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Pros: - Really easy to set up. I've used other wireless range extenders before including ones from Linksys and this one by far has been quicker to connect and get things rolling.
- Admin UI is fairly nice and very responsive. Very router-equse in style and configurability as wireless range extenders go.
- Profiles. This is a nice feature! You can set up profiles based on current usage, and if you ever need to move it or switch something out, as long as it has the profile saved you can always go back to your old settings with a simple profile switch.
- Has the ability to force set it's own static IP or just get a dynamic one from the DHCP server.
- Has the ability to serve as it's own DHCP server to any wireless connected clients. I have no idea why such a device would need something like this, but the fact that it does is neat.
- Has Wireless MAC filtering.
- Has AP Isolation switch. This is really cool and I wish more wireless devices provided this feature. As more and more internet home connected devices become common place, having this feature is important for inter-device connectivity.
- TP-Link provides a throughput monitor and system log menu.
- Front LED lights are very informative and quite nice to look at.
Cons: - I usually don't like wireless range extenders, but I am having a hard time NOT liking this one.
- There is no off setting for WPS. WPS security is as bad as WEP.
- Wireless speeds are halved. This isn't really a con, but to be expected from any wireless extender. It has to dedicate half of it's radio to receiving from the root SSID and the other to broadcasting the signal out.
Other Thoughts: I am not sure what Charles C. is smoking but this wireless range extender by TP-Link TL-WA854RE does not have any firmware available on the TP-Link english website past 140827, and that is for the EU version.
Regardless, mine came with Firmware version 3.14.8 Build 140804 Rel.39018n; and the Hardware version is WA854RE v1.0 00000000.
No issues with connections, the extender has been working for 5 days straight. I've used it for Twitch/Netflix streams for a continuous 8 hours, no hiccups. Never any connection issues. At least, not yet.
Pros: Before I get into too much detail, I want to clear up the issue people might have had with this router and the 2.4Ghz signal. The router shipped with firmware 1.0.00, however after upgrading the firmware to 1.0.01 build 14 Nov 26, 2014, the 2.4Ghz wireless signal has not dropped any of my connections. I've been streaming for a good ~18 hours without any session disconnects.
If you are still experiencing 2.4Ghz wireless signal drops, I recommend upgrading your firmware and giving your router a hardware reset.
Back to Pros:
- 4x4 AC
- MU-MIMO Ready
- Qualcomm QCA IPQ8064 Dual-core 1.4GHz processor
- VLAN support
- Wall mountable
- Nice design, cute antennas
- Feels sturdy enough, warm to the touch, not too hot.
- 1x eSATA/USB2.0/USB3.0 storage support (really like how the eSATA and USB2.0 port are together)
Storage transfer speeds on this router are very nice.
USB 3.0 w/ External WD Black HDD NTFS
USB 3.0 w/ External WD Black HDD FAT32
eSATA w/ External WD Black HDD NTFS
eSATA w/ External WD Black HDD FAT32
USB 2.0 w/ External WD Black HDD NTFS
USB 2.0 w/ External WD Black HDD FAT32
Cons: - Guest WiFi is 2.4 GHz only
- No front LED lights, I can't tell if this thing is ON or OFF, I have to look around at the back.
- No VPN server
- No secure remote access to storage
- No advanced/downstream QoS
- No individual internet service blocking
- DDNS only has DynDNS.org and TZO.com. (Should've at least allowed custom DDNS or added noip.com)
- No Apple Time Machine target support for storage
- No information about wireless clients
- No Bandwidth use monitor
- No USB Print server
- No Linksys log or syslog viewer
For a router with this much muscle, having these missing features is a huge oversight on Linksys' part. ASUS and NETGEAR all have their equivalent routers to this and those routers are more feature rich.
No OpenWRT or even DD-WRT support, at least not yet. No word from Linksys at all about this.
Other Thoughts: - Skip running the CD or even installing the Linksys Connect software. Just connect straight to http://192.168.1.1.
- All storage tests were done via a Gigabit LAN connections and copy speeds were monitored through Windows Copy Tool.
- Admin UI timeout time is a little short in my honest opinion.
- WPS comes enabled by default and ALL wireless signals are also NOT password protected on default. Make sure you password protect your wireless signals ASAP and disable WPS if you don't plan to use it.
- Router firmware tested is 1.0.01 build 14 Nov 26, 2014.
There is a lot more room to grow for this router, but I am not sure how much more time/money Linksys is willing to throw at this product. It will work for most standard users, but advanced users looking to have more control over their network probably should be looking else where.
No secure remote file access, no VPN support and very limited DDNS support is an immediate egg knocked off. I would rather rate this product closer to a 3.5 rather than a solid 3.
Pros: - Small and fits into any USB port.
- Very low profile, once plugged in, can be left in a laptop's USB port.
- Relatively easy setup and driver install.
- Little green indicator light is nice.
- Reaches advertised speeds of 150Mbps when connected to an 802.11n network. Make sure you have channel bonding enabled on your wireless router (20Mhz/40Mhz). Without it, your device will only connect at a minimum of 72Mbps for an N network.
- Supports ad-hoc.
Cons: Impractical for most uses. I don't know of a single laptop made in the past decade that did not come with a wireless adapter built in. As such the next best application is for an immobile desktop computer that needs a network connection. While it does fit the bill here, being so small, and plugged into the back of the computer, it is likely that unless the router is in the same room, you aren't going to get a very good signal. I would recommend getting a USB 2.0 extension cable and giving this USB adapter some space away from the metal frame of your computer acting as interference.
Drivers cannot be auto-detected and installed from Windows driver update if you're on Win7. You must go to the TP-Link website before hand and download the appropriate drivers for this USB wireless adapter. The version I got was ver 2.0. Installation afterwards was a breeze.
Other Thoughts: Regardless of the cons, the device works perfectly and exactly as advertised. Can't really knock TP-Link for making a device like this. This isn't the first one of its kind, and definitely not the last.
Cannot connect to 5Ghz signals. Not a huge deal, but would've been nice.
Tested this with an ASUS RT-N66U router. Installed on a custom built PC running Windows 7 64bit.
Display Name: Benjamin C.
Date Joined: 09/24/07
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