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TP-LINK > 
Item#: N82E16833704195
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
  • $44.99
  • $35.99
  • Save: $9.00 (20%)
  • Free Shipping (restrictions apply)

Pros:

Strangely, reviews for both the PCI-Express card (model TL-WDN4800) and the USB adaptor (model TL-WDN4200) are being included here. Newegg, whatcha doin'?
This review is for the USB version (model TL-WDN4200).

--

Works, but doesn't impress (see other thoughts).

Includes a 5 foot USB extension cord so you can relocate the adaptor to get a better signal and to avoid blocking nearby ports.

Sturdy construction.

The included PDF manual (54 pages) is well written and very thorough, providing detailed instructions for Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8.

According to the box, there is unlimited 24/7 tech support via a toll free number, and a 2 year warranty.

Cons:

Provided wireless connection utility is slower than standard Windows 7 utility (see other thoughts).

Very large ( 1 1/8" x 1/2" x 3" long ).
If connected directly to a USB port, it will block the port(s) next to it.
If connected to a laptop, it is very obtrusive.

Gets warm ( 110-120F ) even when sitting idle, which means it is using a decent amount of power, even when not being used, which may be a concern if being used on a laptop running on batteries.

Installer issues. Worked fine on Win 7 Enterprise, but had problems on Win 7 Pro:
- Running autorun.exe produced the error: "can't find the configuration file!"
- After navigating to the TL-WDN4200 folder and running setup.exe for the device driver and utility, both warned that the software was from an unknown publisher.

Driver installation must be done from included media (mini-CD). There are no drivers on the device itself, nor will Windows Update find any.

Other Thoughts:

The performance of this device was not as good as that of the built-in Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 wireless adaptor (300Mbps max speed) in my 2 1/2 year old Core i5 laptop.

The following results are the average throughput of ten 100MB memory to memory transfers using a Western Digital MyNet N900 Central router (Newegg part number 9SIA0AJ1855909). All showed a signal strength of 5/5 and a link speed of 450 Mbps (except the built-in adaptor on my laptop which reported 300 Mbps).

These tests were performed using the standard Windows 7 wireless connection utility:
16.54 MB/s (~165 Mbps) : i5 Laptop built-in wireless.
15.88 MB/s (~159 Mbps) : i5 Laptop with this adaptor.
13.56 MB/s (~136 Mbps) : i7 Desktop with this adaptor (metal table between adaptor and router).
15.92 MB/s (~152 Mbps) : i7 Desktop with this adaptor relocated using USB extension cord.

The following test was performed using the TP-Link wireless connection utility that was included:
14.84 MB/s (~145 Mbps) : i7 Desktop with this adaptor relocated using USB extension cord.

Made in China.

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Overall, I think this product falls short of the listed price. The performance doesn't impress, the size is much larger than others on the market, and yet it is one of the most expensive USB adaptors of its type available here at Newegg.

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  • Steve F.
  • EggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week


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Item#: N82E16833704195
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