Pros: • 2 year Warranty
• 24/7 7 days Unlimited technical support via toll free number
• Easy setup, you have a few options to connect to your router
• Slim modern design, also like the white color
• Does not obstruct the second outlet when plugged into a dual wall power outlet, some other WiFi extenders do
• Price is really very reasonable for a 300 Mbps
• Upload and downloads speeds very impressive for a $30 extender
• Has an Ethernet port so you can hardwire other devices such as Tivo, TV, Roku etc
• Once you have set it up you can unplug it and move to anywhere in the house
• Very good range when connecting to your router
• Blue LED lights in front gives you network strength, wireless status as well as Ethernet connection status
I'm putting the 1st part of my review here as I ran out of character space under the "Other Thoughts" section below.
Newegg delivered the sample for review promptly as usual via USPS.
After opening the brown Newegg box I was impressed to see the stylish and quality packaging, it has the look and feel of an iPhone box. The packaging consisted of an outer sleeve, inside was a box with the extender device, a white envelope with the quick installation guide and mini CD.
The TP-Link device is pretty slick, nice modern design, all white except for the ring of LED’s on the front lower right around the WPS button. One LED marked “Power” indicating the unit is powered up, another LED lighting up when the wireless is active, it is marked “Wireless”. A LED marked “RE” that lights up solid indicating the unit is connected to the router. Then a LED that lights up if you connect a device to the extender via Ethernet cable. On the right side of the button are six LED’s that light up to show the signal strength coming from the router, the closer the extender is to the router more LED’s will light up, less when you move the extender further away from the router.
At the bottom of the unit you will find the Ethernet port as well as a reset button, you can use a pencil to wipe any settings if you messed something up during setup
On the back is the two prongs for the power outlet.
Cons: • Not dual band, for the price I did not expect that however
• When connecting to your router via WPS option the extender assumes the same SSID as your router which is annoying, you don’t know if the extender is working unless you ran a signal baseline without it at some distance away from the router before you connect it
Overall Review: The quick setup guide folds out and covers a couple of installation methods I will go over below.
• This is the simplest and quickest method and make use of WPS protocol
• Plug the extender device in a power outlet near your router, does not have to be that close for this method, I actually plugged in the hallway outside my office where the router was situated.
• Wait until the wireless LED in the front of the unit is flashing, then press the WPS button on your router, normally at the back of the router
• Push the button on the front lower right of the extender, the RE LED will light up solid which indicates it is connected to your router, you will also notice the signal strength LED’s will light up.
• You can now relocate the router to any area, I would say within 30 feet or so, if the signal strength LED’s drop down to below three you are too far and it will impact you extending capability.
• Only problem here is that the extender will assume your router’s SSID, I suggest you change that following the instructions below.
• For this method you need to be close to your desktop or laptop as you will use it for option A
• Connect the device to wall power outlet, wait for LED marked “Wireless” to flash.
• You now have two ways of setting it up manually
Option A :
Connect the extender via Ethernet cable to your desktop or laptop, make sure the PC or laptop is not connected to your wireless network either via wireless or network cable.
Connect to the powered up extender via your laptop wireless, it will appear as TP-Link_Extender
• The rest of the setup is the same for option A and B above
• Go to your PC/Laptop’s browser and type in http://tplinkextender.net into your browser
• You will see a TP Link setup page appear, enter the username and password, both is admit by default, you can change it later if you’d like
• After logging in you just follow the quick setup guide, when you get to the area to select your router you want to connect to it will ask for a password, you need to enter your router’s password, once you have completed the setup you can go back and enter the extender’s password, you can also change the SSID.
• You can now move the extender to another power outlet in your house where you need to boost your wireless signal. I have mine in the master bedroom on the 1st floor where I also have other devices connected via Ethernet cable
• As in method 1 you will see the LED’s for the signal strength light up going from one to six, stay close enough to the router so you have at least three LED’s on the right side of the LED ring lit up.
I ran OOKLA speed test from my cellphone, about 30 feet away from both my router and the extender and I got the following transfer speeds (average of 3 runs)
Connecter to router : 24.9 Mbps download, 6.67 Mbps upload
Connected to the TP-Link range extender : 12.9 Mbps download, 5.88 Mbps upload
Pros: It works; Takes an existing signal and boosts it for more reliable bars and more consistent speed.
Super easy and fast setup with WPS; once it takes.
Signal strength indicator that is easy to read.
White color can be a pro or con depending on your taste.
For $30 I say it's a solid item.
Cons: It took roughly a dozen attempts with WPS setup for it to finally take. -1 egg
I was literally walking over to the box to grab the supplied LAN cable to do a wired configuration and it finally took via WPS.
I have used one other device of this kind and the WPS setup took on the first try. It was the Edimax EW-7438RPn. I didn't do any extensive testing for speed, but the Edimax unit is the same price, and quite a bit more compact than this TP-LINK model. I do know that the Edimax definitely did it's job as it put a solid 3 bar signal where the router wasn't able to provide any signal at all.
Overall Review: The reason why I chose to review this item is because the flexicore concrete floor of my condo demolishes wireless signal to my garage. My parking space in my garage is maybe 75 feet from my router, but the signal is so sh*** that I can't even stream music on Google Play.
I did all of my testing for signal strength and connection speeds on my cell phone. I have an Android LG G2. I used the SpeedTest.net app and the WiFi Analyzer app.
The phone has impressive Wi-Fi capabilities and gives me speed results via SpeedTest app that match or best any other Wi-Fi capable device I own. These include ASUS 1215P eeePC, ASUS K55A notebook, Toshiba S4140 Ultrabook, and an iPad 2 amongst other things. On 2.4GHz they all give similar results in the mid to upper 40's on the SpeedTest app.
It is probably worth mentioning there are 8 other WiFi signals that are picked up by my phone under the default WiFi GUI for selecting a connection. Firing up WiFi analyzer gives me an astonishing number of WiFi signals at 46!
For a base line, best case scenario, I took readings in my living room about 20 feet from my router.
I have an ASUS RT-N56U modem and Motorola Surfboard SB6141 modem.
I have Comcast ISP, and pay for the 38+ Mbps package. My wired connection, and 5GHz WiFi, are typically stable between 57-59 Mbps.
I ran tests 5 times, and the fluctuation in performance isn't even worth notating for the baseline test.
Signal Strength: -33 dBm // 5 bars
Moving down to my garage I retested 5 times again. This time fluctuation in numerous areas was evident, but upload speed remained strong.
Down: 2.65-7.77 Mbps
Up: 10.58-11.55 Mbps
Signal Strength: -77 to -80 dBm // 2 bars
Retested again with the TP-LINK repeater and results are much more promising. Though the download speed isn't setting the world on fire, it is improved and worth noting that the 6.57 only happened once. The other 4 tests were all 9-10. Vastly improved ping and signal strength will definitely make for a more reliable connection.
Down: 6.57-10.49 Mbps
Up: 9.69-11.57 Mbps
Signal Strength: -40 to -33 dBm // 5 bars
I then decided to open my garage door and head to the end of my driveway. This is approx 100 feet away. It makes the connection undeniably unusable.
Down: 0.15-1.03 Mbps
Up: 1.01-1.21 Mbps
Signal Strength: -80 to -75 dBm // 2 bars
Retested at the end of my driveway and the TP-LINK really shows it's true colors!
Down: 7.08-9.44 Mbps
Up: 10.78-11.61 Mbps
Signal Strength: -65 to -58 dBm // 4 bars
The directions state that a 3 bar connection is necessary for best repeating results. I most definitely only had 2 bars where I placed the repeater. Yet it slung out a solid 4-5 bar signal without issue.
Now I can play beer pong in my garage with a solid WiFi connection for music streaming!
Pros: Great Option for the Novice to extend there network with.
Small cable included, Instructions as well as a full PDF on disk.
Speed is greatly increased using the LAN cable with no wireless devices connected (if using a wireless device it must connect to the dive, then to the network, then to the device again, this cuts down the speed)
If only browsing the web, or sharing Video / Audio this device will be perfect.
Speeds I was achieving were to be as expected for a device of this type, nothing great, but very usable.
Cons: Can not run a LAN cable to it to extend the network even further.
Not a device you would want to use for transferring LARGE files, or playing games over as it has very high latency due to it's type of connection.
Overall Review: Another great product from TP-Link, as usual it is fully functional and at a great price.
As noted above this device uses a dual communication method that must communicate with your device and the network individually and this cuts the speed in half, and doubles your Latency. If you need a faster connection over a long distance you are going to be spending a lot more than this.
Pros: - Great price
- Very stable
- Easy setup
- Third party firmware available
Cons: None that I've found.
Overall Review: If you need a solid, stable range extender this is the one for you. The price is great, and performance is very respectable. Setup is a breeze, and only takes a minute or two.
If you want beyond basic functionality of a Wifi Extender, there is a 3rd party firmware available (OpenWRT) that tons of configuration options - too many to list here. However, the biggest feature added is the ability to use the TL-WA850RE as an Access Point. For my purposes, I have it setup to connect to, and repeat the signal for Comcast's Wifi hotspot in my area. Unless I relocate my laptop so it's against a specific wall of my home, I cannot maintain a connection to the hotspot, but with the TL-WA850RE repeating the signal, I can access it anywhere in my home!
Even in stock configuration, the signal is strong, reliable, and doesn't degrade over time. Highly recommended, if even only to tinker with it :D
Pros: - Solid build quality
- Good instructions and packaging
- Simply yet effective interface lights
Cons: - Can interfere with the other outlet plugs
Overall Review: With a product at this price point, I was really impressed by the build quality and packaging. On the device itself, the corners are rounded, the seams smooth, and the buttons tactile. It is a little hollow feeling overall due to it having internal antennas, but in my opinion, it looks better to have a piece of plastic sticking out of the wall than a set of antennas. The indicator LEDs are simple yet well executed; they tell you what needs to be known while not being overly bright or too hard to see. The packaging was very protective, the instructions were pretty good, and the included resource CD is something I always like to see. My biggest complaint with the packaging is slightly confusing instructions; the single piece of paper has multiple setup options printed on it, with multiple paths within those options as well. While everything is decently labeled and numbered and lettered, it was a little cumbersome trying to figure out which option I wanted to use to set the extender up. That being said however, manual setup was easy allowing me to have the extender functioning in less than five minutes. I was not able to get the WPS setup to work, but that is most likely due to my router and not this device.
I have very few issues with this device. My first complaint is that the design is a little big and can interfere with things plugged in next to it. My only other complaint is that the 300 Mbps speed feels a little out of place on such a nicely built and designed product. If this had wireless speeds around 600 Mbps, it could easily sell at a much higher price.
I am currently using this device in a garage where the ambient temperature gets upwards of 130 degrees Fahrenheit and haven't had an issue with it yet. I am only running a single computer off of its signal, but I am still impressed that it is surviving.
Overall, this is a very well built device at a very good price with nearly no drawbacks. For situations where a high speed link is not needed, this would be a great device to get the job done.
Pros: It does the job of Wi-Fi extending well for the price without any complaints.
The blue lights are different, but kind of nice too.
Cons: Kind of wish the plug base stuck out a little bit in order to not crowd other nearby plugs too much (I use cheater plugs in order to accomplish this when needed when ground isn't required).
The reset button would also be nice to have pressable without a pin or other small object (but this shouldn't really be an issue after the extender is set-up; only a minor inconvenience if you happen to mess up or want to redo the initial setup or want to reset it later on).
Overall Review: A Linksys EA6700 couldn't push wireless far enough through my house to reach a room above the router, so I'm using this extender in another downstairs room, right underneath the room wireless needs to go to. This extender does the job of allowing wireless to that room wonderfully along with extending it outside a bit too.
Pros: Easy setup
Reliable, have not had to restart it. Have a 854RE as well and that is still going, no issues since I got it almost 6 months ago.
On sale currently, making this one a better value than the 854RE, especially for those wanting an ethernet jack.
Small and simple.
Great for mobile devices, allowing you to not worry about your connection anywhere in your house.
Also works as a work-around for devices with ethernet jack, but can't have a wifi card installed, allowing you to bring those previously unconnectable devices online.
Cons: Flashy blue light, keep this out of your bedroom or where you sleep. I have mine in the kitchen. Allows me to reach wifi from my car.
No other cons I can think of, it meets expectations and does its job without complaint.
Overall Review: I previously reviewed the 854RE and the only thing I would have liked it to have was an ethernet jack.
Pros: This TP-Link Wireless Extender is one of very few products that come together on aesthetics, performance, and price. From the start, the packaging is a nod towards the i product line of that one fruit named computer company. The unit is small and is anything but an eye sore when located in an open area due to its white color and soft curves.
The documentation, though sparse, provided ample information for configuring this device in one of three ways (via wireless, wired, or WPS).
Performance was exceptional in a small two story loft. Latencies increased from <1ms-9ms when directly connected the router with no traffic to 2ms-14ms when connecting through the wireless extender.
One great feature of this device is the ability to use it as a wireless adapter for devices that have an Ethernet port but no built in wireless functionality (older XBOX 360s, AV Receivers, etc.)
Cons: TP-Link resorted to using the mini CD media that has been a trend with many other of their products. These CDs are not universal in the fact that slot-load CD drives will not accept them.
The other tiny complaint is the firmware update process. Many routers and other wireless devices allow for firmware updates to download directly to the device by checking with the manufacturer's servers. Unfortunately, to perform a firmware update on this wireless extender, I had to download the new firmware to my PC. After logging back into the GUI of the wireless extender, I had to upload the new firmware to the device. Simple enough but still an extra step for a device intended to be essentially plug and play with minor configuration.
Overall Review: The TP-Link TL-WA850RE provided an ample signal boost for the first floor of a loft environment while the main router is on the second floor. The WPS functioned correctly when configured with my ASUS RT-AC66R router and did not have any connectivity issues during the 2 weeks of testing. Speeds are slower and latencies are higher when connecting through the extender but this is a given when introducing an extra hop into any IP environment.
At the far corners of the house, with the signal traveling through the second floor and two walls, my speeds were actually faster with the extender placed midway between me and the router.
w/extender - 12 Mbps
w/o extender - 7 Mbps
While in areas with only one wall or floor separation, the signal from the router provided a better connection
w/extender - 13 Mbps
w/o extender - 22 Mbps
TP-Link has created a solid product and a great bang for the buck.