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3.9 out of 5 stars1,045
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 20 September 2015
When it works, it works well, but it's not particularly stable when extending the range of our Virgin Media Hub. Easy to set up either using the quick set up. Once we started using it we came across a few issues either - it would drop signal with no warning or it would ask for the admin password and try to log into the extender. The same occurred on two laptops, two iPads, and iPhone and a Samsung Note 3.

The second and more serious issue is to do with the default web configuration page. For simplicity the original firmware allows it to be accessed using tplinkextender.net however if it connects to the actual site on the web rather than the router then malware is downloaded (TP Link didn't think to buy and secure this domain) This is a major problem and I found it trying to visit the actual website even when I was configuring the extender.

You can prevent this issue by downloading new firmware here http://www.tp-link.com/en/download/TL-WA860RE_V1.html#Firmware (you'll need to unzip the file) then disconnecting your original wi-fi point from the net (keep it on - just disconnect the physical internet cable), then plugging in and configuring the extender as per instructions, accessing the extender on http://192.168.0.20/, and using the firmware upgrade on the extender's menu to install the new firmware. You can now reconnect the internet cable to your wi-fi point and safely use the extender.

To be honest, I don't know why the product wasn't recalled by TP-Link'. It's totally inexcusable to expose purchasers to this risk
44 comments113 of 116 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 August 2014
At the time I bought this it had just replaced an earlier model so there were no reviews available. However, reviews of the model it replaced were predominantly positive, stating that it was simple to set up, performed well and represented good value.
Unsurprisingly the same applies to this model. The set-up instructions are clear and the process is extremely simple.
Once the Range Extender has been synchronised with the router it can be relocated to where it is needed and simply plugged into a standard mains socket to provide the power needed to rebroadcast the Wi-Fi signal. In our case this was downstairs, diametrically opposite the router location in order to improve coverage at the rear of the house and into the back garden where connectivity has been patchy and intermittent.
The device has a group of LEDs that show the received signal strength from the router to assist in locating it for best effect. We found that the received signal was fine after passing through a floor and two brick walls (although this is as much down to the quality and strength of signal from the router as it is to the capability of Extender itself).
Wi-Fi coverage downstairs is greatly improved and we have yet to experience any 'drop-outs' in internet connectivity since installing the Extender.
Just one minor word of caution when choosing a location for the Extender. The LEDs on the front of the device are very bright and there are several of them to indicate various functions and performance. So it is best to keep it out of line of sight where people are sleeping (or trying to!). Alternatively you could just turn off the power at night.
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on 31 August 2014
My wife and I are a couple of sad old people who like to lie in bed playing with our IPad and Galaxy Note. Unfortunately we have been constantly frustrated by the lack of a good wi-fi signal. Last week I purchased the TP-link range extender. It took a couple of minute to set up with no problems at all. I plugged it into a socket on the landing outside the bedroom door and hey presto problem solved, We two septogenarians can now play with our toys to our hears content.
88 comments139 of 147 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 12 September 2014
Bought a new smart TV and the room it is in suffered from a poor wifi reception so signal for TV kept dropping out. Have had this now for 3 days and I now have full signal. Placed it about halfway between router and TV. Highly recommended.
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on 3 August 2014
Like others, I had several dead zones around my house that would not receive the wifi signal from my router, which is the latest BT model. This device has largely cured the problem. Mine is the TL-WA850RE bought through Amazon a few weeks ago, which is the previous model though I'm not sure there's much difference.

Previously my iPad or iPhone would not receive wifi in the living room or other parts of the downstairs and parts of the upstairs and now it does. Similarly our TV in the living room is now able to receive the wifi signal.

Setting up was dead easy, just follow the instructions, which is greatly assisted by it using the same security code as the router itself and using the WPS push button method. There is a more complex alternative set up using your computer, should you not be able to use the WPS method for some reason.

It has to be plugged into a mains socket and you then lose the use of that socket. Perhaps it would be improved by having a pass through socket built into it, leaving it still available to plug in other things. But then again that possibly might mess with its signal in some undesirable way.

Update April 2015: I understand that the latest model does have a pass through socket.

However one difficulty in my case is that the unit is supposed to be placed somewhere roughly half way between the router and the receiving devices so that at least three blue lights show on its signal strength indicator. I couldn't find such a location in my house. The best I could do was two lights so not ideal though it still works fairly well but a couple of very weak spots in the house remain. It is though a largish house.

It seems to me that successful use depends on at least three facts. The location of the router, the structural design of your property and the available location of the mains sockets.

There's not always a lot you can do about the location of the router because it has to be close to the phone socket into which it is plugged. Mine is not in an ideal place being at the side of the house rather than a central position. I guess the phone socket could be moved at some expense but having recently completed an expensive major refurbishment programme we don't feel like undertaking the disruptive work. Similarly you can't easily do much about your property layout and the materials of its construction.

Mains sockets again can't easily be changed and I tried several before I found the best, but not ideal, position for the TP Link. What you possibly could do if like me you don't have one in an ideal spot is to plug an extension lead into a socket and then the unit into that so as to find a more effective location. But that may not be the perfect answer either because it could be unsightly if the extension is visibly trailing around or even a little risky if it's where people could trip over it.

One peculiar problem was with my wifi printer. This is in the same room as the router so very close to it and usually no trouble getting a signal. On one occasion, not long after I'd installed the TP Link unit, the printer decided to try and pick up the weaker signal from the TP, which was in another part of the house and therefore distant from it, instead of the strong signal direct from the router which is almost beside. it. This presence of two signals confused the poor thing which gave up and it lost all wifi signal so wouldn't print from my desktop computer, also in the same room.

I had to reinput the wifi security code, give it a good bash, always the best way to handle machinery I find, and since then no further problem.

Summing up, a very good piece of kit. Mine has been running for several weeks now without fail and has greatly extended the ability to use wifi devices like iPads, iPhones, TV in the building. I can't know how long it might last but thus far I recommend it highly.

Do note though that the quality of its signal does depend on the three points I mention above which will vary between users, not the unit's fault.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 11 December 2015
I've used or tried about a dozen of these WiFi extenders over the past few years, from all the major manufacturers. This is definitely the best so far. It is so simple to use:

Plug in near your router.
Press the big button.
Press WPS on the router.
2 lights appear to confirm 2.4gHz and 5gHz connection.
Unplug and move to your desired location!

It's that simple. It works seamlessly with my Virgin Superhub.

The device itself is quite large, bigger than other devices. But unlike other models is narrow enough to use in a double plug. Signal is strong, reliable, and so far hasn't had any cut-outs. The extender covers a wide area over several storeys and through thick brick walls.

Apart from simplicity of set-up, there are 2 other big plus points:

1. The big red or blue light: if it shines blue, you have a good signal (it's near enough to the router), if it's red you havent (move it closer to the router)
2. It extends your network using the same network name and password, so no issues changing the WiFi network as you move from the router zone to the extender zone.

Brilliant. Simple. Unfaultable.
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VINE VOICEon 15 May 2015
I have used and reviewed a lot of Network Extenders and this is the simplest, most unobtrusive and effective one I've come across. Setting up couldn't be simpler - plug the extender into a mains outlet, press the sync button on the extender and on your router and, after a minute or so, the network is extended. Or, in fact, cloned since what you actually get is a second network with the same name as your existing one plus the letters _EXT at the end.This means that you need to set this network up on your mobile device/laptop (it'll have the same password as the existing one) and, as you move around the house, you'll need to choose the best one (your smartphone will probably switch automatically). I've come across other devices that use the same network name for both the extender and the main network but I've found this can cause confusion with my devices so I prefer this simpler approach.
Range is very good - presumably amplified by the external antennae - and has meant that wifi is now accessible throughout my average-sized semi.
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on 27 December 2015
General info: I was looking to extend the range of my bt home hub 1.5. I then wanted to connect a Mac laptop, an iPad 3 and an iPhone 6.

The quick setup method did not work, didn't recognize the router. So then tried the browser method. Eventually got it to work but wasn't super simple. Here's info that might help:

1. My router only works on 2.4 GHz. I found a TP-Link webpage that explained that this would be fine and that in fact, the extender would also create a 5ghz network. This was the case and my iPhone 6 was able to connect to the 5ghz network. If you are in the same situation, when running the setup wizard, go through the screen that scans for the 2.4GHz networks but when it scans for the 5GHz, select the "skip this step" checkbox.

2. If you follow the instructions by looking at the screenshots, it seems like you should select "most secure (WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK)" for "wifi security option". Every time I did that, it did not work. When I realized that I should have, instead, selected "wep" as this was the original setting for the router, this worked fine.

3. When you have finished the wizard and the last step, the reboot, gets to 100%, WAIT! Wait until one or both of the lights above the 2.4 and 5GHz labels have lit up. If neither light up, the setup did not work. It is not enough for the light above the wireless signal label (3rd from the bottom) to light up. If you are in the same scenario as me for point #1, only the 2.4GHz light will light up, but as per point #5, you will have access to both the 2.4 and the 5GHz bands.

4. Once you relocate the extender, again, wait until at least one of the 2 top lights light up.

5. I had to disconnect and reconnect my devices (iPad, iPhone) from the network after that. If you are in the same scenario as me for point #1, you will now notice you can choose from 2 wireless networks, you now have a network with the same name with "_5GHz" at the end.

It's been 24 hours and it's been working. It has dropped once or twice, thus the 3 stars but still way better than it was without. Note that iPhone 6 as a newer device gets better signal than the iPad 3.
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on 12 January 2015
As you'll see from all my other reviews I'm usually pretty positive when it comes to reviews because I tend to do research before buying things so I usually end up with decent products - but I honestly wouldn't waste my money on this product. It is extremely easy to set up but fails miserably to extend the wifi signal ver far.

I have mine plugged in per instructions approx half way between main router and the area I want to extend signal to but there is negligible difference between the signal I get from main router when this is is plugged in. If I lived in a massive house I could maybe understand this but I live in a fairly standard sized semi-detached with a clear line of sight between where extender is plugged n and where I work in the third bedroom, so overall very dissapointed.
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on 29 April 2015
Simplicity itself to set up - pop it into a power socket near the router, press the WDS button on the router then on the repeater, wait for the LEDs to signal the connection is successful. Unplug & locate where you need it. In this mode it simply repeats the SSID of your router so no additional security steps needed to connect. There is a second web-based config method (setup mini-cd included) which gives the repeater its own SSID if overlap causes issues. I use a TP-Link router as well so would expect everything to work seamlessly, which it does.

Performance - don't forget that although the repeater will be giving a strong signal, it is actually carrying your data over the poor signal from your router so don't expect blazing-fast speeds - you bought this because you couldn't connect to your main router remember? But at least you now have access where you didn't before. Our iPhone 5c, 6 & iPad 3 now all have a stable connection where they couldn't connect to the router at all previously.

Packaging - rather obviously (nicely) packaged like an Apple device so a little bit of a faff to get the repeater unboxed but you only do this the once so no drama.

Summary - does what it says on the tin, and cheap so 5 stars from me.
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