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Item#: 9SIA0AJ41G5780

TP-LINK TL-WDN4200 N900 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter, 2.4GHz 450Mbps/5Ghz 450Mbps, One-Button Setup,Windows XP/Vista/7/8

  • Dual Band Speed for lag-free HD video streaming and gaming
  • up to 2.4GHz 450Mbps/5GHz 450Mbps
  • Easy encryption w/ WPS button

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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

Learn more about the TP-LINK TL-WDN4200

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of the TP-LINK TL-WDN4200

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  • Dale A.
  • 9/15/2015 5:52:45 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsWill not stay connected

Pros: Can't really think of any good things about this device because it doesn't work.

Cons: It would not maintain a connection either to the main wireless router or the extender that was 6 feet away. Unusable. And unreturnable so I'm stuck.

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3 out of 5 eggsDidn't make the grade

Pros: I wanted to like this adapter. It offered the combination of flexible networking capability at a low price. Setup is easy (when it works).

I first installed it on a Windows 7 x64 machine. Everything worked - for a while (see cons below). Setup was easy, and as long as the wireless AP was reasonably close, 5GHz connections could be made easily. Longer range was possible using the 2.4GHz band.

On Windows 8.1, results were mixed. One computer had no issues. The TL-WDN4200 consistently connected at similar bandwidth to the integrated wireless, again as long as the laptop was placed within close proximity to the wireless AP.

I ran through connecting i the TL-WDN4200 to a series of virtual machines to check operations on a variety of configurations. With most, the TP-LINK adapter did the job. If, however, a different 2.4GHz only TP-LINK adapter had previously been installed on the system there was no way of coaxing the TL-WDN4200 to function.

Cons: The first is that the drivers come on a mini-CD. Fewer modern laptops are even coming with CD drives. Using the drivers automatically downloaded by Windows Update on Win 8.1 did not always result in a working connection. The adapter could be seen but could not connect to anything.

A second issue arose when connecting the TL-WDN4200 to a Win 8.1 box that previously had an older TP-LINK adapter installed. No matter how many attempts were made at uninstalling the old drivers, installing the new, etc. the TL-WDN4200 was once again unable to connect to any wireless signal. I verified this behavior using virtual machines starting with a fresh, fully-patched Win 8.1 installation.

The TL-WDN4200 is a beast of a dongle. There is nothing small or dainty about it. It really is intended only for desktop use - it's just too big for a laptop. It also needs a USB extension cord (happily TP-LINK included one). Plugged into a laptop or back panel USB port, the sheer size of the TL-WDN4200 blocks neighboring ports on all sides.

I also saw consistent issues with wireless range. The TL-WDN4200 is sensitive to orientation when connecting to a 5 GHz signal, and can't be far from the source before dropping to 2.4 GHz. This is not the adapter to use if you are not connecting to very strong signals.

Finally, I noticed the TL-WDN4200 ran warm. To test its limits, I started transferring data over a 5GHz connection. After less than an hour it dropped the signal and would not reconnect until it had been unplugged for several minutes. Watching a video was somewhat less taxing; it worked for 90 minutes of a 2 hour movie before the connection dropped again.

Other Thoughts: Given the problems I saw, I can't recommend the TL-WDN4200. It is attractively priced for the feature set and offers (most of the time) easy setup. The huge size combined with comparatively low range and overheating problems offset any other advantages.

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3 out of 5 eggs

Pros: It has the ability to use the 2.4GHz band (standard for most wireless routers) or the 5GHz, which offers less interference, since fewer wireless devices are using this band.

Simple. I plugged in the adapter, installed the driver from the mini-CD and connected to my router.

This adapter comes with the TP-Link Wireless Configuration Utility. The best feature is it includes "SoftAP Mode," which allows the adapter to function as an access point for other devices to connect to. This actually works exceptionally well. I was able to get 3/5 bars of signal in another room through several walls about 50 feet away. My actual router gave me no signal!

It nicely also gives useful status information such as the signal strength as a percent, connection speed, current IP address, MAC address, wireless mode, network type, encryption type and channel. Lastly, it features a step-by-step guide to activate WPS between the router and adapter. Normally, I don't even bother installing a vendor's wireless utility, but this one has some nice features.

I compared the speed of the TP-LINK N900 to a Premiertek PL-18N 802.11n wireless USB adapter.

My results from transferring a 1GB file (2.4GHz, 20MHz channel 150Mbps max bandwidth, USB 2.0, WPA2-PSK w/AES TKIP encryption):

*Using the TP-Link TL-WDN4200 N900 Wireless PCI-E adapter to wired PC - 131s @ 62.5Mbps.
*Using an 802.11n Premiertek PL-18N adapter to wired PC - 112s @ 73.1Mbps

Overall, the TP-Link was just slightly slower and not something you would notice in real world use. It would be faster with a better router as I am using a Motorola NVG510 Modem / Wireless Router. You need a router with at least 60MHz bandwidth to achieve the full speed of this adapter.

According to the box and TP-Link's website, this offers a 2 year warranty. A 2 year warranty is good - double what some other vendors offer.

Cons: Range:
The range was weak. Here is how it compares:

*Premiertek PL-18N (2 x 9dBi antennas) - 12 access points visible
*Dell Latitude E6500 onboard wireless - 12 access points visible
*Buffalo WI-U2-866D wireless adapter - 8 access points visible
*TP-Link N600 Wireless adapter (2 x 2dBi antennas) - 4 access points visible
*TP-Link N900 Wireless adapter - 3-4 access points visible

Adapter is too wide to fit in one USB slots and blocks the top, bottom and adjacent slots. TP-Link includes a 3' USB cable extension to overcome this, but you end up having to find a place for all of this unnecessary bulk. A short, stiff, flexible cable is probably the best solution, if changing the packaging is impossible.

Also, the adapter has no holes for airflow. With past network adapters, this has led to overheating after extended use. In fact, the adapter stopped working after a few hours of streaming data and I had to unplug and replug it in.

Other Thoughts: Make sure to enable the "Multimedia/Gaming Environment" setting under the adapter's settings in device manager if you plan on playing games or streaming video across your network (Start -> Run -> devmgmt.msc -> Network adapters -> TP-LINK Wireless USB Adapter -> Advanced Tab). This will improve latency and prevent frame skipping.

Overall, this was a good adapter that offered some unique features such as Soft AP mode, operation on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, WPS setup and N900 speeds. However, the physical problems, range and lack of 802.11AC support were some of the biggest issues. It is a good adapter, but could be better.

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4 out of 5 eggsTP-LINK N900 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter

Pros: Quick and easy setup. You have a choice of installs, either the Full Utility install or separate solo driver install.

USB extension cable included.

Very fast. Tested with a Dual Band Buffalo AC 1200 Router. Due to hardware design differences, the max connection speed for 2.4GHz was 144Mbps and the max connection speed for 5GHz was 300Mbps. Still this is not bad and the adapter retained the speeds without any hiccups from room to room.

Cons: Disappointingly, no stand. A small stand or dock to set it on a desk would have been great.
Average signal strength in terms of distance from access point, wasn't any better than my other wireless adapters or PCI wireless card. Fairly big but still small enough to throw in a laptop bag and go. However it IS too big to put side-by-side with another USB connected device, for instance on the back panel of an ATX Motherboard.

Other Thoughts: When the price is right, this is a good adapter. But to fully utilize the connection speeds, a compatible router is needed. It comes with a 2yr warranty and 24/7 technical support.

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4 out of 5 eggsLittle in Price, Big in Speed; Little Too Big in Size.

Pros: - This adapter is fast. First time I plugged it in and got it setup I literally said, "Wow..." Compared to the wireless card in my laptop and the pci-e wireless card I tested against, I'm thoroughly impressed.
- Reliable signal. Over 2 weeks of testing, not a drop encountered.
- Nice range. Providing you have a decent router to pair this with you'll see fairly impressive signal strength as compared to some of its much smaller competitors.
- First usb adapter I can honestly say I would choose for a desktop vs an internal model. Not to mention of ease of just plugging it in versus opening your case.
Given the price between this and a comparable pci-e card are fairly close I'd opt for the one that I could easily use between multiple pc's.
- Included usb extension cable is nice as you can keep the adapter higher up on a desktop (think on your desk for easy unplugging vs finding a port on the back of the motherboard) or to give you the peace of mind that you won't snap the adapter off in your laptop's usb port.
Which will lead into my first and only enormous con.

Cons: - Way too big to even consider for laptops. Outside of just looking plain silly, the biggest problem is blocking adjacent ports (both vertical and horizontal in layout) save for the slimmest of usb plugs. I might also add that it wouldn't be a matter of if you accidentally snap this off in the port, it's more so of when.
For a visual reference, take your average deck of playing cards. This adapter is almost as thick and long as the box and half the width.

Other Thoughts: 2 very important things I want to end on:
First off, thinking this is a good idea to speed up an older PC is valid providing you have, at the very least, USB 2.0 ports. Anything less and you're wasting your money as the physical limitaion of the usb hardware is going to kill the speed this adapter was designed to give you. You'd be better off with something slightly slower and half the price.
Second, I hate to say it but if you're looking to use this in a laptop... don't. Unless that is, you are so insanely careful that you've never EVER bent or broke any other usb connector before.
If I had to rate this as a desktop solution only I'd be giving it a solid 5/5. Laptop only a 3/5 based solely on the size. (It really is comical to see hanging off the side of a smaller laptop.)
With that said, I feel a 4 out of 5 is fair. TP-Link did a fine job with the 4200 and it's a welcome addition to my collection of techy toys. Enough so that I removed the wireless network card from one of my desktops and replaced it with this; can't see a reason I'd ever go back!
Sure there are a number of brands and models to go with. While I can't speak for them all, I'm more than comfortable recommending this one.

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4 out of 5 eggsGood all around WiFi Adaptor

Pros: This review is for the TP-LINK TL-WDN4200 N900 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter,

Let me start by saying Tp-link has been putting out good quality products for years now they have a pretty good reputation for having great network solutions.
This USB wireless adapter works very well the range is better than most I've seen, it’s a bit large but not too large.
I performed my testing out in my garage with is detached from my house there’s a distance of about 80 feet from the router in the house none of the other Wi-Fi adapters I own will work out there but this one does, Only one bar of signal but it works!
I did some speed testing with only one bar and it not quite enough speed for smooth HD streaming but I can surf the web for car parts with ease. Pandora streams flawlessly on this adapter with one bar of signal.
TP-Link included a USB extension cable and that helps get the adapter up in the air and out of the grass so to speak for better reception.
The one button setup is a nice feature quick and easy windows 7 and 8 both have driver for this so you won’t have to install software if u choose not to.

Cons: This unit is slightly larger than most adapters I've seen so if u plan on letting it stick out of the side of your laptop be careful not to catch it on something it will rip out your USB port….
I suggest using the extension cable and Velcro the adapter to the back of the LCD on your laptop..

Other Thoughts: I would recommend this product to anyone that needs a good affordable Wi-Fi adapter with great speeds and ease of use.

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4 out of 5 eggsWorks alright

Pros: Detects instantly under Linux. The adapter itself is also pretty durable, and looks cool.

Also doesn't get too hot temperature-wise with usage.

Cons: Couldn't see my 5GHz network when it was operating on the 100 (5.500 GHz) channel. My laptop's internal AR9462 could however.

Other Thoughts: Under Linux, it is detected as a "Ralink RT3573 Wireless Adapter". Max power is 450mA. It also uses 17 Tx-Power by-default. The adapter also works fine out-of-the-box on Ubuntu 14.10, and also works great on kernel 3.18rc1.

With iperf on 2.4GHz, transfer speeds with this adapter averaged around 7.5 MBytes/sec. With my Atheros AR9462, speeds averaged around 13 MBytes/sec.

With iperf on 5GHz, transfer speeds with this adapter averaged around 11 MBytes/sec. With my Atheros AR9462, speeds averaged around 15 MBytes/sec.

Overall, it's a great adapter to travel with and great for computers that don't support 5GHz. Could also use it for a hotspot (while connected to a computer), or other various activities. If your computer already has a decent wireless adapter though, buying this in hopes of out-performing it probably won't be too ideal.

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4 out of 5 eggsStill Wireless "N"

Pros: I get a great signal through it, additional cable allows better positioning.

I'm getting pretty good speeds with it on both 2.4 and 5 GHz, but it won't use both or switch between the two automatically..

Seeing great speeds with it, my Dlink AC1200 connects to it with 48MB/s and my Linksys AC 1300 connects at 41MB/s. My older Linksys 350N connects to it at 31 MB/s so I can not complain at all about speeds, 2 of them are 80 feet away

Size is OK for me, I have seen larger, and bulkier, so not bad.

Cons: No automatic switching, no Dual connectivity.

No AC, just N............. And you can buy the AC version for just a little more green.

Other Thoughts: It is a great product for what it is, If you want to save $6 because you only own "N" routers go for it, but I suggest always buying better than what you already own, so in the future you won't have to upgrade "everything" to increase your use of it.

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4 out of 5 eggsBig but Solid

Pros: Plug and play really worked. Windows 8.1 didn't need any coaxing at all to recognize and start using. Ubuntu also found a driver automatically and was able to connect to both the 2.4 and 5 GHz networks in my house. Never touched the included CD. Range was as good as any of my other wi-fi devices and signal strength was solid and stable.

Cons: Kind of pricy for what it is. Very bulky -almost the same exact size as the D-Link AC1200 adapter. It is so wide it will most certainly block any adjacent USB ports.

Other Thoughts: The adapter was definitely easy to set up, and it has also been very reliable for me. No drops in signal at all for two weeks. I've used in in a Netbook with Ubuntu and my desktop with Win 8.1 and both had near perfect speeds on my wi-fi network. Large files move faster with the d-link AC1200 adapter but not by much. It has an extension cable that is a simple 5-foot long male to female cable. The DL ac1200 has a shorter 3' extender that has a vertically oriented cradle that holds the adapter upright, and it us USB3.0. For $5 more i would go with that one...

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2 out of 5 eggsIt is a Wifi Adapter

Pros: Connected to my 2.4GHz network at 450Mb/s without a problem.

Gives a better signal and a better connection than some of the other USB adapters I've tried, but still not as good as ones with an external antenna.

The usb extension cable was nice, it allowed me to position the adapter in a better location to get a better signal.

Cons: This adapter is big. It is so big I couldn't plug it directly into the USB ports on the front of my computer because they are recessed behind a door. However, the included extension cable allowed me to use it with those front USB ports.

The biggest issue I had with this adapter was that I could not get it to recognized any 5GHz networks. I have two, from two different routers, in my house and my neighbors have several more. None of them showed up with this adapter. My other 5GHz adapters find them and connect to them just fine.

Even if I could connect to the 5GHz networks, I don't believe this adapter allows you to combine the two connection into one 900Mb/s connection. Which is kind of false advertising, IMO. And if you want proof they never expected you to get anywhere near 900Mb/s just look at the fact that this is only a USB2.0 adapter. USB2.0 only allows 480Mb/s maximum, so enough for 2.4GHz or 5.0GHz, but not both at the same time. This adapter would need to be USB3.0 to get 900Mb/s.

Despite the utility claiming I have a 450Mb/s connection to my router, I was only able to transfer files at ~19MB/s which translates to only a ~150Mb/s connection. My internet connection also suffered. Speed tests went from 105Mb/s with a wired connection down to 85-90Mb/s with this adapter.

The adapter does get a little warm when in use.

The shiny finish looks nice at first, but it gets covered in finger prints very easily. I much prefer a matte finish on anything that gets touch a lot like a USB adapter.

Other Thoughts: Some of the other reviews say this adapter is big, and it is larger than some other USB wireless adapters. However, it is typical size for a dual-band adapter. It is also priced pretty competitively with other dual-band adapters. Most of the smaller adapters are 2.4GHz only.

I'm not sure if I got a defective unit or what, because my adapter will not detect any 5.0GHz network. This is mainly why the adapter only got 2 eggs. It would have been 4 eggs if the 5.0GHz had worked. If TP-Link wants to contact me and get me a replacement unit, I'll gladly try again and post an updated review.

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