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TP-LINK RE355 AC1200 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender
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4 out of 5 eggs One of the best extenders I've tested! 08/28/2016

This review is from: TP-LINK RE355 AC1200 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender

Pros: First thing I have to say is that set-up is ridiculously easy, especially if your router supports WPS (almost ALL new wireless routers do). In this case, you just plug in the extender (in any outlet close by) and wait for the power light to turn blue, then press the WPS button on your router and immediately press the WPS button on the extender. Once the LED ring changes from a blinking blue to a solid blue, you're done! Seriously, it doesn't get any easier than that for the people that just want things to work... BTW, if the ring turns red,,that means you need to plug it in an outlet closer to your router. After setting it up, you will want to move it to an outlet that optimally extends your network, which can take a bit of trial and error but isn't difficult. Just make sure the ring LED remains blue on the repeater.

Power users can of course configure the extender manually and the RE355 offers plenty of configuration settings to play around with. Just plug it in, wait for the LED to turn blue then open a browser and connect to the address shown in the manual (it's very easy to remember). From there, you'll have complete control over everything. I myself like to set both SSID's to different names compared to the SSID's on my router, just so it's easy to tell when I'm connected to the extender versus the router. It's also easy to upgrade the Firmware from here as well, which you can download directly from TP-Link's website.

The RE355 features one Gigabit Ethernet port at the bottom of the unit. This will allow you to take ANY device that doesn't have a Wi-Fi built in and connect it to your network via Wi-Fi by using an Ethernet cable and a close electrical outlet. You just need to set the extender to bridge mode for this to work. This is extremely handy for a desktop PC with no Wi-Fi that you want to connect to your network (and the internet for that matter), but you don't have a long enough cable or there are no Ethernet ports left on your router's switch.

I have to talk about performance now... I was amazed by the performance I achieved with this extender. Even at 75 feet I was pulling in over 100 MB/s on the 5Ghz band. Without the extender, I barely even got a signal from my router on the 5Ghz band at this range. In my opinion, these extenders are most useful for the 5Ghz band because its range is so limited to begin with compared to the slower 2.4Ghz band. I'm also happy to report that I achieved similarly impressive results with the 2.4Ghz band, as I experienced much higher speeds than I normally would have at great distances (tested from outside my house since my house isn't very large). I have tested MANY extenders and this one by FAR outperformed them all. Makes me wonder how much better the RE450 could be, as it's the next model up from this one.

The TP-Link Tether mobile app is actually a nice way to use your mobile device to manage your extender, along with your router if you happen to own a TP-Link router. In my case, I actually own a TP-Link Archer C8 router. Therefore, using this app I was able to configure everything from my Android smartphone very easily. It's not something I absolutely NEED considering I'm more of a power user, but for other folks that just want easy access to their network via the mobile device, it works great.

Cons: It's large and bulky. I would have liked to have seen a design that's a little more streamlined, even if it is aesthetically pleasing overall.

Doesn't have a pass-through outlet. There are some wireless extenders from other manufacturers that rival this product in every aspect, yet include a pass-through outlet as well. To me, not having one is a big deal and it's one of the main reasons I took off a star, along with the bulky design of course.

Other Thoughts: Okay, so in the end I have to fully recommend this extender. It's a snap to set-up, performs excellently at all ranges on both bands, and is priced reasonably. If you can look past the fact that it doesn't offer a pass-through outlet, you are going to get one of the best extenders currently on the market at this price range. TP-Link has been doing better and better with all their networking gear. I've tested many of their products over the last year and the quality level just keeps getting better, both in terms of hardware and software.

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Seagate 1TB Backup Plus Ultra Slim Portable External Hard Drive with 200GB of Cloud Storage & Mobile Device Backup USB 3.0 Model STEH1000101 Gold
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Pros: First off this is one great looking drive. It's very slim and eye-catching. Seagate's Slim Portable drives have always had a nice design, but they have improved that with this newest line of products, including the 1TB model I'm reviewing now. The Gold dimpled design catches the light and just looks great.

While the slim, eye-catching design is nice, it's the performance most of us care about. The STEH1000101 doesn't let down in that area either. I was easily hitting 150 MB/s speeds on via USB 3.0 on sequential reads AND writes. This is one of the first external drives that I've noticed performs just as well on sequential writes as it does on reads. That is impressive!

Has a special "Paragon Driver" that you can use to set up the drive to work on both Windows and Mac OS without reformatting. This will no doubt be useful for people that have both PC's and Mac's on hand.

There are mobile apps available for Android and iOS to make transferring files to and from the external drive or the cloud very easy and strait-forward. The apps simplify the process, even for all the non-tech savvy folks. I tested the Android app personally and it worked great. No complaints there.

The drive includes a free two year subscription for 200GB of cloud storage through OneDrive. 200GB is enough to backup most of your pics and even a good bit of your videos as well, so that's a great bonus freebie. Additional cloud connectivity is available for Google Drive and Dropbox, as well as social media backup for your Facebook and Flickr accounts.

Cons: The random read and write performance could be better. But that's not a deal-breaker and is to be expected from a drive of this type.

Other Thoughts: I don't have much of anything negative to say about this drive. It's a complete win, especially for the current price. I highly recommend it and would suggest even having a couple on hand for backups and transferring data to and from other devices. Seagate has done a great job with their current Ultra Slim series.

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Corsair Gaming VOID Surround Hybrid Stereo Gaming Headset with Dolby 7.1 USB Adapter - Red
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Pros: First of all, the two 50mm neodymium drivers deliver some nice, crisp sound. The bass is good and the highs are excellent. These are probably the best all around headphones (in regards to how they sound with all types of media) that I've tested in this price range. Considering how many headsets I've tested at this cost, that's really saying something.

Comfort is absolutely phenomenal with this headset. I would go as far to say it's the most comfortable headset I've worn yet. The thick headband and lightweight design seems to be the key factors here. I also love how there are graduation marks on the headband, which lets you ensure each side is adjusted the same. This keeps the headband perfectly level on your head and I believe that helps with the comfort level.

Obviously the flexibility of using either the USB adapter or the standard 3.5mm jack is pure genius. You can use the 3.5mm jack if you want to get the sound strait from your sound card, or if you wanna use the headphones with other common devices like your smartphone or tablet. The USB adapter is required for the virtual 7.1 surround sound though.

As always the product came packaged flawlessly. This is something Corsair is known far and wide for.

Build quality is superb. The aesthetics are amazing, but this is no surprise from Corsair here. I LOVE how the ear cups fold in for easier storage. I actually hang them on my wall this way and that allows for easy access without them sticking out to be knocked down.

Cons: Corsair's CUE software... See, in my opinion Corsair has some of the best hardware in the business. However, their software always leaves something to be desired. The CUE software is REQUIRED to use the USB adapter (it's basically a small sound card), which in turn is required to use the 7.1 surround sound setting. Note also that the USB adapter is the ONLY way to use the mic, as there is no 3.5mm mic connector. The software is obviously made for ALL Corsair's VOID series models because there are settings available for lighting, which is useless as there are NO LED'S in this headset. That can be VERY confusing to some people, as they may think the LED'S are defective, when in reality they aren't even there. This setting should at least be greyed out to prevent this sort of thing. Perhaps future updates will do this.

Speaking of the 7.1 surround sound setting... It leaves a lot to be desired. In reality, there are only two speakers here, so the 7.1 sound is just virtualized (and not very well either). You CAN get some decent sound with the USB adapter, but I recommend disabling the 7.1 setting and tweaking the EQ. The default settings are way too bland.

No LED's??? Why? I wish they would have at least put in some white LED's, but RGB LED's would be really nice. Corsair just didn't spring for the LED's at all in this model and that's disappointing.

Other Thoughts: The clunky CUE software is the main complaint I have with these otherwise great headphones. Well, that and the questionable 7.1 setting. But the software is usable (and could be updated in the future) and you can just disable the 7.1 setting to get some great sound. So considering that, plus the fact that these sound great when configured right and are comfortable as can be, I HIGHLY recommend them. Corsair really knows how to make hardware and they demonstrate that here flawlessly.

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Matthew M.'s Profile

Display Name: Matthew M.

Date Joined: 06/08/06

  • Reviews: 49
  • Helpfulness: 38
  • First Review: 09/19/06
  • Last Review: 08/28/16
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