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TP-LINK TL-WPA4530 KIT  AV500 Powerline ac Wi-Fi Kit
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

3 out of 5 eggs A good device for 100Mb/s but 500 is a bold faced lie 12/18/2016

This review is from: TP-LINK TL-WPA4530 KIT AV500 Powerline ac Wi-Fi Kit

Pros: Powerline is a technology that allows you to use your home's electrical wiring like an ethernet cable. This can save having to buy, and route, lots of ethernet cable through your home making everything exponentially easier. This system also allows you to create an additional wifi hotspot for wireless access in a room where the signal used to be weak. Large homes, old homes with walls that hate wifi, houses with many people and connected devices in them. Wanting to run your gaming system on wired internet for more reliable performance than wifi offers, and lower latency. These are all excellent reasons to purchase a device like this.

Cons: It uses 100 mb/s ethernet ports. This to me is unacceptable. It's false advertising to call it a Powerline 500 device when it's not even theoretically capable of 500 mb/s. It should have Gigabit Ethernet ports on it, period!

Other Thoughts: You should know that 5GHz will have shorter range than 2.4GHz wifi, though it will be faster. Keep that in mind when choosing which to connect to.

Now, most internet connections in America are really slow, the USA is around the 57th fastest country in the world when it comes to Internet. Yeah, that's right, we're behind several 3rd world countries. But that doesn't matter, it should still have Gb/s ports for 3 main reasons:

1. This is for a HOME NETWORK, which means regardless of internet speed, transferring files from a computer to a NAS, for instance, would be limited by this bottleneck. In fairness most NAS's don't go much above 100Mb/s but many do and more come out every day that take advantage of faster speeds. Not mention SSD NAS's are a thing. That's also only one example. It is worth noting that 100mb/s should also be plenty of speed for 1, maybe 2 people to stream HD content, like Netlix, to their tv's or PC's.
2. Internet speeds are only getting faster and even in the USA if you live in or near a major city internet speeds above 100Mb/s are getting more and more common. Google fiber is installing Gb/s internet, That giant E-tailer that starts with "A" is investing in the same thing, current ISP's are scrambling to try and stay competitive in those markets. All this means that very soon we're going to look at speeds below 1Gb/s like the stone age.
3. If you have multiple users in your house, one of the primary motivations to purchase this product, then you will saturate that 100Mb/s limit very easily, and often. If there are 4 people in your house for instance, you won't all be able to watch Netflix on your own devices without quality dropping considerably.
4.
Bottom line though, advertise a device as “500Mb/s” and it darn well better be capable of actually doing that! With only 100Mb/s ports on it, it cannot, and that is a bold faced lie.

FYI: Ethernet ports exist in speeds of 10Mb/s, 100Mb/s and 1Gb/s, 10Gb/s does exist but is still quite rare.

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Linksys MAX-STREAM AC1900 Next Gen MU-MIMO Dual-Band Smart Wi-Fi Gigabit Router with Seamless Roaming (EA7500)
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: - Linksys is a known brand with good reliability. I currently use a higher end model of theirs and have for over a year, very happy with except that if you update the firmware, it craps out. Counter intuitive I know, but updating is actually a bad thing. Too afraid to update to the latest, as last time it meant 8 hours of tinkering to get it restored properly.
- Huge upgrade over the wifi included by your ISP. (Comcast, ATT etc...)
- Great range and speed, easy to setup.
- Beam-forming is a must have on any modern router, so I hesitate to make it a positive, but I am at least for this year.

Cons: - Guest network options are non-existent.
- MUST disable guest network which is a problem for normal consumers. (Linksys, guest networks should have their own WPA2 password, doing it in a browser like Panera is just chintzy, feels cheap. Should also be able to set the data rate on both streams, but especially the guest network. Not just b/g/n/ac, I mean set the cap on downloads to 3MBPS, or 12MBPS, or whatever I want, same for upload. Super simple stuff to implement, costs you nothing but marginal man hours.)
- Better options available for less money.
- For only 30 more bucks you can get the Linksys WRT1900AC which better in every single way. Linksys beats Linksys in this price range :/

Other Thoughts: - VPN support on this class router should not be expected, that other guy is nuts. Modern routers are basically full on computers, they're that powerful and they NEED to be.

- I dislike the smart UI, custom app stuff. Linksys is trying to differentiate themselves in a truly saturated market, but guys, if you aren't gonna commit serious Engineering resources to it, and validate the crud out of the software, just don't do it at all. It introduces more complexity, more failure points, and thus less reliability. I know marketing likes to have their check boxes, but replace "smart UI" checkbox with "1000% more reliable than competition" checkbox. Done and done. Not to mention, you'll get the recommendation of every techie nerd who actually understand this stuff. (Coming from a Cisco certified Network Engineer.)

- At the end of the day I wouldn't recommend this to anyone I know. It's fine, it's viable, it'll work. But there are better options from less money. I'd go with an Asus for just over 100 bucks when it comes to common users just trying to game and stream netflix to multiple machines.

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Seagate Desktop SSHD ST4000DX001 4TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: - Price! It's priced incredibly well for what it is!
- 5 year warranty, you won't be left replacing it any time soon. (Most SSD's have only a 1 year warranty, 3 for nicer ones.)
- 8GB "SSD cache". What this means is that extended, long transfers, like transferring your music collection or videos, won't be any faster than a normal hard drive. In fact, because it's 5900RPM and not 7200RPM that will actually be slower than a "normal" hard drive. However this doesn't really matter, as the difference is negligible really. What the cache does improve is load times. Windows will boot faster, games will load faster, Kerbal Space Program will load faster, things will install faster. Basically, you'll be waiting less while using your computer. Storage, hard drives, are still the slowest part of any computer.

Cons: - Data integrity, of the data stored on this drive, is in question. I wouldn't use it for work that isn't backed up or anything you can't stand to lose. I wouldn't use it in any machine where having the OS become unload-able (essentially a crashed computer) would be a major inconvenience.

Other Thoughts: I have used a hybrid Seagate in the past, Seagate MomentusXT. I will say the drive lasted me several years and provided nearly pure-SSD speed on boot and load times for games and other programs. It never failed on me. However the reliability was not perfect. Random data would get lost resulting in odd driver issues and complete OS reloads every year or two. Now, this wasn't a big deal to me because I like to wipe and reload my computers every year or two anyway, at least back then I did when it made more of a difference. The reason this happens is data loss between the SSD buffer and the main hard drive, as managed by the controller. This is a newer model with more SSD RAM as a buffer, and a revised controller and firmware; so maybe the issue is gone. However the other reviews mentioning that it failed completely after only 4 months, combined with the statement by Seagate that the hard drive should be used only "part time", 5 days a week, 8 hours/day, tells me that the reliability is still not there.

I guess if you just want a faster computer for your secretary or something, some situation where the computer isn't handling sensitive, cannot be lost data, then it would be fine. Or maybe for your kids gaming rig or something.

But given how cheap SSD's are now, it simply makes much more sense to buy a full SSD, 256GB can now be had for under $100. Then pairing it with a full 7200rpm normal platter hard drive for storage. If it's just a gaming rig or secretarial machine maybe not even that.

I only took one egg away since this is all theoretical, but combined with my real world experience it warrants one egg and customers should be warned about the unreliability of this storage form factor.

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Brian S.'s Profile

Display Name: Brian S.

Date Joined: 07/31/06

  • Reviews: 53
  • Helpfulness: 27
  • First Review: 09/22/07
  • Last Review: 12/18/16
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