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TP-LINK TL-PA4010KIT High-speed AV500 Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit, up to 500Mbps
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5 out of 5 eggs Easily extend your network with TP-Link. 04/22/2016

This review is from: TP-LINK TL-PA4010KIT High-speed AV500 Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit, up to 500Mbps

Pros: The TL-PA4010KIT is truly a Nano setup. The kit consists of two small powerline adapters. They are plug and play. As soon as you plug them both in, they connect and establish a network. This takes less than a minute. You can increase security by using the pair button to establish a private group. Establishing the private group also took less than a minute.

I tested the powerline adapters using several locations around my house. I achieved my best speeds when the adapters were closer to each other. The farther away they were from each other, the slower the connection. The hardwire connection on this kit is 100Mbps. That limits the connection speed. I was able to achieve a 91 Mbps speed during testing. The best speed I could achieve with real world use was 81 Mbps. Those speeds are more than enough to stream an HD movie from the popular streaming services. I ran several online speeds tests. The test using my desktop connected to my router was the same speed as the test using a machine connected using the powerline adapters. My ISP connection is 35Mbps. The powerline adapter is faster than that.

You can connect a total of 16 of the TP-Link powerline adapters on the same network.

TP-Link offers a powerline utility to use with their adapters. The utility has a status tab that will show you the MAC address of an adapter, the network name, the password and the firmware version. The network tab shows you the connection speed and will allow you to change the device name and password. There is an advanced tab that has settings for Quality of Service(QOS) options. I did not notice a difference when I changed those settings. The last tab is the System tab. From here you can upgrade the firmware, reset the device or change the network name.

Cons: These adapters do not have a pass through for the ad plug so you will lose one plug in your wall socket. This kit is uses the AV500 standard. The 500 in the name comes from the theoretical speed of 500 Mbps when using the standard. TP-Link states this in the documentation. Just remember that no one gets those speeds in real life on any AV500 powerline adapters.

Other Thoughts: Powerline networking allows you to extend your network using the wiring in your house. There are several versions of powerline networking. Any powerline kit with an AV500 specification will operate between 70-90 Mbps. There are faster versions such as AV2 which can achieve speeds from 150 to 250 Mbps. There is a tradeoff. The AV2 kit will cost you more.
Powerline adapters fill a specific need. You cannot use them in an environment where you need high bandwidth. If you need to move large files around, like 40 GB Bluray files, it will take a while. For reference, a wired 1Gbps connection is 10 times as fast as the powerline connection speeds you will get with this powerline kit. For browsing the internet, checking email and streaming movies, this kit will get the job done.

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OCZ TRION 150 2.5
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5 out of 5 eggs Good performance from a budget SSD with a good warranty. 04/18/2016

This review is from: OCZ TRION 150 2.5" 480GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) TRN150-25SAT3-480G

Pros: This SSD delivered consistent performance. I put the drive in my machine and installed Win8.1. I configured the motherboard to use AHCI. The O/S installation was quick. There were no issues or problems. OCZ has a utility for their SSDs called SSD Guru. SSD Guru provides you with information about your SSD drive such as drive health and temperature. SSD Guru will also tell you if you are connected to a Sata 3, 6 GB/s port and if you have AHCI enabled to take advantage of all of its features. You can also use SSD Guru to update the firmware on your OCZ SSD.
The drive is fast for the price point. The Trion 150 is a good choice for replacing a mechanical hard drive or a smaller slower SSD.
The Trion SSD drive comes with a three year warranty. Most drives in this price range come with a three year warranty. OCZ has improved on the standard warranty with their OCZ ShieldPlus warranty program. If there is a problem with the drive. You give OCZ the serial number and they will ship a new drive and a return label for the old one. No one ever wants to think about using the warranty, but if you do need to, it should be quick and painless. This is a great feature offered by OCZ.

Cons: OCZ did not include a spacer bracket for mounting this 7mm drive in a laptop expecting a 9.5mm drive.
Drive imaging software is not included.

Other Thoughts: This is an entry level SSD. There are cheaper drives and there are faster drives. If you go with a cheaper drive, you will lose some performance. If you want a faster drive, you are going to pay more. The Trion 150 contains TLC NAND. This is a cheaper variety of NAND. All of the drives in this price point contain cheaper NAND. TLC is not as fast and does not last as long as the more expensive SLC NAND, but then again, an SLC SSD would cost three times what this drive costs. For average, everyday use listening to music, reading email and browsing the web, TLC NAND is fine. The difference in lifespan would only be noticed if you tried to use a TLC drive for recording video from security cameras or used it as swap space in a database server.

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TP-Link Archer T2UH AC600 High Gain Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter
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5 out of 5 eggs Another great product from TP-Link 04/17/2016

This review is from: TP-Link Archer T2UH AC600 High Gain Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter

Pros: The T2UH offers a wireless speed boost for your older laptop. The T2UH is an AC600, dual band, USB wireless network adapter. I was able to achieve more consistent speeds using the T2UH than I could with the built in wireless card in several different laptops. When sitting in the same room as the wireless router or access point, the T2UH and the built in cards connected at similar speeds and throughput. As I moved to other rooms farther away from the router, the T2UH saw less drop off in speed. The onboard cards on the laptops could not keep up and ended up connecting at lower speeds.
Setup and installation was easy. I downloaded the latest version of the drivers from the website. I ran the installer and plugged in the adapter. No issues. The majority of my testing was done on Windows 8.1 but there is a Linux driver on the TP-Link site and I was able to use the T2UH on Ubuntu without any issues.
For the testing, I connected to multiple access points and routers. I made sure to include a mix of Broadcom and Atheros chipsets. The different chipsets had no effect on connection speeds or throughput. I started off testing in the same room as the access point. I then moved to other rooms that would progressively place more walls between the T2UH and the access point.

Average speeds when using the T2UH in the same room as the access point
2.4Ghz 20 MHz wide channel connected at 72 Mbps actual transfer speed 50 Mbps
2.4Ghz 40 MHz wide channel connected at 150 Mbps actual transfer speed 80 MBps
5 Ghz 80 MHz wide channel connected at 433 actual transfer speed 180 Mbps
Wired connection connected at 1Gbps actual transfer speed 750 Mbps

T2UH vs onboard wireless card (avg. speed of multiple laptops)
Numbers are Mbps on a 5GHz connection
Same room T2UH 180 Onboard Card 180
One Room away T2UH 140 Onboard Card 123
Two Rooms away T2UH 68 Onboard Card 45
Three Rooms away T2UH 35 Onboard Card no signal

Sitting in the same room as the access point, I was able to stream two HD movies without any stuttering. I would get bursts of 210 Mbps when I added file copies to the mix. Overall the T2UH is a reliable adapter. For the price point, I have not seen a better option.

Cons: Having a USB device hanging out the side or back of the laptop makes it a little less convenient if you are sitting on the couch with the laptop on your lap. I would be concerned about damaging my USB port when I shifted in my seat. If I was going to be walking around a large convention hall or needed to be on my feet moving between rooms with the T2UH installed, I would think about using the adapter cable and attaching the T2UH to the lid of my laptop.

Other Thoughts: The T2UH is the size of a large USB flash drive. Add to that a 5.5 inch antenna and you get an idea of the size. The antenna is removable. A USB extension cord is included. When I was working on my laptop at a desk, I was able to place the T2UH on a shelf to increase the connection speeds. This wireless adapter is USB 2.0. Newer adapters will be USB 3.0 to take advantage of the faster transmission speeds.

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Mark T.'s Profile

Display Name: Mark T.

Date Joined: 08/23/04

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  • First Review: 06/11/12
  • Last Review: 04/22/16
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