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This review is from: TRENDnet TEW-737HRE N300 High Power Easy-N-Range Extender
Pros: As stated by others, setting up this little device was very simple. I plugged an Ethernet cable into it from my home PC, followed the included instructions and it was on my wireless network repeating within minutes.
After setup, I took it to the 2nd floor of a three story house in the opposite corner of where my wireless router is and plugged it in. Within a minute or so the side led light was solid green and ready for use. My WiFi bars on both my phone and iPad stayed a solid 3 instead of the previous 2 bars. My throughput down and up was within 2 to 3 Mbit/s of what it was upstairs near the primary router. This is comparatively better to another WiFi extender I've previously tested that increased my WiFi bars, but destroyed the throughput.
Cons: None that I've experienced yet, but time will tell.
Other Thoughts: Definitely something I will entertain purchasing for other portions of my house, possibly one for the basement to extend the WiFi even further. I would recommend this device to anyone who has a big home who needs to repeat their WiFi signal further.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: TRENDnet TPL-410APK AV500 Powerline with WiFi N300 Extender kit
Pros: Like many other Powerline networking solutions, when it works, it provides decent speeds when compared to WiFi when the distance is the impediment. What I was more interested in and what I haven't as of yet to find a decent solution for is a WiFi extender/repeater that is worth its weight. So I proceeded to test this device as an extender of my existing network to get better saturation in my large house. Configuration wise, it was slightly tedious to do this. First off, this device starts of in the x.x.0.x subnet, while my WiFi router and devices reside on the x.x.1.x subnet. It took some unplugging, restarting, and testing to get this moved over to the other subnet. Secondly, you can't that I remember change the channel the WiFi broadcasts on (i.e. 1,6,11 etc). This isn't necessarily a negative thing, I would just like to have more configuration options as an advanced user.
When it was finally configured to extend my existing WiFi, I noticed about a 50% reduction in the WiFi download speeds. So I'm typically getting 22-24 Mb/s down, but when connected to the WiFi in a location very close to this device, I was getting 12.5-15 Mb/s down. This isn't disappointing, just something worth noting.
Honestly, there aren't in my opinion, any glaring positives about this Powerline vs other Powerlines I've tested. When I utilized it in a Powerline configuration, it was status quo to other brand Powerlines I have tested.
Cons: What I felt was annoying more than anything about this product was the administrative/configuration screens. Not only do you have to change your IP on your PC to configure this router, but every time you change something you have a 60 second "saving" process. Clearly this isn't necessary as I've tested many other routers/devices that had the same changes and did not need this "save" time.
Secondly, as I noted above, the WiFi strength is weak at a distance greater than a bedroom or so in a 2-story house. This is primarily for a Powerline use and as such, was status quo with other Powerline devices.
Other Thoughts: Other thoughts? Make a Powerline device that is at least or above status quo for the speeds it delivers in Powerline configuration, but also have a robust WiFi signal that can act as an extender where distance would be the impediment for traditional WiFi signals. Then make it so that you can buy multiple adapters to plug them in throughout the house to get a consistent solid signal in a house >3,000 sq/ft. This would not only benefit the WiFi signals throughout a larger house, but also provide the options for family/friends/kids to have a hard Ethernet/powerline connection when they really needed it.READ FULL REVIEW
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 in....it 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.READ FULL REVIEW
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