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Pros: These mice were surprisingly well-built. They were heavy and sturdy and tracked extremely well, even on unusual surfaces. The retractable wheel spun perfectly with no snags either.
Cons: Unfortunately, one of the two mice I got failed on day two. That was under extremely light and cautious use. This is definitely not the first gearhead device I had that failed in a hurry.
Other Thoughts: Gearhead products often have quality issues.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: D-Link DCH-M225 Wi-Fi Audio Extender
Pros: I found the accompanying setup sheet which was short and to the point. It made perfect sense and explained the setup process perfectly. It even stated the logic behind the steps instead of just the process, which helps overall understanding.
The firmware update was suggested to me automatically but only after the device was configured, which is a very wise choice.
The device was accurate to its stated SSID and password. It found my router’s wireless network just fine and attached to it. The extender options made sense and worked fine. From a very long distance away, the signal strength was very good and didn’t interfere with my router’s signal either.
The setup from a smartphone was incredibly simple because the app was mostly preconfigured and has mostly a single-purpose functionality. Now I see why they strongly recommend using this only with phones.
Cons: First, I have to mention a slight glitch. After flashing the firmware, the login prompt didn’t work in IE11. It worked prior to the flash so they actually made browser compatibility worse. The button simply broke in IE11 but it worked fine in Firefox 30.0.
Another small glitch was that the interface called my encryption type WPA when it’s actually WPA2 and that’s not an insignificant difference.
Part of DLNA technology is adding PCs to the network so your phone can access their media libraries too. So I gave that a shot. It was much more complicated to set up.
There are some considerations I need to add though. First, I had my computer set up to not share anything with any other device on the network and undoing that was most of the trouble. After that, it showed up as a UPNP device on the network properly in Windows 7. When I selected “streaming options” either from that interface or inside of Windows Media Player, I could turn on streaming to that device specifically and configure what to send. At that point, my computer was basically configured to be a DLNA-compatible Digital Media Server and my smartphone could play its own local music or the music on my PC. I only knew how to do all this because of an article I looked up online, which should not have been necessary.
So it’s not awful to set up a computer with this system and it’s not actually a necessary step. Most people’s phones don’t contain their entire music library though so it could come up.
The one thing that I find inconceivable is why they didn’t add 1 specific feature. So I took all that time to set up my computer as a media server. Why, why, why can I not send music directly from my PC or laptop to the attached speakers on the wireless device? I know the whole product is designed to be DLNA capable yet only used by the DLNA app on smartphones but why not let me log into the device from my computer and “pull” music to it without an intermediary phone? Or let me stream to the device directly from Windows Media Player? It seems like the mother of all oversights but they didn’t actually state it does that. Also, there are better solutions to simply beam music to speakers wirelessly so I sort of understand their logic. So I guess you will just have to settle with having your PC or laptop be a DLNA media storage server and that’s it.
Other Thoughts: The included documentation states that there is no power save, idle, or sleep mode but I doubt the device draws very much power so it’s not a huge issue.
As for the rating I gave this device, the box, the product page, and the manual all state that you can stream from a smartphone, not a PC. It did exactly what they said it did so I can’t take off a star just for not adding a direct PC to device streaming option. I do maintain that is was a very poor design choice though.
This review is from: EnGenius ENS200 Long Range Wireless 11N Outdoor AP
Pros: The product is packaged in an incredibly safe manner that makes it virtually impossible for the shipper to destroy it. It also re-packages nicely for later transport or storage. I also like the overall look of the device itself when mounted on a building as well as the packaging in case it were to be resold retail. The PoE injector looked solid and worked well too. I’ve also never had any problems or disappointments with any outdoor Engenius products, even over time.
I’m not a network specialist but I have years of experience configuration wireless networks and I found the setup to be logical and uncomplicated. I didn’t find it too hand-holding like some lower end residential equipment either.
During testing, I found that unless there is a very specific type of interfering material like sheet metal, vehicles, or hills, coverage was consistent. If mounted at a high height, coverage shouldn’t be a problem.
It seemed to not have a high volume of dropped packets at 1000ft and I couldn’t really test farther than that due to building layout. The signal strength never dropped below an acceptable level on all devices that I tested and none disconnected.
Putting high volumes of FTP and Torrent data through it did not cause it to lock up or overload, overheat, or anything else detrimental.
Cons: I felt like the chassis might be badly damaged by hail but obviously couldn’t test that so I don’t know if it is actually more resilient than I think. No amount of wind would damage it in my opinion though.
Also, not specific to this device, all outdoor to indoor mounts can rip cables apart due to temperature differences during winter temperatures. If you live in a place that gets very cold, keep that in mind if this is supposed to be a permanent 24/7/365 installation that needs high uptime. You may want to double run your cables so you can quickly swap them out without tearing apart your walls and ceiling in case of emergency. The placement of the PoE injector is very important with that consideration in mind so you should have the shortest possible distance between the injector and the device as possible.
Other Thoughts: This device didn’t require a high amount of ultra advanced settings to be configured like some other corporate gear. That may be seen as a negative but I saw most of the advanced settings I would be interested were available for changing, they just didn’t require me to set them in the first place. I think that is the ideal way to design a product like this.
Also, keep in mind that this device seemed a little touchy about where I placed it when the building was made out of solid steel. That applies to almost all network gear but there are some better back-shielded devices than this one. I had trouble with echoing/double packets, high pings, and high packet loss when I mounted it certain specific ways against the metal. If you can put it above the walls instead like against wood or shingles, that would be much more ideal though harder to do.