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TP-Link TL-PA8010 KIT AV1200 Gigabit Powerline Starter Kit
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

5 out of 5 eggs Solid boost for tough network setups 09/20/2016

This review is from: TP-Link TL-PA8010 KIT AV1200 Gigabit Powerline Starter Kit

Pros: • Reasonable price for the promise of a continuous connection
• Solid build
• Clear instructions
• Readily available support information (love this about TP-Link)
• Extremely easy setup
• Do exactly what they are supposed to do

Cons: • Large enough that you are committing a receptacle per unit
• Kind of a niche item in my opinion – so you need to fit the niche

Other Thoughts: Great piece of gear for the person that requires the reliability of a wired connection. Setup was extremely simple and fast. On reviews like these, where the device claims easy setup, I like to hand things over to my very non-technical wife, and see how it goes. Piece of cake – she had things up and running in about five minutes.

My wife and I used the PA8010’s exclusively on our laptops for about three weeks. Just kept the cables dangling off of them, and then plugged them in whenever we used our machines (we always use our laptops while sitting on our living room sectional). Main comments from my wife were that she didn’t like the cables hanging off of them (we have a puppy that likes to chew, so I could also see toddlers being attracted to them, also), and she didn’t feel like anything was “faster”. I have to admit that we have excellent wireless coverage in our home (we run a Xfinity Blast package that’s 120MB downstream) so speed and coverage is rarely an issue. Running speed tests on our laptops, we averaged around 42MB on DL, with UL around 9MB. I wasn’t expecting miracles as the constant connection is the big sell here, and I could see the PA8010 being excellent in a home with a tricky/tough network setup. Even the furthest point in our home still saw speeds in the 32/7MB range, so not bad. Like the other reviewers have said, we live in a land of theoretical claims, so you need to look past that, and see if what you’re getting suits your needs. The PA8010 definitely delivered for us.

So, while the PA8010 gave us no real advantage/edge in our home, I could definitely see it being great for someone else. We had zero drops/glitches/weirdness in over three weeks of uptime, and the ease of install was excellent. Definitely recommended for a lot of folks out there.

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Linksys WUSB6300 Wireless AC1200 Dual-Band Adapter IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n USB 3.0 Up to 867 or 300Mbps Wireless Data Rates
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: • Breathes new life into devices with older network standard
• Reasonably priced
• Performs as advertised
• Easy setup via WPS
• Easy setup with manual SSID
• Compatible with Win10 Pro

Cons: • Large size increases risk of accidental damage
• Runs a little warm while streaming (but no impact to performance)

Other Thoughts: I installed the WUSB6300 in my Dell XT3 laptop and saw increased Wi-Fi speeds over the existing Dell wireless NIC. Connecting manually to either of our SSID’s (2.4 and 5 GHZ bands) was just as easy as WPS, with the device up and running within a couple minutes. Speeds on the 2.4 GHZ band were nothing special, but every bit as stable and fast as the onboard NIC – but the 6300 really shines on the 5 GHZ band, pulling 700+Mbps real life speeds. I used a few of the usual online speed tests, as well as streaming with Netflix. Over the three week testing period, there were zero drops, and not so much as a single buffering timeout on either band. True to form with all of the Linksys equipment I’ve reviewed, the higher-end gear is always rock solid for reliability and performance – and the 6300 fell right into that great category for me.

One con for me, and it was a big one, was the size of the 6300. It’s really long (nearly 3” in length) and is best suited for use on a laptop that is designated as a desktop replacement. You would need to be really careful picking up a laptop with the 6300 installed on either sides USB port (definitely use two hands for an even lift), as grabbing the laptop quickly from the side opposite the installed 6300 would easily have it making contact with the table surface. An aggressive grab could bend the USB connector, and bad luck could have you breaking the 6300 + the installed USB port. I tried installing it via the rear USB port on a Dell E6430s with a standard 6-cell battery, and the width of the 6300 put it too close to the battery to allow it to be inserted in the port. I tried it with a 3-cell battery (flush mount), and it installed just fine, however, I would not advise that installation port, as grabbing the laptop from the front, and tipping it back just a few degrees will guarantee contact between your table and the 6300. With a rear USB install it’s also “out of sight/out of mind”, and I think that would lead to a higher likelihood of grabbing the laptop quickly from a table, and potentially snapping the 6300 off at the USB port. Bottom line – the 6300 is for someone who either doesn’t move their laptop much, or is extremely mindful of their actions/surroundings. Adding a hinge for a more vertical install would definitely make it a better overall “any location” performer, in my opinion.

Overall, the WUSB6300 performs as advertised, and at a reasonable rate. The size issue is a negative for me, as I use my XT3 on the sofa, sitting next to my wife. Too easy to snap it off, so worth a one egg deduction for me.

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Zmodo Greet - Smart WiFi HD Video Doorbell
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

3 out of 5 eggs Doorbell placement is key 07/27/2016

This review is from: Zmodo Greet - Smart WiFi HD Video Doorbell

Pros: • Easy install for a normal setup (see notes)
• Easy connection setup to Wi-Fi
• Clean styling
• Minimalist packaging
• Good daylight video from camera

Cons: • Some lag from the time the doorbell rings to receiving the notification on the MeShare app
• Runs warm and causes a constant buzzing from the doorbell chime
• Low mounted doorbells aren’t a great candidate for this install
• Needs to be a mounting situation that keeps the bottom of the unit away from an edge surface (or you can’t use the screws to secure the main unit to the bracket
• Customer service was reasonably responsive, and helpful

Other Thoughts: Was pretty excited to give the Greet a try, as it has a lot of features that my wife could really appreciate. Mixed results overall. I could see right away that the install placement was going to be an issue because our doorbell is mounted low, and to the far right of our front door. This limits the camera to “seeing” just one side of the porch, and at best, you are looking at someone’s waist, and that’s only if they don’t just reach over to push the bell. Not the fault of the product, but I did walk up and down our street, and nearly every doorbell placement was comparable to ours. To install it in an alternate location takes away any ease of install, so not really an option. I removed our existing doorbell, and there were two wires coming out of a hole (home built in 2003), so any efforts to drill a new hole, run the wires higher, etc., would have been a challenge. This lead to install issue number two. We have a flange that runs along the bottom of the area the doorbell is mounted by. Without significant modification, the Greet ends up being mounted so close to that flange, that it is impossible to use the two bottom edge mounting screws. I just ended up wedging it on, and calling it good.

Connection to Wi-Fi wasn’t very easy using the instructions, but completely doable by just monkeying with the options, and knowing your SSID + password. Once connected, playing around with the MeShare app was pretty simple. Like some of the other reviewers, I would say the app is definitely setup to be used with a wide variety of devices, so was lacking in some of the polish you would see with a device specific app. Actual use wasn’t too bad, but there was definite lag on the notifier, usually over a minute. This was inconsistent, because when I uninstalled the Greet, I triggered the camera multiple times, and I was receiving notifications every 15-20 seconds.
I noticed on day two that there was a constant hum coming from our doorbell chime, and the Greet itself was really warm. I spoke to a friend at work, and he guessed it was receiving too much voltage. I went ahead and emailed Zmodo customer service, and received a reply within two days, with the replier saying that she would need to talk to one of their experts. It took a few days, but I received an email back suggesting the same voltage issue. I checked the information on our transformer, and it was within the 16v parameter, and the existing doorbell worked just fine before I installed the Greet. I’m not proficient enough with electricity to replace a transformer, run wires, etc., and I wasn’t about to do it for a device that I couldn’t even mount in a way that worked for our situation.

In the name of finishing the review, I went ahead and ran the Greet as is for three days. In that timeframe, I never ran into any disconnection issues that were impactful to me, nor did I have any issues with the camera recording street level movement, stuff like that.

I think that overall, the Greet just wasn’t for us. Install situation didn’t work (despite doorbell placement that was common to our neighborhood) and the lag on the notifications made it feel useless when we were home. Nice looking unit that setup easy (despite the instructions), and good customer service has me recommending the Greet for the discerning user. Think about how your doorbell is setup, have strong internet connection, and hope your actual doorbell wiring is a match. If you can check these marks off, the Greet might be a good fit for you. I did a little internet cruising, and it seems that comparable devices are in a similar price range, so it really comes down to doing your review homework.

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Eric R.'s Profile

Display Name: Eric R.

Date Joined: 05/25/05

Achievements:

  • neweggTop 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 80
  • Helpfulness: 51
  • First Review: 12/09/07
  • Last Review: 09/20/16
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