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Linksys WRT1200AC Wireless AC1200 Dual-Band and Wi-Fi Wireless Router with Gigabit and USB 3.0 Ports and eSATA, Works with Linksys WRT1900AC Wi-Fi Router
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The Linksys WRT 1200AC has all the features of the high end routers, sacrificing some maximum bandwidth and range to deliver it at a reduced cost. For the average user, who wants the most responsive and reliable router on the market today but doesn't require a high maximum bandwidth, this router is a great choice.
Setting up this router was a simple process. The pamphlet containing the setup disc had all your login information on it, eliminating the need to get up and walk over to your router. After initial login, the first time you open your browser it automatically starts the setup process. You can also use the disc, but it's really not necessary if you have an internet connection. During setup the router automatically updated its firmware and has automatic installation for future firmware updates.
Advanced setup with this router has been made much easier to understand and access from previous generations. It kind of reminds me of UEFI BIOS compared to Legacy BIOS. To access it you navigate to linksyssmartwifi.com in your browser. During initial setup, it gives you the option to create a Smart Wi-Fi account , which I definitely recommend. Even for users who aren't familiar with advanced router settings. The way this is configured, it's been made easy enough to understand and navigate even for people not skilled in networking. It has a very stylish interface, that appears to be configured for touch screen control. There is also an app for both Android and iOS. You can view your network status and make changes using the app. I really like this app. I've had the opportunity to use the apps for a couple other brands routers and this one blows them away.
The advanced setup has a lot of really outstanding features, a number of which I've never seen before included in a routers setup page. Using the advanced setup, you can setup access to your guest network and your primary wireless bands. One of the things that really stood out about this router is it's incredible connection capacity. The guest network supports up to 50 connections and the primary up to 150. I contacted Linksys and they said that you can connect up to 50 connections simultaneously without sacrificing performance, but any more than that will be a strain on the router to keep up with all of them at once. That is extremely impressive. Although, if you actually need a router that supports 50 connections simultaneously, then you should probably get the next one up in this series, the 1900AC version of this router.
This is a pretty awesome router for just about anybody. I think that this would be an excellent router for a small business that wants to offer free wi-fi or just needs a router than can handle a lot of connections simultaneously. Although, with the limited range and bandwidth, medium to larger size businesses should probably get the 1900AC version of this router. For the price, the average person would probably steer clear of this router.

Cons: The range is good on this router, not great. It may be because I have aluminum siding, which does affect wireless signals with a lot of routers. But I have had one that blasted straight through it with no trouble at all, which was also a Linksys. So compared to that one, which was about $80 more than this one, the range is decent. On the side of my house where there's a large window, the range was pretty impressive. But on the other side of the house, the range was somewhat limited.
This router has a pretty limited maximum bandwidth for what it costs. For me, that's not an issue. But for the target consumer, it could be an issue. But really only if you have a lot of users all connected simultaneously. However, if you want the latest features and high performance at the cost of bandwidth most people won't use anyway and a bit of range to save a few bucks from the other high end routers, then this router is the way to go.
This router only has a 1 year warranty, which is pretty brief for such a new product.
I gave this router 4 Eggs. It is an Eggcellent router, but there are a couple things I don't like about it so I deducted one Egg.

Other Thoughts: On the Smart Wi-Fi page there is a feature I really like, Linksys has an integrated version of speedtest.net in the setup that allows you to test your current internet bandwidth only much faster and without all the adds. You have the ability to see exactly what is connected to your network and how much bandwidth they're using. There is a media prioritization feature where you can choose which devices have priority on your network. Very useful for people with a lot of connections on their network. You can enable or disable the lights on the routers front display, an option I appreciate since I sometimes sleep in the room where my router is. This router has the ability to create an Ethernet based virtual LAN.
The advanced setup has some useful integrated diagnostic software. You can view and ping any IP on your network to test the connection and you can also initiate an IP trace route for your connection. There is also a wireless scheduler. A feature that would be great for business, going on vacation or keeping people off your network in general. It utilizes a simple method for telling the router when to disable the wireless network via a grid with time on top and the days on the side. You just black out the hours when you want your wireless network disabled.
The Linksys WRT 1200AC has some pretty impressive hardware. It has a 1.3 GHz dual core ARM and 512 MB of RAM. It features 2 high performance external antennas. Ordinarily, a router would have internal antennas as well, but according to the support staff I contacted at Linksys this router doesn't have any internal antennas. This router has one USB 3.0 port which performs extremely well. It has comparable performance to the USB 3.0 ports on my Z97 motherboard. There is also an USB 2.0 port that doubles as an E-SATA port. If the performance of the E-SATA is on par with USB 2.0 then the bandwidth will be pretty limited for most E-SATA devices. I don't have the ability to test that at the moment. There are 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports as well.
The max bandwidth on the 5 GHz band is 867 Mb/sec and 400 Mb/sec on the 2.4 GHz. To maximize the response time and speed of your connection an AC rated adapter is recommended. I have an AC adapter and it does seem to respond more quickly than my older N adapters.
The beam forming technology allows the router to establish a stronger and more direct link with your wireless devices. This feature allows for impressive range and higher bandwidth further away from your router than traditional wi-fi. It works very well for stationary devices, but for moving mobile devices, such as tablets, it can cause difficulty in maintaining the beam forming connection. For example, while walking through my yard, streaming an HD video, I was able to maintain excellent quality, even at a distance. But while I was moving, the quality of the connection suffered a bit. It's not an issue when you're close to the router, only for when you're at a distance.

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TP-LINK TL-WDR4300 Dual Band Wireless N750 Router, Gigabit, 2.4GHz 300Mbps+5GHz 450Mbps, 2 USB port, IP QoS, Wireless On/Off Switch
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The best thing about this line of TP Link routers is the range. This model features dual band wi-fi and four gigabit Ethernet ports. These routers have excellent range for what they cost. I've had the opportunity to test at least a dozen routers in the past couple years and these TP Link routers have the best value in regards to their maximum range. Both their 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz band have impressive range. Which is a necessity for me as I have aluminum siding, which tends to inhibit wireless signals. The signal from this router cuts right through it, better than most, and extends to edge of my property. Which is about another 50 yards on either side of the house. There are no other wi-fi signals where I live, out in the woods, so maybe that helps.
This router comes equipped with 2 USB 2.0 ports, which support file transfers, media server and printer server functions. I discuss their performance in regards to file transfers and media server in the cons. But in regards to acting as a printer server they function well. A load of bandwidth isn't required to feed a printer.
Setup with this router is simple and straight forward. You can use the setup disc that comes with it, or you can use the web based setup. For first time wireless access you'll need the Pin on the bottom of the router, that's your password. To access the web based setup you can just type tplinklogin.net in the address bar of your web browser or you can use the routers IP which is 192.168.0.1
It's not a bad idea to access the web based setup even if you're not an advanced user. All the various functions and settings are there for you to explore. If you have a need for guest network, you can enable it there. There are settings for parental control, not too advanced, but you can block user specified websites. You can configure your printer or media server settings from there as well.
There is also an app you can get, TP Link Tether, for either Apple or Android. It gives you access to some of the routers basic functions. You can see what devices are connected to your network and block any unwanted access, manage your parental control and manage your primary and guest networks. It definitely has the potential to be useful.
For anyone who wants to map a network drive, it's pretty easy once you figure it out. Connect your USB drive then enable the Media Server and or FTP protocol in your routers web based setup page. Determine which folder you want to share, or you can share the entire partition. Then open the Start Menu, right click on My Computer and select Map Network Drive. In the folder text box enter: \\192.168.0.1\
Those slashes are important, you can't get it done without em'. Then you can map your connected drive. Which you can access from the My Computer area, just like any other connected drive.

Cons: At this point, I'd usually be extolling the virtues of all TP Link devices and their value. I usually have a hard time finding flaws in their devices, especially for what they cost. However, this device is a little high on the price scale. As a router alone, it's a great value and it has great performance. But as a media server, it leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, I'd say it's pretty much useless as a media server. I wasn't able to watch an HD movie without stuttering at first and it eventually just stalled out. File Transfers do work via USB, but the transfer speeds are just sad. The max read speed was 8 MB/sec and the max write speed was 4.5 MB/sec. So about 25% of the speed I'd expect to see from that particular drive on a USB 2.0 port. It's not unusual to have a major drop in bandwidth using a USB 3.0 drive on a USB 2.0 port, but the average should be around 30 MB/sec reads on 2.0 and around 100 MB/sec on USB 3.0.
There are a couple of newer firmware versions than the one that I got. Apparently the one I got has been lying around for at least 18 months, either that or they're not installing the latest firmware on theses routers from the factory. There's also a V2 of this router, which the firmware for both is in the same place. So be careful not to update to the wrong version. However, updating the firmware really didn't improve anything that was obvious. I was hoping it would improve bandwidth on the USB ports, but it didn't.

Other Thoughts: I can still recommend all TP Link devices, including this one. I just recommend you use your network to stream media and transfer files and not the USB ports on the router. This is a great mid range router with a lot of options. Although, I personally recommend the TP Link AC1750 which is like $20-$30 more than this one. For the average user, this one will be fine. But for the advanced user, the AC1750 is the superior router both in terms of performance and value.

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TP-LINK RE200 AC750 Universal Wireless Dual Band Range Extender (Wall Plug)
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The range and performance of this range extender is pretty Impressive. Especially in comparison to other range extenders in its price range. You'd be lucky to get a 300 Mb dual band extender for the same price, but with this one you get dual band at AC750 speed and it has an Ethernet out which I find very appealing and useful. I've been experimenting with power line networking lately. I've become somewhat irritated at the unreliability of one of my wireless adapters. But I've found it difficult to find outlets I'm not using in range of my hardware, as sharing an outlet can interfere with the power line signals integrity. However, this device bypasses that little problem and In the process extends my wireless range on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. I've actually been thinking about buying several of these, so I can improve my range even further while supplying the reliability and speed of Ethernet to devices that require it. Mainly for my gaming consoles and PCs.
At first glance this device is pretty sharp. It's a very visually appealing design. It has status lights to indicate all the various functions, they're not too bright, but bright enough to indicate its status at a glance. There's also a WPS button. Something that I've found is becoming necessary for any kind of high end networking device.
Setup of this range extender couldn't be easier. Just plug it in somewhere near your wireless router, connect to it with your computer or wireless device. Open up your web browser and it will automatically begin the setup process. Which was easy and straight forward. The only info I required was my routers passwords for both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. The entire process took less than 60 seconds and it was fully configured and ready to be placed wherever I needed it. There's also a setup process which uses the WPS button, but I always prefer to configure settings manually. Which wasn't really required here. There aren't any special settings or configurations for this range extender. It's just a set it and forget type of situation.
I was surprised at the overall range of this range extender. I've used several different range extenders, but this is the first one I've been able to get a signal all the way to the bottom of my driveway with. Which is why I wanted one to begin with. I live in a building with aluminum siding, so it blocks wi-fi signals pretty well. Getting a strong signal more than about 15 feet outside of my house presents a bit of a challenge. But with this extender plugged in on the far side of my house I was able to extend my wireless network another 100 feet. With the 750 Mb bandwidth, this extender provides enough speed for any device I might use within it's range. I haven't had any trouble with bandwidth, connectivity or range with this extender on the wireless or Ethernet connections. It's a definitely a quality product.

Cons: Surprisingly, I don't have anything bad to say about this range extender. I usually scrutinize my review items pretty thoroughly, but I can't find any problems with this range extender.

Other Thoughts: This range extender provides excellent performance for what it costs. In fact, TP Link products all seem to be very reasonably priced for the level of performance you receive. I've seen many of the brands considered to be high end products for networking cost double what TP Link products cost with no more bang for your buck. I've actually come to prefer TP Link gear over that of any other brand mainly for that reason. I own several TP Link products, they are all of the highest quality.
The TP Link AC750 range extender comes particularly well packaged. The design of the packaging is clearly designed with security and ease of access in mind. There's nothing I hate more than those pressed plastic containers you have to cut in half just to open them. Half the time you risk damage to your device while attempting to open it. Fortunately, TP Link didn't use one of those here. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. It also came with a disk, which I didn't even bother to look at.
With this extender you also get a nice two year warranty and 24 hour tech support.
I'm using this extender combined with a TP Link AC1750 router. They are a very effective combination. I have superb speed, reliability and range with these two devices networked together. I'm planning to use my other TP Link extender I replaced with this one for the other side of my house, so I can get a stronger signal for when I mow the grass. The great thing about these range extenders is, I can plug them in wherever I want and whenever I want. For example, I plan to use my other extender in my shed. Where I wouldn't leave it on a permanent basis as I have no need for it out there except on occasion.
I mainly needed a range extender so I could get a strong enough signal to stream Netflix and other streaming services while in my driveway. I spend a lot of time working on and cleaning my car out there and I enjoy streaming videos while I work to keep my entertained. This extender fulfills that role efficiently.
I gave the TP Link RE200 AC750 five Eggs. I would have given it a lower score if anything had come up at all, but nothing did. So I can't justify giving it a less than perfect score.

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David K.'s Profile

Display Name: David K.

Date Joined: 12/02/07

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