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TP-LINK TL-WA854RE 300Mbps Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender, Repeater, Wall Plug design, One-button Setup, Smart Signal Indicator
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The TP-Link TL-WA854RE WiFi range extender could possibly the simplest, quickest, and most convenient WiFi range extender I've come across. I had the TL-WA854RE unboxed, plugged in, connected to my home network, and extending my 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless signal within 7-10 minutes. Upon removing the TL-WA854RE from the small well-packaged box and plugging it into a wall outlet located near my wireless router, I pressed the WPS button on the TL-WA854RE and my router and the TL-WA854RE was connected and working within a minute or two. From there I moved the TL-WA854RE to another location in my roughly 3400 sq. ft. home in order to extend my WiFi coverage. I ended up finalizing the location of the TL-WA854RE in a wall outlet to provide coverage to a corner of my home furthest from the wireless router and to extend greater coverage to the basement. I followed the recommended option in the provided documentation of having the TL-WA854RE with 3 to 5 illuminated LEDs in order to maintain solid connectivity. There are 5 LEDs that roughly estimate signal strength on the front of the unit with 1 being the weakest and 5 the strongest.

Cosmetically, the TL-WA854RE is slightly larger than a typical nightlight and is attractive in design. The WPS push button on the front is surrounded by a series of LEDs in a circular fashion that indicate signal strength, power, and wireless radio state. The LEDs are not overly bright or obtrusive. On the bottom of the unit is small rest button that will reset all settings back to a factory state.

The TL-WA854RE operates in the 2.4GHz band and works with 802.11b/g/n networks. The advertised speed on an 802.11n network is 300 megabits per second (mbps). Real-world speeds will be a bit lower due to the numerous factors contributing to unit SNR, link margin, building construction, and even weather and humidity. Additionally, due to this being a WiFi range extender the overall bandwidth in one direction is halved (half dedicated to the uplink radio and the other half to the downlink radio).

The TL-WA854RE also extends the standardized wireless security protocols in use today - 64/128/152-bit WEP, WPA-PSK, and WPA2-PSK. Setup via the WPS button really simplifies the setup, but one can connect directly to the unit wirelessly and setup/manage the device via a clean and easy to use web interface.

Cons: No ability to turn off the WPS functionality within the web interface. This is not enough to warrant the loss of an egg in my opinion. All wireless range extenders lose some of their bandwidth being that the entire bandwidth amount is split among two separate channels (one for sending and one for receiving). Don’t expect to move tons of data across the unit as quickly as a node directly connected to your main router and/or a wired Ethernet connection.

Other Thoughts: Even when the TL-WA854RE is not on sale the low price point and simple setup makes this unit a very attractive option if you're in the market to add a range extender to your network. Inside the box you will find the TL-WA854RE unit, a quick install guide, and a resource mini-CD with related documentation.

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SAMSUNG 500GB USB 3.0 Portable SSD T1
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Blazing fast - repeat BLAZING FAST - portable storage! 03/18/2015

This review is from: SAMSUNG 500GB USB 3.0 Portable SSD T1

Pros: Based on Samsung’s proprietary 3D Vertical NAND (V-NAND) - the same NAND memory currently used in internal Samsung 850 EVO SSDs - the Samsung T1 500GB Portable SSD (model #: MU-PS500B/AM, and hereafter referred to as the “T1” in this review) is an incredibly fast mass storage device that can easily be filled with a ton of data and transported quite easily.

Initial setup is simple. Plug the Tl into a USB 3.0 port on your Windows or Mac and either run the .exe or the .dmg (respectively) to start the T1 setup process. The setup will ask you to name the device if you like and setup a password to encrypt the contents via AES 256-bit encryption. After that the setup utility will format the T1 to either a NTFS (Windows) or HFS+ (Mac) file system with full capacity of the device. The setup utility will also drop the Samsung Portable SSD Application icon on your desktop to allow you to change the T1’s password later in the future if you like. You can also opt to format the entire capacity of the T1 to whatever file system you like and use it, sans the included encryption, like any other mass USB storage device.

Cosmetically, the T1 is tiny! It is roughly the size of a credit card and weighs only 1 ounce. The included USB 3.0 cable weighs the same as the device itself. It's so light that when you first pick it up one would think that it is a hollow empty shell. But alas, inside you will find the 500GB of SSD glory in a mSATA form factor that is attached to a small mSATA to USB 3.0 PCB. That's it, just two internal PCB components. This SSD goodness is wrapped up in a black carbon fiber-looking housing with a shiny black plastic end. Festooned on the top is a shiny metallic-looking Samsung logo. On the side/top of the T1 is the micro USB 3.0 connection and a small blue LED that indicate power and/or activity. The T1 is an attractive device that looks good on a desk or on the go. Its small size allows it to easily fit into a shirt pocket or purse/bag, etc.

Speeds are insanely fast! Think typical internal SSD performance. In my testing I got read speeds around 345Mb/s and write speeds around 180Mb/s. Larger files will get higher write speeds as compared to smaller files. It took 10 seconds to transfer a 4GB movie and about 30 seconds to transfer a 10GB file from my internal SSD in my desktop. If you have a UASP compatible motherboard or USB 3.0 controller card you will get speeds around the advertised 450Mb/s. The T1 is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0, though you will see typical slow USB 2.0 speeds and is really an injustice to this device.

Cons: The included micro USB 3.0 cable is short - roughly 6 inches total; though one could easily find longer micro USB 3.0 cables very affordably online if desired. This does not warrant the loss of any eggs in my reviewing opinion.

Other Thoughts: Yes, this thing is costly but look at what you get - the spacious storage of a mechanical hard drive, the blazing fast speed of a SSD, with the portability of a thumb drive. The T1 is essentially a large thumb drive with transfer speeds that are unmatched in the personal portable storage market. The ability to securely encrypt and protect the data at rest on the T1 is also a great selling point and negates the need to securely store data with a third party application that is usually the case with a normal thumb drive and/or external hard drive. You could even crack open the case and harvest the mSATA SSD if you desired to move it into a normal internal SSD role - in a laptop for example (though I'm suspecting it would void the factory warranty).

It's important to note that if you choose to encrypt the T1 with the included AES 256-bit encryption and you forget the password you will be unable to access and recover whatever data is on the device. You would have to format the drive and start with an empty device. There is no technology that can successfully decrypt the strong AES 256-bit encryption key in remotely any reasonable amount of time through brute force means (this is the case with anything using this level of encryption and not unique solely to the T1).

Bottom line: If you need a compact storage solution that can move large amounts of data very quickly, the Samsung 500GB T1 portable SSD is a great option.

READ FULL REVIEW
TP-LINK TL-WA854RE 300Mbps Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender, Repeater, Wall Plug design, One-button Setup, Smart Signal Indicator
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Easiest and quickest setup for a WiFi range extender that works great 02/18/2015

This review is from: TP-LINK TL-WA854RE 300Mbps Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender, Repeater, Wall Plug design, One-button Setup, Smart Signal Indicator

Pros: The TP-Link TL-WA854RE WiFi range extender could possibly the simplest, quickest, and most convenient WiFi range extender I've come across. I had the TL-WA854RE unboxed, plugged in, connected to my home network, and extending my 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless signal within 7-10 minutes. The most difficult part of the overall install was ascending and descending the 2 flights of stairs in my home between the 2nd level and the basement. Upon removing the TL-WA854RE from the small well-packaged box and plugging it into a wall outlet located near my wireless router, I pressed the WPS button on the TL-WA854RE and my router and the TL-WA854RE was connected and working within a minute or two. From there I moved the TL-WA854RE to another location in my roughly 3400 sq. ft. home in order to extend my WiFi coverage. I ended up finalizing the location of the TL-WA854RE in a wall outlet to provide coverage to a corner of my home furthest from the wireless router and to extend greater coverage to the basement. I followed the recommended option in the provided documentation of having the TL-WA854RE with 3 to 5 illuminated LEDs in order to maintain solid connectivity. There are 5 LEDs that roughly estimate signal strength on the front of the unit with 1 being the weakest and 5 the strongest.

Cosmetically, the TL-WA854RE is slightly larger than a typical nightlight and is attractive in design. The WPS push button on the front is surrounded by a series of LEDs in a circular fashion that indicate signal strength, power, and wireless radio state. The LEDs are not overly bright or obtrusive. On the bottom of the unit is small rest button that will reset all settings back to a factory state.

The TL-WA854RE operates in the 2.4GHz band and works with 802.11b/g/n networks. The advertised speed on an 802.11n network is 300 megabits per second (mbps). Real-world speeds will be a bit lower due to the numerous factors contributing to unit SNR, link margin, building construction, and even weather and humidity. Additionally, due to this being a WiFi range extender the overall bandwidth in one direction is halved (half dedicated to the uplink radio and the other half to the downlink radio).

The TL-WA854RE also extends the standardized wireless security protocols in use today - 64/128/152-bit WEP, WPA-PSK, and WPA2-PSK. Setup via the WPS button really simplifies the setup, but one can connect directly to the unit wirelessly and setup/manage the device via a clean and easy to use web interface.

Cons: No ability to turn off the WPS functionality within the web interface. This is not enough to warrant the loss of an egg in my opinion.

Other Thoughts: Even when the TL-WA854RE is not on sale the low price point and simple setup makes this unit a very attractive option if you're in the market to add a range extender to your network. Inside the box you will find the TL-WA854RE unit, a quick install guide, and a resource mini-CD with related documentation.

I have had the luxury to review several TP-Link wired and wireless products recently and can honestly say that TP-Link has produced some very capable and affordable products - the TL-WA854RE WiFi range extender being another one. Overall, you would be hard pressed to find such a stable range extender with such easy setup for the price.

READ FULL REVIEW

Anonymous's Profile

Display Name: Anonymous

Date Joined: 10/19/05

  • Reviews: 7
  • Helpfulness: 1
  • First Review: 11/17/14
  • Last Review: 05/07/15
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