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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: Let's start with square one, the product's delivery. The packaging for this product is stellar I must say. When I received it, I thought, who shipped me an iPhone for fun? The characteristics of the packaging are very close to that of iPhone packaging as well as the delivery of the instructional material within. I thought it was kind of refreshing to have another company mimic a product delivery that works so well.

My second surprise and pro for this product was the setup and how easy it was. At first I was perplexed at how I was going to go about setting up something that needed a wireless connection to configure first. Obviously my desktop PC doesn't have a Wi-Fi card always installed unless I am specifically testing something. In this case I decided to do the initial setup of the TP Link Extender with my iPad. This was pleasantly very easy and the GUI worked flawlessly with the iPad. I finished the initial setup and moved the extender to the mid-point in my home, which I will touch on within the CONS section of this review.

Cons: The reason I titled my review as interesting is because I did some testing at the various levels and locations of my home and the end result was not what I expected. For frame of reference, the test home (my home) is a 4,000 square foot, 3 story home. My router and home PC are at the front of the house on the top floor. The 3 test locations were in the back opposite corner of the house; the master bathroom (top floor), formal dining room (mid floor), and lastly the basement (lowest floor). The router I consistently use and that I used for this test is a Netgear R6250 utilizing a 2.4GHz frequency (disabled 5.0GHz) on channel 1.

I used a Wi-Fi capable device with software installed that tests download/upload speeds and charts a history. Based on my testing, I noticed a 30% decrease in download speeds and a 1% increase in upload speeds. What is truly interesting is the "visible" signal strength on the Wi-Fi device increased to its maximum # of bars, contrary to the measured throughput speeds. This was disappointing to say the least. I thought I lost my mind; maybe a ghost was interfering with my second barrage of tests with the new extender installed, so I re-tested... I got the same disappointing results. You might be thinking, well maybe the TP LINK doesn't have full bars where it is plugged has 4 of 5, which is almost the best. Maybe my house is made of those silly metal studs...its not, all wood.

Honestly, I really wanted to love this little device, but it couldn't deliver.

Other Thoughts: I'm not sure what to tell you, it increases measured visible signal strength on Wi-Fi devices, but it doesn't deliver the same on its Wi-Fi throughput during testing. I honestly would wait for further tests and reviews in this Wireless Networking category to see how other devices are managing this niche opportunity.

Netgear C6300 AC1750 Wi-Fi DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router 2 in 1
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggs Nice router, not able to test modem portion. 12/30/2014

This review is from: Netgear C6300 AC1750 Wi-Fi DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem Router 2 in 1

Pros: Overall, I am pretty satisfied with the performance of this router. The router comes with what one would expect at this price point, 4xGigabit Ethernet ports, USB port, 2.4/5.0Ghz wireless frequencies, and friendly administrative screen. What makes this router different than most is that it has an integrated cable modem within it. While many won't need this feature because the modems their cable provider requires them to use don't have or allow this feature, there is a growing market trend for this type of router/modem combo. It is more advantageous for a power user on a supported ISP provider to purchase this router because they get Netgear's reliable router history as well as a modem they can tinker with. When you get a modem from an ISP, there often isn't much control over what you do. They tell you just to plug it in and call it a day. More importantly, the modems your provider will give you or buy from a big box store will not have DOCSIS 3.0 and the blazing internet bandwidth that comes with it. I couldn't test the modem feature of this router due to my ISP, but from what I've read on here and other sites, is it does a stellar job.

Cons: As others have experienced, the Netgear Genie crashed on me a few times, though this could be resolved with an update. The only other con I see with this router is the price point. You can technically purchase a pretty capable router for $50-75$ and a cable modem from a big box store for $99 or less. The disadvantage to that scenario is the two are not integrated and you have no idea who/how to modify the big box cable modem.

Other Thoughts: Keep this mind when thinking of this router/modem combo.

1) Rent vs own? Is it advantageous for you to do one over the other?
2) Is it supported by your ISP?
3) Can you afford it in comparison to doing a seperate router and seperate modem?

BUFFALO WHR-300HP2D AirStation N300 Open Source DD-WRT Wireless Router IEEE 802.11b/g/n
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Unlike other routers I've reviewed over the last year or so, this router is open source. This is intriguing because the development of the software is up to many others than just a massive corporation. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing, as referenced below and in other reviews. The installation of the this router was simple and it didn't require much effort.

Cons: Cost wise, I wouldn't expect to pay $69.99 for a 100Mbps router. Albeit many don't have the capacity to breach that threshold with their networks, it is a matter of principal and comparable features with other similar routers of lesser price. Additionally, while I was very excited about the range of the router, I was actually disappointed to find out it had a lower operating range in the same working conditions as my Netgear R6250 router. Of what I measured, I had a 5-10Mbps loss over my other router.

Another thing, that I've experienced in another router before is the rebooting of a router to implement settings. For many this won't be annoying, but I don't want my router to have to reboot for a change to implement....think older Windows operating systems versus the new ones...remember how annoying that was?

Other Thoughts: What is more interesting is this router out of the box is vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug and updating off the version that came with the router was...awkward to say the least.

Closing thoughts is this...I wasn't really wowed by this router. I think your money can be spent better elsewhere for less cost and equivalent or better features.


Kristopher K.'s Profile

Display Name: Kristopher K.

Date Joined: 07/11/03

  • Reviews: 7
  • Helpfulness: 2
  • First Review: 11/08/13
  • Last Review: 02/17/15
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