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This review is from: Google Chromecast Streaming Media Player (2nd Gen) GA3A00093-A14Z01
Pros: -- nice features
-- low cost
Cons: -- Reliability of hardware
-- Awful Google Customer Service
Other Thoughts: I had the original Chromecast and it's impossible for streaming devices to use on an extender, so I removed the extender with little change in reliability. After a little over a year, the CC failed to keep it's configuration for more than a few days, so I bought the Chromecast 2. It was much more stable than the original and adds desktop mirroring. It also seems to have a better antenna, as it worked much better initially.
After 10 months, the CC2 failed. It won’t hold settings. Even after hard reset, it is usually missing, may have “authentication” and “brain freeze” problems reported, and sometimes works fine for a few minutes. If setup went smoothly, then the device still couldn't be seen (by multiple devices). There seems to be real problems with radio hardware quality, unless I just somehow got two lemons from 2 different products?
Chromecast support has to be called for an RMA. It was a RIDICULOUSLY LONG PROCESS for a $35 device. It began with re-setting it up, of course. (I told the rep I had done this multiple times, rebooted router, used several devices, reinstalled Cast extension & Chrome, etc.) Didn’t matter, so over the next 1 hour and 45 minutes, I repeated EVERYTHING. At multiple stages, the rep would deflect from the defective unit, “Oh it’s your internet connection,” and “might be your ISP modem configuration,” “Oh that means you confused it by making too many casting changes in a row.” She even said it can only be used at 5Ghz, until I read from their box that was untrue. “Well, yes, you can use it on 2.4Ghz, but you get a better experience with 5Ghz.” Really? Like even without the radio working? Then the email exchange started. I was required to contact my ISP to find out if UPNP was enabled, AP Isolation disabled, and IGMP was being used (all irrelevant to the problem… it WAS WORKING for 10 months with same setup. Finally they requested the serial number, receipt, address, etc. I then got an email request for repeat information, PICTURES, receipt, and telling replacement policies. But next email was, "Too bad; you bought from unauthorized dealer and we can't replace it." When I showed them proof AGAIN that that wasn't true, they finally authorized a refurb. Note: they put a hold on a credit card BEFORE shipping. Seriously, Google, is this the best use of your time for your agents? Never Google products again. It's just not worth it.
This review is from: LINKSYS WUSB6100M Next-Gen AC AC600 Mu-Mimo USB Adapter
Pros: -- speed
-- easy of install with Windows 10
-- signal strength
Cons: -- form factor may not fit your application
-- could use improved indication
Other Thoughts: I expected this to be “micro,” but it actually sticks out 1 1/8 inches from the port and expands out toward the other end. So it’s a bit over ½ the size of a conventional flash drive and thicker on the end. That said, the tiniest ones seem to suffer from weak detection. The size may be a compromise, especially when the package has to include MIMO (multiple) antennas. It shouldn’t block access to a slightly spaced USB port beside it, but may block in the top/bottom direction. I wouldn’t recommend leaving it in a laptop that you move around, as it would be easy to catch on something and break off.
I’ve used on both a desktop and laptop. Win 10 recognized and installed the driver with Linksys name, not chip set. The red LED changes white when installed. I immediately doubled my connection speed (to access point) compared to the original wifi card. So transferring files across the network was noticeably faster. Signal strength was also good. If you are having local media streaming problems with an older card, this may help. The signal strength was good all around the house and even outside and easily comparable or improved to the built-in wireless cards.
One thing I prefer are indicators of what’s happening. This one only has a red like for not configured and white. No flashing to indicate network traffic, connection speed, etc. Of course fewer and fewer devices contain these
So this wifi adapter does what it’s designed to do in an efficient manner. If the form factor is OK, this adapter will do a good job of wireless service. It's a good value.
This review is from: Linksys RE6500 Wireless AC1200 Dual Band MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender
Pros: -- Easy to set up
-- flexible connections
-- good signal
Cons: -- may need a bit of play to initially configure
-- firmware upgrades seem stepwise to current
Other Thoughts: Good form factor (about 4"x7") can be wall or ceiling mounted, as long as you can reach outlet.
When I connected wirelessly to the RE6500, it automatically opened my default browser to the configuration page (otherwise, you’d navigate to extender.linksys.com ). Once you connect you get an indicator bar helping where to place. Then select your SSID (2.4 & 5GHz) in a series, type passwords. You are forced to choose and admin password (good security) and you are good to go. I first got a, “We will continue setup once we see a connection.” I flushed the browser cache and tried again and was successful immediately after setup. The single LED on the box is steady once connected, but that’s the same indicator as fully booted and disconnected. I’d like some different indicator (color or network traffic?).
The GUI (extender.linksys.com) has a full set of configuration options. There were 2 sequential firmware upgrades that were automatic after checking. The time zone needs to be set.
This would be a terrific device to make a wireless bridge to your router from a multimedia center requiring multiple ethernet connections; it has 4 ethernet ports. (Most wireless extender/bridges only have one port.) It also supports simultaneous wired and wireless connections.
The signal strength was good and could be used in a larger home with ease. The signal is stable and the wall wart takes up only one AC outlet. Since you can connect speakers to it, you could use it to run sound to a covered porch or room.