Pros: Good packaging
Performs as it should (was able to get around 6 megabytes a second or so) for large file transfers at a distance of about 50 feet through walls into my garage
Firmware is easy to use and navigate
Cons: 2.4 GHz only
Design is not as elegant as others from TP-Link
See other thoughts.
Overall Review: This is the second time I've had the chance to review this product so I won't bore you with the same information. However, both times I have felt the same. It's works well for being a 2.4 only device but there's nothing to write home about. After reviewing this one the first time, I reviewed their AC version and that one is not only a beautiful piece of technology but it's also dual band in a similar form factor (no AC outlet though). For the price, that's what I would go with, IMO. Still, this does have a place and it performed adequately.
Pros: Great range
decent speed throughput
outlet pass through
Cons: WPS did not work, had to make connection with Ethernet cable
no 5Ghz band
In an area where this gets 100% signal from the router it drops out as saying too close to router. Moving to an area that gets less than 75% signal strength seems to make this go into a connection/disconnect frenzy over and over again.
Overall Review: I found that placing this where I can extend my network proved harder than I initially thought. When this gets 100% signal it would drop out and exhibit an orange LED which marks this unit as too close to the router. I have moved it further away where it got 60% signal and went into a frenzy connecting and disconnecting from the network. I ended up moving this to an area where it gets 75% signal and it worked great. In fact this has worked the best out of the 3 I have tried that extends the 2.4Ghz band. Antennas are easily adjusted for optimal signal and the outlet pass through allows this to be hidden out of site. \
Pros: This is one of the better extenders I've tested. The setup takes a total of 5 minutes or less and I did it from my smart phone. You pretty much plug it in, join the wireless SSID that it broadcasts and then jump to the web GUI for the product. After having it detect your wireless network, logging in to it and allowing a reboot it's basically ready to go.
I was able to pull an average of 20 Mbps across my network when transferring files from the file server using this extender during testing. Internet was about the same at around 19 Mbps average across two laptops (one windows 7 the other Ubuntu) and two Samsung Galaxy phones (Note4 and S6). Running this thing for nearly a month it hasn't shown signs of dropping. Devices are capable of staying connected for hours streaming without issues (this being the biggest problem with these extenders that I've noticed in the past).
I did try to connect one of our SteamLinks to it and stream a game from my gaming PC in the office, but that didn't quite work out. Too much latency and not enough bandwidth to maintain a decent framerate for longer than a few minutes.
I will say that the wired bridge feature is nice for devices that don't have wireless (consoles etc) but understand that they suffer the same bandwidth issues as the other devices running on this device (see cons).
Cons: It's not terribly robust. You can achieve decent network speeds with multiple devices (for what it is and as compared to other similar devices) but if you're going to do anything heavy duty, it really won't stay fast or stable for long.
The more devices you connect to it, the worse it gets. It does alright with two devices or so, but throw a Chomecast on there with a couple tablets and it will suffer. I'm pretty sure my 20 mbps speed tests are cumulative throughput so that's what you have to work with when running multiple devices on this unit.
It's huge and obnoxious on the wall in my opinion. The antennas are kind of silly and easy to trip over/snap off if you have this thing in a place with high traffic ie. hallway. No problem there as I popped it in an outlet behind my entertainment center. I like the passthrough outlet for pulling other things in (and it does work) but the device is still huge on the wall.
Overall Review: It's worth noting that the LEDs are nice and dim on the front, so it won't serve you as a nightlight. This I can appreciate as most of these always on devices have spotlights on the front of them.
Overall, I like the unit and it provides an easy way to broadcast at least some wifi to the garage without running a wire for another AP out there.
I recommend following the instructions on installing this about half way between the devices you intend to use and the router. This will ensure full wifi strength from the host AP. I noticed that this device seems to struggle if it isn't at least on the edge of full strength wireless signal from the original AP.
Pros: For sheer ease of use, this gets a thumbs up from me. For extenders around my home, I've been using TP-Link’s tried-and-true (and cheap) TL-WR841N routers, but it took some head scratching to properly configure them. This extender, by contrast, is virtually plug-and-play. I couldn't use the WPS pushbutton setup because my base router is up on the roof, but the web configuration was effortless. Just select the TL-WA860RE as your wireless network, go to tplinkrepeater.net, and choose which router you want to extend from. Lovely.
The signal indicator light is also a great timesaver, quickly showing whether the extender is in an optimum location. The indicator is more responsive than software utilities, which is helpful when zeroing in on the best location.
The pass-through AC outlet is a little icing on the cake, enabling one to deploy the extender discreetly.
Cons: The extender seemed unable to relinquish the signal to the main router, as I walked around with an android tablet. This seems to be a common annoyance with android, however -- devices hang onto a weak Wi-Fi signal even when a better one is available. In the default configuration, where the extender uses the same ID as the base router, there's no way for the user to manually switch between the two signal sources, which can be a problem. My workaround was to assign a different network ID to the extender, enabling me to choose which signal to use. Unfortunately this means that the TL-WA860RE is not my "happy grail" of extenders, able to seamlessly hand off a Wi-Fi signal as I move around my home. I don't know if such a device exists...
This thing just works! It is super easy to setup. You can use your browser on any of your devices to set it up or just use the WPS button. The WPS buttons are the easy fast setup. Just plug it in wait a minute for the unit to startup then press the WPA buttons.
There is another side to this great little device, it has a Ethernet port on the bottom. It can be used to connect a wired device to your wifi network. After you setup your wifi connection and move it to its new location just plug in the Ethernet cable to it and your device and your set.
The range depends on your router and environment. I tried it first in my apartment to see how easy it was to setup. Then I took it to a friends shop that was a lot bigger. I set it up and placed it half way to the back door. The router was at the front of the building, bad location! It took about five minutes to set it up and now I have wifi at the back doors, about 75' away.
Another nice feature is the connection information is on the back side also the unit uses the same id and password as your router after setup.
We'll lets start with the package. I like to save my boxes for new devices incase if failure. This box was a puzzle. It looks like a regular box but it's not. It's a 5 sided box over a 5 sided box. Stand it up after removing the plastic wrapper and lift up.
Next is the power pass through and the size of the unit.
While I like the fact it has a power pass through with the thickness of the unit plus the plug it's really not useful unless hidden under a desk because it will stick out to far. This could have had the pass through plug relocated to the side or bottom for better functionality.
Next the size of the unit above the plug is a bit too high. If you plug this in to the bottom outlet and want to use the top power plug outlet with a 3 prong plug it hits the case and may not fit. Two wire plugs fit fine.
Overall Review: This is a good product at a decent price. It could have been designed just a little better but overall I recommend this as a good product
Pros: Our office is fully covered by mesh networking appliances. Their cost ranges from $250 up to $600 each. An obvious question is how well the $50 TP-LINK TL-WA860RE compares. Short answer: it depends on your needs and expectations.
Higher end Wi-Fi range extenders communicate to other nodes over one channel and broadcast over a second. This maintains full bandwidth, particularly if the extender uses the 5GHz spectrum.
The TP-LINK TL-WA860RE is 2.4 GHz only and uses only one channel for all communication. Unlike more expensive products, it is half-duplex, meaning it can broadcast or receive, but not both simultaneously. This cuts available bandwidth right off the top; channel interference limits bandwidth even further. I saw maximum total throughput rates of slightly higher than 50 MBps – distinctly lower than the maximum specification of 300 MBps.
On the plus side, configuration is simple. Do yourself a favor and use the wireless configuration option. Wired works, but is a nuisance. Since this product is a wireless extender, I’ll assume you have a wireless connection available!
Coverage range of the TP-LINK TL-WA860RE is good. It is better than most consumer-grade wireless equipment, but can’t reach the limits of multi-antenna products with beamforming technology. I found that the coverage is directional. You see more range along the plane of the wall the TP-LINK TL-WA860RE is plugged in to than perpendicular to it.
If you are using the extender to provide coverage to your back yard or deck, there is a usable signal for at least 100 feet. Bandwidth is marginal for HD video streaming, and file transfers are slow, but audio, web browsing, and working at home with a cold beverage close at hand are all eminently possible.
Cons: My primary complaint is that the TP-LINK TL-WA860RE communicates with the base network and any connected clients over a single channel. This causes significant interference, significantly reducing available bandwidth both for connections to the TP-LINK hotspot and to the main wireless access point. This problem becomes worse the closer the TL-WA860RE is located to the base station. TP-LINK mitigates this somewhat by making the TL-WA860RE refuse to connect if it is located too close to the wireless source
For these reasons the TL-WA860RE is not suited for permanent installation. You lose too much bandwidth in your wireless connection when it is on. For occasional use - temporarily extending the reach of your network for a backyard BBQ - it is perfect.
Overall Review: The TP-LINK TL-WA860RE plugs directly into a wall outlet. The design is such that it only covers a single outlet in a standard wall plate. Its width is too much for surge suppressors – expect it to consume two or three outlets. Use in an outdoor outlet depends on the outlet box design. The size of the TP-LINK adapter does not fit with all boxes. You may need a short extension cord.
Pros: This TP Link range extender has a lot to offer. The packaging is well designed and secure for shipment. Setup is quick and easy. Just follow the included instructions, it doesn't much easier. You can use it by simple plug and play. Just plug it in within range of your wireless router, the lights indicate whether you're in the correct range. Push the WPS button on your router and extender and it will automatically configure itself. If you don't have WPS, just connect to it with the user name and key provided and it will automatically begin setup.
This extender has impressive range for what it costs. I've had trouble in the past getting a wireless signal to extend beyond my house. I just plugged this in on the far side of my house and now I can get a signal when I'm outside doing yard work.
This extender has a power through outlet feature. Which is a great addition, considering the fact it's so bulky it's likely to cover both outlets on a normal wall socket. Although, if that's a problem, you can place it on a power strip or an extension cord. All it needs is power, placements isn't really an issue.
This extender also features an Ethernet out, which is really nice. There have been many times in the past that I've needed to get internet to a device but that device was Ethernet only and running an Ethernet cable to that point would have been a major undertaking or altogether impossible. It's not as much of an issue these days, since most devices now come with integrated wi-fi. But for example, for an older Xbox 360 which is pretty much essential to have internet with to take full advantage of, you need to either buy an expensive wireless adapter or use Ethernet. If you've got one of these, that will solve that problem. Acting as a kind of wireless adapter with Ethernet and also extending your local wi-fi range. The bandwidth on the Ethernet is plenty enough to run any device with internet. It's not ideal if you require large bandwidth.
If you plan to keep it outside, as I did, then make sure you put it in a place where it will be out of the weather. If it's out in the rain and dust it won't last long, I would imagine. What I did was create a little container for it. I just put it in a modified laundry detergent pods container so it would be sealed away from any kind of moisture. This device is rated for temperature between -40F to 158F. So it should be safe in nearly any climate.
Cons: This TP Link extender is a bit bulky if you plan to mount it to a standard wall outlet. It tends to cover up both outlets regardless of which socket you plug it into. Which is why the power through feature is so nice. But still, you may have to sacrifice one of your outlets.
The Ethernet port is limited 300 Mb/sec same as the wireless bandwidth.
This device is 2.4 GHz band only.
Overall Review: This range extender is reasonably priced given it's features and quality. It's easy to configure and versatile. Good for almost any situation. I'm happy with the performance of this TP Link range extender. It has significantly improved the load times and quality of my video streaming in my bedroom and outside the house where I used to have trouble streaming at all before.
I really don't have any major issues to report with this range extender. But in the big picture, it's price to performance ratio warrants a 4 Egg rating. Well worth it, but not the best range extender available by TP Link.
Pros: Worked well.
Resolved weak signal issue.
Cons: Had a bit of a hiccup at first. Resolved.
Overall Review: The solution we found was to move the unit near the router to re-initiate. Once connected and set up we could move it to the midpoint successfully. No more dropping. Highly recommended.
Using with cable company router which could not get a good signal to all rooms in a one level 3BR condo until now.
Never had any worries with TP Link products.