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TP-LINK HS100  Smart Plug, Wi-Fi Enabled, Control Your Electronics from Anywhere, Energy Saving
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: Easy set up, full featured phone/tablet app, clean industrial design, flexible configuration

Cons: somewhat expensive to install throughout the house

Other Thoughts: TP-Link products have always provided great value and they just keep getting better. This is the most affordable "smart plug" you can buy that is controllable by an app on your phone or tablet. It practically configures itself and once you have an account on TP-Link's cloud you can control the device from wherever you have an internet connection. Other special features include turning lights on and off at random times to simulate activity in the home and a handy countdown timer to prevent your forgetting to turn off an appliance. Very useful, attractively designed and well made. Recommended.

Linksys WRT1900ACS Wireless AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Router, Open Source ready, eSATA / USB 3.0 Ports
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

3 out of 5 eggs Full featured but performance is unexceptional 10/31/2015

This review is from: Linksys WRT1900ACS Wireless AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Router, Open Source ready, eSATA / USB 3.0 Ports

Pros: One of the fastest dual band AC routers by specs, USB 3.0 and eSATA ports, printer server capable

Cons: Performance doesn't exceed that of router half its price

Other Thoughts: This is Linksys' current flagship router and since it is "open source ready" it's possible that a third party firmware such as DD-WRT might improve the mediocre performance I experienced testing the unit with the latest stock firmware (I did not test it with any 3rd party firmware). As it is, this is another disappointing product from Linksys, particularly given the manufacturer's hype and the high price.

I compared the 1900 which retails for $229 with the TP-Link Archer C7, retailing at $99. While the C7 is widely considered to be one of the best values available, the 1900 on paper exceeds it in almost every specification. Unfortunately when compared head to head in my environment the 1900 performed either the same or slightly worse than the much less expensive router.

I used an LG G3 android smartphone to compare signal strength and internet download throughput in every room of my smallish New York City apartment. The G3 includes 5GHz wifi ac and supports all of the same bands as the 1900. Testing software was Wifi Analyzer, which measures signal strength, and Ookla's Speedtest app, which replicates on a phone their gold standard browser-based site.

Although my space is small, because of the layout and because the walls are old and thick, I get very poor performance in two rooms, even though they are only about 20 feet from the router. Given that 5GHz signals are notoriously weak, the C7 is only usable on the wireless N band in those rooms. Unfortunately the 1900 was no better. Download throughput for both channels was about the same as the C7, although oddly signal strength measured a little bit better. The wired connection to my desktop reached the 350mbps maximum from my Time Warner Cable connection, as did the C7.

Is the 1900 a bad router? To the extent that I am reasonably happy with the C7 given the problems with my space, and given that the 1900 performed about the same, its performance is certainly adequate. But given its top position in the Linksys line-up and the expectations the company raises in its promotional literature, I would expect more for the price. Of course, given the vagaries of any wifi environment, your mileage may vary and the 1900 might turn out to be the best router for your purposes ever.

Linksys RE6700 AC1200 AMPLIFY Dual-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

1 out of 5 eggs Not worth the effort it took to set it up 09/29/2015

This review is from: Linksys RE6700 AC1200 AMPLIFY Dual-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender

Pros: Integrated power outlet might prove useful for some

Cons: Poor hardware and software design, unnecessarily complex setup, throughput with device connected is the same or worse than without

Other Thoughts: This Linksys range extender has a number of design, configuration and performance deficiencies that made it unusable in my location.

Instead of using Wifi Protected Setup, a method that only requires one to push two buttons, the default setup option for the RE6700 requires several more potentially confusing steps to get the extender and the router connected to each other. While other extenders use led lights to indicate status and signal strength the one light on the RE6700 only serves to show you the device is "ready." Instead you are supposed to log into a setup page via a browser but I could not get to it consistently leaving me in the dark about the device's connected status.

Once the extender was apparently connected to the router, what improvements did I see? Throughput with the extender engaged was actually worse than without it although per Wifi Analyzer signal strength was stronger. I used the Ookla Android app Speedtest to compare performance on the two bands, with the RE6700 connected and without it.

I live in a small one bedroom apartment. Although the distances between the router and my devices are not long and everything is on the same floor, the walls between them are very thick. Without a range extender wifi is barely sufficient for music streaming in my kitchen.

My router is the highly rated TP-Link Archer C7 v.2 which employs wifi ac. For the purposes of these tests I used a Samsung Android tablet, the 8.4 Pro which also includes wifi ac.

Here are the baseline numbers without any range extender. The router is located in my living room. Total area space is only about ~600 square feet. In the same room as the router, signal strength for the 2.5GHz band is a strong 100% according to the Internet Speed app or -50, per Wifi Analyzer. Signal strength for 5GHz is also 100% with an almost perfect -44. Speedtest for the 2.5GHz connection is 42 mbps down and 18 mbps up. Speedtest for the 5GHz connection is 164 mbps down and 22 mbps up.

In the kitchen (no RE) signal strength for the 2.5GHz band is 44% and -80, 2.8 mbps down and .97 mbps up. 5GHz: 46%, -96 (out of a low of -100), 1.7 mbps down, 2.0 up. This is just barely usable.

In the bedroom (no RE): 2.5GHz: 100%, -56, 38.6 down, 18.2 up. 5GHz, 100%, -60, 149.6 down, 18.5 up

Now for the measurements with the RE6700 connected. Unfortunately they were worse in every room than the measurements without a range extender. Bedroom: 2.5GHz, 100%, -40, 6.4 down, .64 up (worse in every way). 5GHz, 100%, 4.0 down, 5.0 up. I cannot explain how with strengths measured at 100%, throughput is dramatically worse. And this was with the extender and the tablet in the same room with no wall between them.

The kitchen results were even worse, understandably since there was now a wall between the extender and the tablet. For the 2.5GHz band: 1.40 down and 1.14 up. For the 5.0GHz band: 1.63 up, the connection failed when running the upload test.

You can draw your own conclusio


Anonymous's Profile

Display Name: Anonymous

Date Joined: 01/10/02

  • Reviews: 55
  • Helpfulness: 23
  • First Review: 12/06/04
  • Last Review: 02/17/16
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