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TP-LINK TL-NC220 N300 Wi-Fi Network Day / Night Cloud Camera (White)
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

2 out of 5 eggs Not Ready for Prime Time 05/23/2016

This review is from: TP-LINK TL-NC220 N300 Wi-Fi Network Day / Night Cloud Camera (White)

Pros: Low-priced day/night camera with decent image quality and frame rate. Most everything functions, more or less – sound and motion sensors, email alerts, night vision, cloud viewing. (Having read multiple complaints about its wireless performance, I didn't even attempt to use it wireless). The sensors, along with email alerting, are highly configurable, and could be very useful, if they could perform reliably.

Cons: If you're not well versed in camera and network technology, you will probably spend hours getting this to work properly. For that reason alone, I can't recommend this camera to anyone else. Time is money, so despite the low price of entry, you'll end up “paying” a lot for this camera. I wish TP-Link could understand that the highest quality hardware in the world is of no use if coupled with a buggy, hard-to-use interface. To whit:

There are three (!) separate logins for this camera, each with its own username and password. One for the cloud, one for the physical device, and one for the Camera Control software. Hey TP-Link, how about one unified login? To make matters worse, TP-Link consistently writes their software in such a way that Firefox is unable to save usernames and passwords (this is true of all their routers as well), so you get to manually enter this stuff every time. Chrome is able to save passwords, but this camera is otherwise incompatible with Chrome – it won't display video at all.

I'm currently unable to access the camera at all -- again. I originally thought this was due to some problem with my network, but after reading other reviews see that the problem is common. Reliability is sketchy, glitchy, or quirky – take your pick. This is not a quality you seek in a security camera – not for any use imaginable. ...Camera Control can't see camera, camera isn't assigned an IP address, Camera Control crashes, and so on. Log onto cloud in order to discover camera IP address, enter that address in another window to log onto the physical camera control panel, only to see that the camera is listed as "disconnected." And so on.

Other Thoughts: If you're an IT or security specialist, you're probably going to want better hardware than this to begin with (though the price is right...). If you're a non-technical user, you could probably find better use of your time then trying to navigate through the convoluted and buggy controls that come with this camera.

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TP-LINK Archer C2600 Wireless AC2600 Dual-Band MU-MIMO Gigabit Router
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: After a month of typical household use, I have little to complain about, which is becoming my consistent experience with TP-LINK stuff. Fills a large house with a strong signal; the four antennas and beamforming seem to find every corner. Supports multiple streaming users with no apparent slowdowns.

The unit itself is sleek and unobtrusive, which is really all I ask, optically, of a router. It's nice that you can turn off the flashy lights. Doesn't seem to generate a lot of heat, so ventilation shouldn't be a problem.

The control panel is well laid out, and is impressively responsive. I was able to swap out my old router and be back online in five minutes. And unlike many other routers, changing a setting doesn't automatically necessitate a two minute reboot sequence. The controls were easy to understand (for a router), and seem full-featured, though more tech savvy reviewers have commented on some missing functions.

Cons: My one attempt to get geeky with the C2600, fiddling with the QOS (quality of service) settings to improve my VOIP performance, resulted in some frustration. The router allowed me to assign high priority to either a device, an application, or a LAN line. But the list of applications seemed short and obsolete – it showed "”Gtalk” but not Google Voice or Hangouts. There's a provision to upload an updated QOS database, but I didn't find anything at the TP-Link website. Then, clicking "view existing devices" only showed a few devices, and not the VOIP device. I had to go to the Network/DHCP Server/client list to find the MAC address of the VOIP and manually enter it. And then it insisted I enter all the dashes. ;-)

It's hard to understand why such an advanced device can't at least have a button in the control panel that will take you to the firmware update web page. Better yet, update automatically, as other companies have been doing for years.

Lastly, and most annoying "feature" of several of my TP-Link routers is the dreaded "auto-log-out." Yes, every 10 minutes while configuring this router you get to reenter your user name and password – made even more annoying by the fact that neither Chrome nor Firefox are able to remember the username or password.

Other Thoughts: I see other reviewers have given detailed accounts of range and throughput. I'll only add that the router, like all its predecessors, wasn't able to broadcast much of a signal outside my house. For that I still need to use a dedicated outdoor router, mounted above the roof…

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4 out of 5 eggs Decent Lightweight Headset 12/18/2015

This review is from: SteelSeries Siberia V3 Single 4-Pole Connection Connector Circumaural Gaming Headset

Pros: Probably the lightest weight and most comfortable full-size headphones I've ever used. Ear pads are plush, and the self-adjusting feature worked well on my medium large head (though apparently not on very large heads). The pullout mic boom is clever. Aesthetics are clean and pleasant. Power cords should be more than long enough for most uses. Performance of both mic and speaker elements are adequate.

Cons: Reading through other reviews, I'm suspecting quality control problems: some people complain of too much bass, some of too little. While it's true that people's preference regarding bass levels varies widely, to my audiophile ears there is way too much bass – I need to use EQ for these to be listenable at all. So either some people are real gluttons for bass, or these headphones are not producing consistent results.

And then several people complain of low mic output – and there's no reason a boom mic, right next your mouth, shouldn't be plenty loud. It probably adds significant costs to test each microphone and speaker element, so I can imagine some manufacturers skipping this step, hoping for the best.

Other Thoughts: The ultralightweight plastic construction does leave concerns about durability. I didn't stress test it, but there is a pivot point on each ear cup that is hopefully not made of plastic. If there is metal in there, the manufacturer should tout the fact, as justification for calling these mostly plastic headsets "Steelseries.”

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Anonymous's Profile

Display Name: Anonymous

Date Joined: 09/05/03

  • Reviews: 36
  • Helpfulness: 19
  • First Review: 01/20/09
  • Last Review: 05/23/16
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