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This review is from: TP-LINK TL-WPA4220 N300 AV500 Wi-Fi Powerline Add-On Extender
Pros: Able to change default username for Device (after searching for the opting in Security)
Included Cat6 cable is of sufficient length (>10cm)
Able to clone Wi-Fi configuration if router/modem supports WPS (I've never gotten WPS to ever work)
Dual RJ-45 ports (for wired networking)
Cons: Must use TP-Link software to set up (no '192.168.1.1' and configuring from there)
Must download setup software from website
Software is Windows only (No Windows, can't setup this device - unless you have WPS)
Must physically connect the included Cat6 cable to setup (without WPS)
Does not extend Wi-Fi range (15% signal while pointing tablet at it from ~2m away)
Can only determine device isn't connected when webpages/media stream times out
Powercycling this device or the router it's copying requires reconfiguring the device. Same with a cable modem
Other Thoughts: It took me two hours and having to edit my /Boot to get this set up with my Windows 8.1 install. Every option change required a reboot of the gorram thing, and I had to restart once because, somehow, I changed too many settings at one time without a reboot.
It took a few minutes to find where to change the default username for the device (it was somewhere in "Security"), but it was nice to do that - last two extenders didn't allow for it.
I cannot recommend this product for any practical use:
You MUST have Windows to set this up if WPS isn't an option/doesn't work (which costs at LEAST another hundred bucks)
You must use software rather than configure directly - that would be at least half of the purchasers of this product
So far, this device does not preform any of its intended functions - there WAS mention of using this as a 'base station' for other PowerLine devices. However, this SHOULD act as a range extender in some fashion without them.
It cannot restore a lost connection, even if it remembers all of the configuration data it needs to copy/repeat a network.
Pros: Fully Modular (Even CPU and 20+4)
4+4 CPU and 20+4 Mainboard start connected - can't accidentally separate
Test button for fan, to test PSU before installation
Includes both a link cable (which I haven't ever seen that connection before) and a miniUSB to 2.0 header cable
No sound from the unit - even at the heaviest load I could throw at it
LOTS of room for expansion, and there are PLENTY of SATA/Molex power connectors in-box
Cables are flat 'ribbon' type. They're MUCH easier to use, but are less flexible (but OHHH so much thinner)
Software allows you to see real-time performance data of the unit, and a trend of peak and lowest consumption
Cons: Efficiency <90% at loads less than 200w
Modular connectors sometimes difficult to secure to PSU
PCIe and CPU cables look similar on both ends - may complicate installation
Other Thoughts: First system tested:
Phenom II x4 955 @ 3.61GHz
8GB DDR3 1333
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 (PCIe 6pin x2, 80w)
Phenom II x4 955 @ 3.61GHz
8GB DDR3 1333
XFX Radeon R7 240 (no power pins)
This is an AMAZING PSU that, finally, some with MORE cables than you need! It fully modular so installation is easy, unobstructed, and allows you to either use your cable management system, or plan power connections to get the least airflow obstruction you can. I only had trouble getting the PCIe connection to stay in place during initial installation.
Fan: The fan has yet to come on for me during use. The unit creeped toward 40°c, but it wasn't high enough to trip the thermal limit for the fan.
Efficiency: this unit started at about 91%, but that was with a video card that took two power pins, and drew 80w from the thing. Unless I'm encoding video or crunching data (BIONIC or reviewing blockchains), it stays below 90%. Which is FINE for even a Platinum-rated unit. I average a 19% load, and that's at 88.5% efficient.
There's a tab for "System" that allows for the customization of your layout, but of course it only has Corsair cases (which I don't have - budget builder). It's straight forward and intuitive.
One setting I was confused about (and happy to find) was 'Multi-Rail Mode.' The product information says this only has a single, 12-volt rail. That can be BAD for people running a high-wattage CPU AND a high-end video card. This was enabled by default, and have yet to experience forced shutdowns (unlike a 'JermalFake' unit I tried for my first multi-core build). This unit will run a system with Fan Controller (three fans), 8pin CPU, two HDDs, DVD-RW, and a two-pin PCIe video card just fine. Just remember to turn up your fans when transcoding video or playing an intense game to dissipate heat.
This review is from: LINKSYS RE1000-NP Wireless-N Range Extender
Choice in power connections (direct prongs or a cable)
Almost no settings to get wrong
LED indicator is demure and simple (constant blinking = something's wrong)
Devices can't distinguish from standard AP/Router
Cons: Minimal documentation (even on included media)
Inability to select more than the Network to join
No access to device after successful configuration
Ethernet Port not needed (since device has a wireless setup port)
Not powered to 1,000mw (maximum for a commercial wireless device)
Other Thoughts: I had a VERY difficult time figuring out from the documentation as to HOW to set this up. I followed the included instructions three times and still couldn't figure out if I had set the device up correctly. I ended up using the Wireless interface, then plugging the gorram thing in a room with almost no signal.
The device DOES work, but not as well as you'd think. Being half a meter away from the unit, my tablet STILL showed only 4/5 bars on the signal indicator. One would think being THAT close would be as strong as you could get.
Since you won't be able to regain access to the device, the only way you can discover if it's working is to set it up, then take it to an area where you have weak Wi-Fi signal. If that improves (wait for ten seconds after the LED stops flashing to check), it's configured properly. Otherwise you'll need to reset the device and do it AGAIN. And no, it's all Trial & Error...
Also, only change out the power plate IF YOU NEED TO. It's fairly easy to pop them off, but if you're not VERY careful sliding it back in, you WILL damage/break the connection. Then you'll have no choice other than using the cable.
On the plus side, if you're worried about the possibility of someone discovering your network (to crack into it) via this device? It won't happen. As far as any client is concerned, it doesn't exist. There just may be a pause when traversing that boundary between the central AP and the Extender.
Minus 1 egg for POOR documentation
Minus 1 egg for no settings after or confirmation as to correct setup