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Pros: First of all i was really excited to test this out because I really needed a better method to connect my secondary PC to my network. I had previously been using an older Wi-Fi card and it only was able to use about a quarter of my ISP's bandwidth, due to the limitations of 802.11g. I went from that to a Powerline 500 "Homeplug" adapter and I did get a speed increase, but I still wasn't getting anywhere near saturating my connection with it, despite it claiming a theoretical speed of 500 Mb/s. Us power users know that theoretical speeds and real-world speeds are much different.
So short of running Cat 5e/Cat 6 cables through my house, I needed a good option. I already have an Archer C9 802.11ac router and my Galaxy Note 5 was getting the full 200 Mb/s my ISP provides over Wi-Fi since it fully supports 802.11ac. I needed my secondary PC to as well. That's where this card saved the day.
I downloaded the drivers from the website beforehand (always do) along with a utility TP-Link provided. I didn't need the utility but I wanted to test it just to be thorough. I installed the card and Windows 10 Pro didn't have drivers built in for this card, so remember that. Luckily I had them already so i installed the drivers and away I went.
Immediately I noticed a HUGE performance increase before I even tested speeds. Pages were loading much faster and it was evident. Loaded up my favorite speedtesting site and scored 232 Mb/s down. That's the SAME score I get with a Gigabit Ethernet setup on my primary PC. So this confirms that this card can easily handle my fast home connection.
Since installing the driver and setting it to connect to my router, I haven't had to touch a thing. It works flawlessly. File transfers over my LAN are faster than they've ever been as well. The beamforming technology this card supports is particularly noteworthy. What this does is focus the signal so it's more of a strait line to your wireless router, instead of radiating a signal out in circular waves as traditional Wi-Fi does. This gives you a rock solid connection in terms of signal strength.
Any modern PCI 3.0 express slot easily has the bandwidth to let this thing spread it's wings. I love the huge passive heat sink on this T9E as well. It's heavy and the build quality is amazing. The three antennas are most welcomed as well.
Windows 10's default Wi-Fi client interface works great with this card and I had absolutely NO ISSUES getting it to work. It took me a total of 15 minutes to get it installed and up and running. It's been flying great ever since.
The range is phenomenal on this product as I can see Wi-Fi networks on it that my phone doesn't show me unless I go outside towards them. Very satisfied there.
Cons: The ONLY con I can come up with is that the utility they provide just doesn't run on Windows 10. Even in compatibility mode it wouldn't run. It was apparently written for Windows 8 and I find it strange that it will not even run on Windows 10 at all. Definitely some sort of bug that TP-Link never bothered to fix. That said, this is no issue because the driver itself does work fine and you can just use Windows 10's built in Wi-Fi configuration tools to set it up. It was disappointing that I didn't get to test out the utility to see just exactly what it could do, but I'm guessing not much at all since they never even bothered updating it to work with the latest Windows 10 build. Traditionally, the utilities included with Wi-Fi client cards are just bloatware anyway. So I wouldn't worry about this at all.
Other Thoughts: I highly recommend this card for anyone that has a nice desktop and wants to cut the cord but can't achieve good performance with any Powerline devices (like me). It's a home run in every way and I would have given it a 4.5 if Newegg allowed half egg ratings. I just couldn't give it a perfect rating seeing as the utility doesn't run on Windows 10, but since the utility is not required, it's a moot point anyway. This is a no-brainer if you need fast Wi-Fi on your desktop. Just make sure you have an extra PCI express slot before buying. Also note that you may even see a nice performance gain even if you don't own an 802.11ac router (you'll need at least an N router though). Very good card here and I'm highly impressed.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: TP-LINK TL-WPA4530 KIT AV500 Powerline ac Wi-Fi Kit
Pros: This is a very distinct device. Typically, Powerline adapters only extend your network over the existing wiring in your house, which prevents you from having to run Ethernet cables throughout your house to connect any devices that don't support Wi-Fi by default. But this product takes it a few steps further. It's best to think of this product as an 802.11ac Wi-Fi bridge with Powerline capabilities. That is an exciting prospect.
The first nice pro here is that the secondary adapter (not the base unit that connects to your router) actually has three Fast Ethernet ports. Typically, most Powerline adapters only have one Ethernet port. The ability to connect three devices via Ethernet is most welcomed.
The really cool aspect is that this doubles as a Wi-Fi extender that supports 802.11ac, which is the latest Wi-Fi standard currently in use. Most people will get more use out of this feature than any other, as it has the ability to clone your SSID and extend your network up to around 10,000 feet. The extra Fast Ethernet ports are like an added bonus to easily connect any wired devices that you may have nearby, including HDTV's or desktop PC's that might not have Wi-Fi built in.
The base unit itself is also well-designed. Not only does it have an extra 120v outlet on it to keep you from eating one up, it also provides an extra Fast Ethernet port as well, which prevents you from eating up another one on your Wireless router (they all typically have 4-port switches so this is definitely a good thing).
Performance over the strait Powerline connection is respectable, but the Wi-Fi performance is even better. I found it to be very reliable once set-up and it's also very easy to set up for that matter.
Cons: One thing I don't like is that it uses Fast Ethernet ports, which are limited to 100 mb/s. 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. That's a big reason I took stars off this product.
The performance over Powerline isn't the greatest. At the most, I was able to get around 75 Mb/s, which actually bottle-necked my internet connection because I get around 230 Mb/s through my ISP. Now the Wi-Fi speeds are much more respectable, but still couldn't fully saturate my ISP's connection, although I was easily hitting 150 Mb/s, which should be fast enough for most home connections over Wi-Fi.
Other Thoughts: I would only recommend this product to people that don't have home internet connections over 100-150 Mb/s. If you're in that boat, this product will serve you fine. However, if your connection is faster, stick with a product that has Gigabit Ethernet ports and supports 802.11ac 1200 or better.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: EZVIZ Mini HD 720p WiFi Home Security Camera with Motion Detection, 130 Degree View, Night Vision, Works with Alexa using IFTTT (Special Offer 12 Month Cloud Storage w/ 7 day Playback)
Pros: Has a built-in microSD card slot. I love seeing this on small cameras because not everyone wants to shell out for cloud storage. I have a 32GB class 10 microSD card in it and that allows it to save 17 days of recording time at 720p. Not bad at all. I can access all the way back to the 17th day very easily in the app or using the website on my PC. Very nifty. The recording works great and I haven't had ANY issues accessing my previous recordings. They also look great and I don't notice any serious compression artifacts.
I like how the Android app has built in support for up to four cameras. You can use a split-screen mode to view up to four cameras at once. I think four cameras will actually be enough for the average person. Anyone needing more will probably buy a better, more expensive set-up anyway.
Offers a free year of cloud storage, but you need to provide an active credit card number. It's nice they offer the free year though.
Night vision with HD monitoring\recording are great features at this price point.
The design of the camera itself is really nice. I LOVE how the base has a built in magnet. This allows you to easily place it somewhere without having to worry about screwing it on, assuming of course the surface is magnetic. It will even stick to steel rods or lamp posts very well because the magnet is strong. It also comes with an adhesive strip if you want to stick it to a non-magnetic surface. On top of ALL that, it does also come with a traditional mounting kit with two screws if you want to do it the old-fashioned way. They covered all-bases here which I do like.
Cons: First of all, I had issues setting up the device. You are forced to set it up through the mobile app and you cannot directly connect to the device, so you have to pass your Wi-Fi credentials to the camera using a mobile device. Well, it just kept hanging at this point over and over, failing to pass the credentials every time. I knew I was inputting the correct password. So I moved the camera within a few feet of my router. Still a no-go. After hours of trying, I finally called customer support. The guy was nice and all, but wasn't all that helpful. He told me of two alternate ways of connecting the device to your network. One involved using your smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot, but this would have required two mobile devices to proceed with, which I didn't have handy. Another method involved using the microSD card slot. It worked by inserting a microSD card with a plain text file on it that included all your Wi-Fi info (something which needless to say isn't very secure). He told me he'd email me both procedures right away, so I could get this camera connected ASAP. I didn't receive the email until 24 hours later. Complete failure on their part.
After yet even more mucking around, I FINALLY managed to get the camera to connect to my router, no thanks to customer support. What finally worked for me was going into my router settings and setting the 2.4GHz channel width to 20Mhz instead of "Auto." After I passed the credentials to it, I changed the setting back to auto and the camera had no issues remaining connected to my network, so I have NO IDEA why the channel width change was required to pass the credentials. Either way, I finally had it connected so I could test it out.
That's when I started to become very displeased with the performance. I immediately changed it from the default "basic" mode (which is low res) to "high-def," which I assume is the "720p" they advertise. Even in 720p mode, I could see obvious signs of compression. It doesn't show me a bit rate but I assume it's way under the recommended values for 720p video, as it doesn't look very crisp compared to standard 720p video (honestly I think the compression is dynamic based on your connection speed so YMMV). I couldn't even fully make out the details on a large clock in my kitchen, which I had the camera placed in front of. And this clock is large, with bold black letters on it.
On top of the bad image quality, I had nothing but choppy video along with the image simply cutting out constantly, which was then followed by an error telling me my network was unstable. This happened no matter what, even though I have another Belkin Netcam connected which works perfectly, not to mention my smartphone pulls 100 Mb/s over the 2.4Ghz band on my TP-Link Archer C8 router (a VERY good router I may add). ***UPDATE*** Since the latest FW update I'm getting much better performance in this area. EZVIZ has seemed to patch in support for 5Ghz networks because I can now connect to the camera feed when I'm connected to my 5Ghz band. In this case, I get no more choppy play during live feeds.
Oh and BTW, this camera will not connect to a 5Ghz band (***UPDATE*** it now will connect to 5Ghz bands after the latest FW update). That is another huge letdown because that would have been the first thing I would have tried to correct the terrible performance issues I had. What I did try was forcing 802.11n mode for all devices, as I previously had it set to allow b/g/n devices. This did nothing. Changing the channel width, or Wi-Fi operating channel also had no effect on performance, which remained dismal no matter what.
While I achieved decent performance using the desktop website to connect to my camera, there are some annoyances like the fact that you cannot turn on the audio via the desktop interface. You can change EVERY other setting but that one. You can only turn on audio via the mobile app. That is a bit frustrating to me.
Other Thoughts: I felt I had to update this review because things have changed SO MUCH since the latest FW update. I had previously given this product a 1 egg rating and it clearly deserves more now. If I could give it 3 and 1/2 I would, but alas we don't have that option. Since the latest FW update I was able to correct MANY of the issues that plagued me before. I can now connect to my 5Ghz band and this offers me better performance viewing the live feed. I also switched out my SD card for a newer class 10 microSD card and now the recordings all play back smoothly. I love how I can access up to 17 days of recordings with a 32GB card (even recording at 720p!). The recording quality is definitely acceptable. Rarely does a product change so much after one FW update but it seems EZVIZ knew what they had to fix and they got on it right away. For that, I praise them. I can now actually recommend this camera as it's a nice solution for the price. The SD card slot is something I think most people will really love as paying for cloud storage is a turn off. Another thing I like about this camera is it's very secure. By default the stream is encrypted with a passphrase of your choosing. So even if someone did get onto your network (say you gave a friend your password) they still can't view the video streams or recordings without the passphrase. Once you enter the passphrase you can save the device your using to memory so it can always connect. Very well set-up.READ FULL REVIEW