage over almost all other whole-home systems. I’ve personally tested the Google Wi-Fi & Linksys Velop whole-home systems, and while each had some very good things, both had enough bad things that, while I’d still recommend them to specific people, I wouldn’t be able to recommend either of them to just about everyone. The ALLY Plus, on the other hand, is a whole-home WiFi system that I can EASILY recommend to all but those needing the fastest speeds. To that limited group, the Linksys Velop is what they need…for EVERYONE else, the amped|wireless ALLY Plus is what you WILL WANT. Disclaimer: This product was provided free, or at reduced cost, for the purpose of reviewing the product. Nevertheless, the above review, be it positive, negative, or somewhere in-between, is a 100% honest review, and the price paid played absolutely no part in my review.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    More issues than configurations. Not ready yet

    Posted
    Selva
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 50 ContributorTop 50 Contributor

    This router is only half baked. It should not be bought or sold until major issues, gaps, and bugs are fixed in the software. The marketing material and the promise of user-device management are very appealing and mentioned that coverage up to 15,000 square feet. I have replaced my existing mesh Wi-Fi router with this one and i am really disappointed with speed test results in both frequencies. The packing was good and not that great compare to other routers. Setup was mostly a breeze, just follow the prompts in the app and you're up and running using mobile apps either in iOS or Android. Confusing between the phone apps and the web dashboard. After a simple setup on the app other features require the web to setup. When using the web to set things like radio basic settings it says you can't because the app is managing them, but the app has no place to change the settings, so you need to delete all your app data and reinstall to make small changes to the router configuration which is very time consuming exercise User setup is easy on the app, as is associating devices. But, all other setup, user definition, device naming, associations, rules, etc. are stored only on that phone. A second parent cannot control and/or if the phone breaks you have to set it all up again. Also, if you need to make a change you need to erase all the data and start over. It has built in AVG protection. Alerts only worked about 50% of the time for me (sample of 20+ devices). Port forwarding for things like alarms, nest only have one port and doesn't support the second (local) port. Hardware configuration is very good. However, the app / web software and Wi-Fi results are very disappointing. It is not allowing to use all special characters to create complex Wi-Fi password and password has to be less than 16 characters. There are more issues, bugs, and annoyances. I have tested and used many routers in past few years and did not except many issues and poor Wi-Fi speed 300$ router. I was getting 150mbps+ in Wi-Fi all around the house with mesh Wi-Fi router + satellite combo. With Ally plus, i am getting only 25+ mbps. I have tested in 10 different locations inside the house and the Wi-Fi speed is really disappointing. I have changed back to my old router after using it for a day. I would suggest to spend little more to buy other mesh Wi-Fi routers if you are looking for best Wi-Fi speed throughout the house instead of Ally Plus.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Amped Wireless Elite Support

      Hello, We apologize if the unit is not working to your standards. We will take your opinions into consideration and do appreciate your feedback. If you have any more questions or concerns regarding this unit or any other Amped Wireless product please call our 888-573-8820 line and we will gladly assist you.
      Amped Wireless Tech Support

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Wi-Fi Performance; Website Filters Need Work

    Posted
    ryanmcv
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

    I was excited to see a Wi-Fi system that claimed to seamlessly integrate parental controls, web filtering, and curfew settings. The Ally Plus system delivers solid performance, but it misses the mark in just a few areas. PROS: - Dead-simple setup. All of the cables you will need are clearly labeled to tell you where and when to plug them in. After plugging in the main router to your modem and powering it on, the Ally app walks you through the rest of the steps. All you have to do it choose a network name, password, and a few other basic settings. Once that's done, the app will walk you through the setup of the extender node, which is essentially plug-and-play. - Very respectable Wi-Fi performance (speed and range). At 15 feet away from the main router, I clocked network transfer speeds averaging 414 megabits per second (mbps) via the 5 GHz network. When I was closer to the extender node, speeds averaged about 245 mbps. I have full signal in nearly every corner of my 3,000 sq. ft. home, although speed deteriorates at the far edges. Simply put: this system should provide enough bandwidth to max out the speed of nearly any residential Internet connection. - Intuitive mobile app with a great foundation for parental controls. The app lets you create users and assign specific devices to each user. You can then set website filters, curfews, and view activity reports for each user. You can even block specific mobile apps like Facebook and Snapchat. The app is very easy to use for even the least tech-savvy parents. CONS: - I'm not sure if I did something wrong, but I can't seem to get the website filters to work properly. I created a "user" in the app for my nephew and assigned his iPad to that user. I enabled all of the filters, including alcohol, online dating, gambling, etc. When I used his iPad to test out the filtering, I was still able to browse to the main websites for several popular alcohol companies, dating apps, and gambling services. It's now been 3 days and the filters still don't seem to be working. So either something is wrong or the system thinks that these websites are somehow allowable even with the filters on. Luckily, the curfew and app-specific blocking features work flawlessly, so at least I can keep my nephew from staying up too late on his iPad. - If you want to tweak many of the advanced settings of the router, you can't use the mobile app: you're forced to use a web interface via web browser. Not an issue for most people, but something to be aware of if you're an advanced user. - Only one ethernet port on the extender node. If you want to hard-wire more than one device into the extender node, you'll need to use an ethernet switch. OVERALL: This is an excellent entry-level Wi-Fi system for small to medium-size homes. It will easily blanket your home with a fast, reliable Wi-Fi signal and provide a market-leading platform for parental controls. I do hope, however, that Amped will continue to improve the effectiveness of its website filters. If you have a large, multi-story home or need bleeding-edge speed and signal in all corners of your home, you may want to check out some of the more expensive mesh networking solutions. On the other hand, if you're simply looking to move away from your old, bulky router and step up to a more powerful wireless system, the Ally Plus could be for you. You'll get some great parental control features to boot -- something I haven't seen in any of the competition. Recommended!

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Amped Wireless Elite Support

      Hello,
      Thank you for your feedback we do appreciate it. As for the issue you are having with the filters, it seems as there is an issue as the unit should be blocking all that content. Please call our tech support line at 888-573-8820 so that a technician can assist you resolve the issue.

      Amped Wireless Tech Support
      888-573-8820

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Unique features, great range but not ready.

    Posted
    Gizmo
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Amped Ally wireless router Overview: The amped ally wireless router is a whole house AC band router that promises to deliver coverage up to 15,000 square feet home. The box came with 2 small square devices, about 4"x4"X1". All I had to do was plug in the router to my modem, connect the other end to my switch and download the app. Setup: I had a few issues during setup, most of which I was able to resolve, some with the help of customer service. 1. The Ally app had issues when I was going through the setup. The router was connected to my modem and I was able to get on the internet with my iPad, but the app told me I didn't have internet connection. I had to reset and start over, this fixed the issue. 2. During setup, once I was able to get passed the setup stage on the app. The app would sometimes give me a message that I have no connection - big red screen "Ally is offline". 3. I tried logging into router configuration page on a browser, it asks for an "Access code" that it says I should be able to find under the router itself. There is no code under the router. Customer support informed me I could find the access code in the app. 4. The toll free number on app for support was incorrect, it lists a "800” number, should've been “866”. The Ally has some unique features that I liked, here are a few: 1. Robust parental control features. You can limit kids activity by app, get reports of their online activity and more. 2. Being able to log into the web interface to make changes. So while you can control most of the functionality from the app, it's good to know you have another method if needed. Another manufacturer with a similar device I've used limits you to the app only. 3. New device on LAN notification. I was at work and I received a notice that a new device connected to my network, It turns out my kids had a friend come over and they needed the wifi. On another occasion I received a notice some Microsoft device that I didn't recognize connected to my network, I was able to block it from my app. I found this feature to be very useful. One quirky thing I noticed, so I setup router, plug the internet connection into my switch where I have about 15 connections. Over the next few days, I would randomly get notices that a new device connected to my LAN, they are valid devices, but I would've expected to get the notices when I connected the router to the switch. It's not even that I turned these devices on and the router detected it. No one was home at the time. Ally customer support was helpful and professional. The wait time I experienced to ranged from 5 minutes to 45 minutes. Usability: Once I was able to get the router up and running, it was great! I had only setup the router in my basement and I was able to get coverage in the whole house (3,300 sq feet, 3 stories including basement). The speed was very good, comparable to other routers I've used. The flexibility of the parental control features are much better than other routers I've used. It's user friendly and well laid out in the app. You can even create a profile for each child (or adult). So for example, in the app, you can pick a device that shows up on your list of devices connected to your LAN, assign a name to it, say "Connor". Then find the other devices Connor uses and also assign to him. From there, you can limit the apps he uses block internet by time with "Curfew" feature or have an "activity report" sent to you if he accesses blocked sites. I thought this activity report would send you a list of all sites a child goes to, but it seems that it only sends you a list of blocked sites that is accesses. I thought about setting one up for my wife and blocking shopping sites, but she uses her phone mostly and would just not use the wifi to shop. :( Overall, I think this router has its pros and cons as I've described. I really wanted to use this router but I found it a bit too buggy. Once these issues are worked out, it has a lot potential.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good for Average user. More ethernet ports, USB

    Posted
    TrueReviews20
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is a good whole home system with mostly simple functionality for average users, possibly heavy users as well. I have used many routers from low to high-end and the ALLY Plus is good, but not great. Setup-Software (3 /5): Set-up requires a mobile phone app. Huge disadvantage. I understand most people have smartphones, but limiting to App setup is a huge con for me. However, this is becoming commonplace for whole-home systems, which is a standard I do not support. Overall, the setup is quick, easy, and should be no problem for most users. Setup-Connections (4.5/5): I am really happy this includes 3 gigabit ports. I would prefer 4 at a minimum, but this is much more than other whole home systems (like Linksys Velop and Google Home) that do not have more than one port per device. This is very useful to me, but I would still like to see more built-in ports. At this price point, I shouldn’t have to buy additional Ethernet switches. There are certain situations where wired is necessary, but I guess having a whole-home system is supposed to solve that problem. Includes USB 3.0 which can allow for external storage devices on the network. Definitely a nice feature not present on all whole-home systems. I have not seen any information on using the USB port to hook-up a printer for wireless printing. Easy hook-up to modem through ethernet connection. The router was out of the box and fully functioning (including set up time) within 20 minutes. Connectivity and Range (4/5): The connection is quick with good, not great, range. Compared to an Apple Airport Extreme and ASUS AC1900, I am getting at least 20% greater range outside the house, which is approximately 3k-4k square feet. My devices connect immediately most times, but I have noticed so lag here and here. Using devices from one coverage area to another is not necessarily “seamless” with some definite pauses/decrease in connectivity. For example, watching an HD stream in one area, then moving around into the next coverage area did result in pixilation at times. Performance (3.8/5): Good speeds and little to no lag. Power users with many devices and multiple simultaneous streams should be okay, but I would probably recommend another device. Explore your options at the very least. I have tested with three streams and online gaming activity with no significant slowing, but getting streams started was slow at times. I have not noticed considerable lag when gaming, other than what is expected from the game itself. Performance should be good for most users, but those with heavy demands or wanting instant connectivity and minimal lag, may want to look elsewhere. Summary (5/5): Overall, this is a good router, but nothing special. I think there are some really high points incorporating additional Ethernet ports and USB 3.0. The device looks nice and can blend in well. Heavy users may be disappointed in the level of performance. At this price point I would look in to additional options before settling in to this product. It is definitely cheaper and well-equipped compared to other Whole-Home systems. With some software updates, this system may improve. For most average users I think you will be happy. However, for a power user like me, I would stick to a highly powerful solo unit. This is a good whole home system with mostly simple functionality for average users, possibly heavy users as well. I have used many routers from low to high-end and the Ally Plus is good, but not great. Setup-Software (3 /5): Set-up requires a mobile phone app. Huge disadvantage. I understand most people have smartphones, but limiting to App setup is a huge con for me. However, this is becoming commonplace for whole-home systems, which is a standard I do not support. Overall, the setup is quick, easy, and should be no problem for most users. Setup-Connections (4.5/5): I am really happy this includes 3 gigabit ports. I would prefer 4 at a minimum, but this is much more than other whole home systems (like Linksys Velop and Google Home) that do not have more than one port per device. This is very useful to me, but I would still like to see more built-in ports. At this price point, I shouldn’t have to buy additional Ethernet switches. There are certain situations where wired is necessary, but I guess having a whole-home system is supposed to solve that problem. Includes USB 3.0 which can allow for external storage devices on the network. Definitely a nice feature not present on all whole-home systems. I have not seen any information on using the USB port to hook-up a printer for wireless printing. Easy hook-up to modem through ethernet connection. The router was out of the box and fully functioning (including set up time) within 20 minutes. Connectivity and Range (4/5): The connection is quick with good, not great, range. Compared to an Apple Airport Extreme and ASUS AC1900, I am getting at least 20% greater range outside the house, which is approximately 3k-4k square feet. My devices connect immediately most times, but I have noticed so lag here and here. Using devices from one coverage area to another is not necessarily “seamless” with some definite pauses/decrease in connectivity. For example, watching an HD stream in one area, then moving around into the next coverage area did result in pixilation at times. Performance (3.8/5): Good speeds and little to no lag. Power users with many devices and multiple simultaneous streams should be okay, but I would probably recommend another device. Explore your options at the very least. I have tested with three streams and online gaming activity with no significant slowing, but getting streams started was slow at times. I have not noticed considerable lag when gaming, other than what is expected from the game itself. Performance should be good for most users, but those with heavy demands or wanting instant connectivity and minimal lag, may want to look elsewhere. Summary (3.5/5): Overall, this is a good router, but nothing special. Star rating closer to 3.5 than 4, but I rounded up. I think there are some really high points incorporating additional Ethernet ports and USB 3.0. The device looks nice and can blend in well. Heavy users may be disappointed in the level of performance. At this price point I would look in to additional options before settling in to this product. It is definitely cheaper and well-equipped compared to other Whole-Home systems. With some software updates, this system may improve. For most average users I think you will be happy. However, for a power user like me, I would stick to a highly powerful solo unit.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    4 Stars to 1 Stars - not for advanced users!

    Posted
    Jacobs
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 50 ContributorTop 50 Contributor

    Disclaimer: I have received this product for free in exchange of honest review. So here it is… This was a 4 Star product to me until I ran into some issues and got a call back from the support, I had to drop my rating to 1 Star. Overall, Amped Wireless - Ally Plus is an OK product for beginners. This is not the best compared to price vs features. I consider myself as an advanced user because networking is pat of my professional life. Pros: + Unlike some competition ALLY comes with web interface in addition to smartphone access - but comes with a price (see cons) + Great coverage without any external antennas - signal strength is at par with my previous router with antennas - really impressive. (with a massive drop on speed - see cons) + Parental control aka device control is pretty straight forward and designed perfectly and “exclusively” via smartphone app. + Device design itself is sleek and eye appealing Cons: Unreliable network connection after 24 hours (check images) - needed reboot to gain network access again You don't see half of the features on the smart phone that you see on the web interface and vice versa. (very confusing) Never change the IP address from 192.168.3.1 to anything else if you plant to enable AVG Security on the router - though not sure why there is an option to change IP address at first place if it is not to be changed (see other thoughts). Some devices drops connection and requires rebooting the device, not the router. Though coverage seems to be at par with my previous router (1 v/s 2 ALLY including extender), connection speed has drastically dropped by 60-70% Other thoughts: Originally I was impressed with the router and wanted to give it 4 stars. However, after talking to the Escalated Support Team, I had to drop it to 1 star. Biggest challenge I faced apart from the CONS mentioned above was enabling AVG security feature, I was not able to access the web interface anymore. Called support, the scheduled a called back for next day morning. I have received a prompt response next day morning. However, after some trouble shooting I was told that if I have changed IP address from 192.168.3.1 to anything else, I have to toggle AVG security to OFF from a smart phone in order to access web interface. ALLY was designed to work on 192.168.3.x series only! I shared my thought with them, if that is the case why there is an option to change the IP address at first place? After almost 30 second silence, they repeated ALLY is suppose to work on 3.x series only. I have more than 50 devices on my network and at least 1/3rd of them has static IP addresses. To use ALLY I have to reconfigure my devices including mounted wifi cameras? No way! At this point I wouldn’t recommend ALLY to advanced users. It may be OK for beginners, again, price v/s features its not worth it. Like other user mentioned, it is a half baked product trying to sell for full price.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Amped Wireless Elite Support

      Hello,
      We apologize if the unit is not working to your standards. We will take your opinions into consideration and do appreciate your feedback. If you have any more questions or concerns regarding this unit or any other Amped Wireless product please call our 888-573-8820 line and we will gladly assist you.

      Amped Wireless Tech Support

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Fast, Easy Parental Control Router!

    Posted
    TechMatcher
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I have been fortunate enough to have the chance to test over 20 routers in the last few years – so I’ve seen quite a few of the competing products. I have to admit though – even though I have a Disney Circle device on my normal network, this Amped Wireless ALLY Plus router system could easily replace it with nearly all the functionality! Setup was a breeze on the smartphone – quite comparable to other mesh networks I’ve tested (although technically 3 or more devices are required for a true mesh). Why should you buy one? Are you tired of setting up wifi extenders that you have to log into as you roam your house? Floor 1 is SSID 1, floor 2 is SSID 2, etc. The Amped ALLY system can make that much easier! Also – do you want more control of what your children are seeing, accessing and when they use the internet? Again, the ALLY plus system can help you get that under control! I consider myself an advanced home technology evangelist. For those of you that like to setup your own Firewall rules, setup a home VPN tunnel, perhaps have home servers you access from afar with port forwarding rules, etc – this may not be the router setup for you. It lacks some of the advanced features you’ll probably expect. The Base unit comes with 3 available ports, which is OK since you likely have an 8-16 port switch you’ll use anyway. The extender unit has only a single ethernet port – I was hoping for 2-4 so an improvement could be made here, but at least it has a port! If you’re a relatively non-technical household and you just want to gain some control over your younger children’s surfing and gaming habits – this router system may be right for you. It’s easy to setup via the wizard with easy to access and set options for blocking application and website filters. It takes a little work to setup a profile for each user and add their devices (much like the competitors), but the profile is saved to the smartphone and not to the cloud – so you need to repeat the setup on multiple devices or always use the same device to manage the settings – another improvement to be made. From a performance perspective – I was impressed. The system handled speeds and tested out just as fast as more expensive competitor solutions. Data transfer rates were high between my device and the system itself, and the device didn’t show any signs of latency when accessing the internet either – see photos. Nice work Amped Wireless! Overall, I would recommend this system to households with younger children since I’m a firm believe that the older kids need to learn the responsibility of self control and what is right/wrong to do on the internet. Don’t kid yourself – you may have it blocked at your house – but when they go to a friends house it’s a whole different story – so it’s best to teach them right from wrong and practice good habits.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Easy setup, good performance, featureless firmware

    Posted
    Gerbil
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    The Ally Plus system is geared toward the technically challenged and does many things right to make setup and management easy for the end user. However, it also does plenty of things wrong, or not at all, and doesn’t bring any particularly interesting features to the table to entice users away from more popular brands. [ Setup ] The setup process is where the Ally Plus system really shines. Inside the product packaging, the included power adapters are placed directly under the router or extender that it is to be plugged into, and to remove any ambiguity, clearly identifying labels are attached to their cords. The included Ethernet cable came already plugged into the appropriate Ethernet jack, and is clearly labeled for insertion into a modem. The included extender is preconfigured to work with the router, so its setup is as simple as finding a good spot in the home for it, and plugging it into an AC outlet. Both the router and extender share network SSIDs (which is not the case with many competing products), which is convenient and helps prevent confusion. The included instructions are simple and easy to follow, which direct the user to install a mobile app for setup and management--though oddly a QR code isn’t displayed for quick installation. The app covers the most basic setup and management tasks, while the web interface provides access to the rest. It is possible to setup and configure this router solely through the web interface without using the Ally app at all, but some features are exclusive to the app, including the AVG protection and some parental features. [ Hardware / Performance ] Aesthetically, the router and extender have pleasing modern designs with soft rounded edges, a glossy finish, and no external antennas. An LED light toggle button is included, allowing the user to eliminate ambient light litter, a feature missing in many competing products. While competing products with external antennas may have an edge on maximum distance and bandwidth, the Ally still performs admirably. I maxed out at about 160 Mbps in LAN benchmarking between two AC WiFi client devices connected to the router at very close range, and speeds held up well over distance. It should be noted that the extender doesn’t have a dedicated backhaul radio, nor can its Ethernet port be used for a backhaul connection to the router, which means bandwidth through the extender will take a significant hit, as it has to use the same radios for transmission between itself and clients, as well as between itself and the router. Also to be considered is that the well-aged router/extender topology used by the Ally Plus system might very soon be taking a back seat to attractive new mesh topology technology featured in several competing offerings that tout greater flexibility and expandability. [ App / Features / Firmware ] The Ally app is not capable of local configuration of the router, but instead requires an active Internet connection and constant communication with a remote Ally/AVG server which unfortunately has been unstable for me, as the app periodically complained about the lack of a connection (despite the Internet connection being perfectly fine). The app wouldn’t accept my usual WiFi password--that I’ve used with at least four other WiFi routers without a problem--when setting up the router, complaining that it was too long (must be between 8 and 16 characters). I was able to use this same long password when configuring the router via web interface exclusively. This highlights one major security problem: besides the poor password policy, while using the app, router credentials are apparently stored on remote servers. Amped Wireless/AVG could have had their server(s) negotiate connections between remotely connected devices and routers, and allow the app/user to authenticate directly with the router, but instead it seems Amped Wireless/AVG wants to hold the keys to your kingdom. This apparent setup has dire security implications should Amped Wireless (or AVG?) suffer a security breach. Further indication that Ally Wireless cares little about security, the router doesn’t support TLS/SSL web configuration, neither by default nor as an option. This means a local attacker can gain administrative access to your router through simple sniffing or man-in-the-middle attacks. This is the first router I’ve ever owned that did not support this feature, even among first generation 802.11b routers. This router’s firmware is missing many basic features available in most or many competing products, such as ssh access, site survey, network tools such as ping, traceroute, and nslookup, network connection monitor, and reporting of hardware stats such as CPU and memory usage, as well as more advanced features such as IPv6, IPTV, dual WAN, switching between router/AP/repeater modes, bandwidth monitoring and restriction settings, and VPN server. The features this router does implement, it often implements minimally. For example, the dynamic DNS feature supports two services, the least I’ve seen among any SOHO WiFi router. Web connections that are blocked by site/keyword filtering simply time out, rather than the router providing an explanatory page. The list of apps that can be blocked by the Ally app is short, and there’s no promise that Amped Wireless/AVG will expand or update this list. Regarding the AVG ‘protection’, Amped Wireless ambiguously claims: "Your family's privacy deserves the best online protection. Keep your entire Wi-Fi network and all your devices safe from malware with powerful, built-in Web protection by AVG." Some third party reviewers have mistakenly interpreted this to claim real-time traffic monitoring for malware, but a quick EICAR test download proves this to be blatantly false. What this is almost certainly happening with this ‘protection’, is very basic blacklisting of certain websites and/or domain names, which is a service that the popular web browsers offer already for free. As a feature of this router, it has negligible if any appreciable value. [ Conclusion ] Amped Wireless has put together a router and extender combo system that is extremely easy to setup and begin using, a great boon for the elderly and less technically inclined. The hardware performs very well, but power users will almost certainly find the firmware features severely lacking.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend



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