Top positive review
101 people found this helpful
on 14 May 2013
I know nothing about this sort of stuff, so this review is to help real dummies like me. Fortunately my wife is tech savvy (maths teacher geek) and saved me a lot of wasted time.
We have a blackspot upstairs where our already weedy wifi signal (the perils of village life) registers at most 1 bar, making watching iplayer or Netflix very frustrating. Heard you could 'boost wifi signal around the house' so researched it, and found that pure 'wifi extenders' (as I discovered they're called) suffer with a lot of signal dropout, which underlines the main problem with wifi.
Saw 'Powerline' extenders online but didn't know what it meant. Then browsed in maplin where the nice man explained that half of their wifi extenders get returned due to poor signal, in exchange for powerline extenders. I understand 'powerline' to mean it runs through the electric circuit of the house. That may be obvious to many of you, but like I say, I'm a techno dummy.
I think this means the extender socket is effectively wired to the router and therefore should not have signal dropout. Then the only issue is if you use it in wifi mode, the device you want to use needs to be near enough to the extender - I believe it covers 150m and I'm using it mainly in the same room, so I'm hoping it should never be a problem. There is also an Ethernet port on the extender (and a 2nd cable is supplied) if you wanted to connect a device to the extender to have it wired for maximum speed and reliability.
Where my wife saved me time was by telling me not to bother 'configuring the extender' as it suggests in the (laughable) 'quick start' instructions. The only instructions I needed was how to 'pair' the base unit (the smaller of the two supplied devices which has 3 LED lights and a 'pair' button) with the extender (larger with 4 LED lights, pair button and a reset point).
1. Attaching one of the supplied Ethernet cables into a spare port in the back of the router (in our case a BT Homehub 2.0)
2. Attaching the other end into the base unit
3. Inserting base unit into plug socket and switching it on - all 3 LEDs came on
4. Inserting extender into adjacent plug socket - top 3 lights come on and 4th (wifi) light flashes
5. Pressing pair button on extender for about 1-2 seconds
6. As soon as possible (they advise max 2 minutes) pressing pair button on base unit for 1-2 seconds
7. Waiting with trepidation whilst the power button (top one) on the extender now flashes too, whilst the 2nd and 3rd buttons have gone out
8. After about 5 mins, all lights are solid apart from the 4th (bottom) one on the extender
9. Unplugging extender and taking upstairs to a plug socket near blackspot - switch on at mains
10. Switch on entertainment device (in my case an ipod) - either wait for it to pick up a signal, or go to 'settings' - wifi - and choose TP LINK
11. Hey presto, 3 bars of signal upstairs for the first time ever
It'll probably all go wrong by tomorrow, but til then, i'll enjoy the moment!
All the other stuff in the 'quick start' seems to be if you have already set up a home network - we had it once, but it went down for some reason and we've never got it back up again.
Hope that helps the techno illiteratti, apologies if someone who understands these things felt obliged to read thru to the end to check for novice errors - hope I didn't make any...