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on 8 November 2014
Having gone through various wifi extenders which have been disappointing or totally useless I decided to try a powerline solution and bought a TP-LINK WPA281 Kit. From reading the reviews I expected it to be fairly simple to set up and indeed for the basic setting its was. took about ten minutes to pair the two units and also to pair the wireless unit with my wireless router. But this set up just gives the basic setting which does not include full password protection. Yes it did carry the wifi password protection across but not the SSID which it should have done. I wanted to change the SSID to something I could identify as mine and also emanating from the TP-Link. I also wanted to password protect the TP-link wireless settings. TP-link provide management software which doesn’t work on a Macintosh. Their website offers some kind of mac compatible software, which appears to be entirely useless for the TP-Link WiFi management. I was about to send the whole kit back when I found, but not easily, on a to-link users forum the following advice. And it works, (Thanks Cora for posting the original).

The mini CD can not work with Imac. It will get stuck if you insert it into it. TP-LINK do not have any source that can install on the TP-LINK. Here are my own settings, hope this can help you:

1. Turn off the powerline adapter(small one) connected to your broadband router.

2.Connect TL-WPA281 to your MAC computer by a Ethernet cable.
3. Set a static IP for your Mac computer

3.1 Connect the MAC computer to the TL-WPA281 LAN port with the Ethernet cable in the package. Then Click the Apple menu and select System Preferences. When the System Preferences screen appears, look for Network and click it.

3.2 In the Network panel, select Ethernet. In the Configure IPv4 field, select "Manually", and then fill in the parameters like below, and click Apply:
IP Address: 192.168.1.100 Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0

4. Login to the TL-WPA 281’’s management page:
Open Safari, type 192.168.1.1 (the default IP of TL-WPA281) into the address bar and press enter, put in the default username and password which are both "admin" and “admin”, then click Log In.

5. Go to Wireless-->Wireless security-->Select the last one WPA-PSK/WP2-PSK. Go to PSK password-->Put a password into it-->Save.

It works and rescues the poor TP-LINK Instructions.

As for the TP-Link haddware, so far it woks even though the units are on different ring mains and woks well giving me fast and good wifi coverage in an area which had been very variable.

It would have been five stars but only three for poor instructions.
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on 18 December 2012
I now know it really is easy to setup - however i did take some wrong turnings on the way:
# I didnt realise that it creates a new wifi zone rather than extending your existing one. i.e. as you walk around the house you need to disconnect from one and join the other. Fine if your gadget does that automatically but frustrating if not. This is also true if you buy another TP link wifi plug. That creates a third wifi zone...
# The quality of your wiring around the house has an impact - in some of our plugs it is weak, in others it works really well. We live in a fairly old house and i took a gamble that it would be OK and it has been.
# I tried to pair them pressing the pair button. This just meant that our gadgets wouldnt connect to them so i had to find the factory reset button and start again. Second time round i didnt bother pairing them and everything is working fine.

Now that i know what to expect it really is easy to set up in that you just plug them both into the wall. Connect one end to your modem and hey presto the other end is a wifi hotspot. You then spend a couple of minutes marvelling at quite how they can do that. To put a password on it simply connect your laptop to the wifi end with the provided CD, follow the instructions and 2 mins later you'll have your wifi password protected.

Overall a very easy way of getting wifi round the house and i would recommend it.
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on 20 January 2014
I had recently purchased a SMART TV for my bedroom but was disappointed to find that it's ability to pick up a good signal from my wireless router (situated downstairs) was quite poor. After getting no good advice from the TV manufacturer's helpdesk I took matters into my own hands and searched for 'wireless signal booster'. I am extremely grateful to the review written by barnstone cowboy entitled DUMMIES REVIEW. This made me feel confident in buying this product. I followed the instructions on his reiew and within 10 minutes I had paired the devices and was getting a strong signal. However my downfall was getting my devices (TV and laptop) to accept the password given by the manufacturer. The password is printed (albeit in small print) on the extender. It was quite frustrating that this password was not accepted. I returned to Amazon reviews and found another one that seemed to have experienced the same issue and his advice was to repeat the initial pairing process a few times (I did it 3 times) and eventually the wireless utility on my laptop and TV readily accepted the password. Since then (4 days ago) I have had a full 4 bar signal upstairs and my Smart TV is working a treat. I can now watch catch up TV and stream movies without that annoying buffering. So all in all I agree this is a great product just a little irritating for the set up. Well done to all you helpful reviewers - a great public service!
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on 25 September 2013
Well, this item had great reviews, but I just couldn't get it to work.
I read the instructions. I googled. I watched YouTube videos of 10 year old kids making it work. It didn't work. I still don't know if it was something I was doing wrong or a dud kit, but I'm thinking probably the latter since it's supposed to be plug and play.
I sent it back and replaced it with a Netgear Wireless Extender, which worked first time, was £20 cheaper, and only needs one socket instead of two.
Hey ho.
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on 11 February 2013
As other reviewers have said, setting these up is not intuitive. I did the same thing several time (following the manual) and eventually it started working - I have no idea what I did differently on the last attempt! It was not helped by the lack of full interface for Mac...
Once installed, it works well, although occasionally, the internet seems to 'hang' - not sure if this is the kit, or my connection!
Overall, it seems to be a good bit of kit.
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How pleasant to buy a technical product that "just works"! My wireless router could not give me house-wide coverage through some very substantial walls, and a try with a wifi extender gave a weedy signal strength. This starter set, though, did the trick 100%. Like this:

I left everything running -- router, desktop computer, broadband connection -- and inserted the supplied yellow Ethernet cable into a LAN port on the router. The other end of the cable went into the non-wireless Powerline plug, and I popped the plug into a nearby mains socket. Then I put the wireless TP Link plug into a mains socket on the far side of my big brick wall, and waited about half a minute. Shazam! Wifi appeared, giving me a strong signal on laptop and iPad all around the house.

That was it. No setup, no pairing, and I can unplug and move the wireless plug any time. If plugged in again to any socket in the house, it starts transmitting wifi. At last, visitors and relatives will stop griping as their smartphones, tablets and laptops connect in my house.

The wireless plug also has a LAN port, so you could attach a smart TV or any non-wireless device that needs internet connection.
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on 18 December 2013
This is fantastic.
4 stars only because the 1 button configuration never worked.
Never mind, I replicated my wifi network configuration manually, you have to be Geek level 1 to do that.
Get into your router look at the spec of your network, log into the tp-link tool and replicate it.
10 min job and you have 1 wifi network through out your house.
Did that in my countryside house with 6 boxes, works perfect!
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on 27 February 2013
Would have been 5 stars but it was sold as plug and play, and for me it was not. At first I could not tell if they were paired or not as the wifi light would not light up at all, although the other lights suggested they were paired. After installing the software I started altering the default settings, and doing several reboots etc. and then the TP link showed up on my Ipad available networks and on a laptop too, but the Ipad would not connect and the laptop was very slow. In the end I rang the 24/7 help line , but was put through to a non european call centre and I could barely understand what they were saying due to language issues, so gave up on that. Before returning the product I had another shot at altering the settings. I set the wireless standard to 11g only and randomly chose channel 6 instead of auto. This had the desired effect and it now works as it should and seems stable. I am not sure which of the settings was wrong and do not want to adjust them now, but it shows how fragile the wireless networks settings are. All this took about 3 hours but I am now happy with the results.
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on 17 May 2012
It states on the box that setup is a flash away. The instructions are good even though the English is wanting. I encountered a problem in that once security was enabled the units lost contact with each other and I wasn't aware of this possibility. Even when pairing them the written instructions are different to technical supports instructions (who incidentally are very helpful). I did not use the 0845 number since I figured that is not a fair way to treat customers to charge for calls, so I emailed. So remember, when you enable security go back to the units and pair them again by only pressing the pairing button for between 1 and 3 seconds and then the same for the extender. Now I have them working perfectly but initially I messed around for 4 hours. Because of the lack of warning about this I'm only giving a 4 star review.
UPDATE: After a few months I noticed that when I connected by ethernet cable my speed did not increase I'm running over a !00Mbps from my router but only getting about 50Mbps at the powerline receiver end. After much testing and inquiring from TP-Link I now find out that the 200Mbps quoted is in fact not the true picture. The best speed they say is around 85Mbps and the way they work this out is 100Mbps one way and 100Mbps the other. Anyway, this is what they say: "As advertised, 200Mbps means two ways transmit rate, each way is 100Mbps. So it has a 100Mbps LAN port.
The data is transferred through power line, some data is used to control the communication. So the highest throughput is about 85Mbps.
All brands advertise the same information".
I am disappointed, so take from this what you will but I've never seen this information before. I am thinking of sending the kit back and upgrading to the 500Mbps unit.
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on 22 August 2012
Prompt delivery and worked perfectly within 10min of being unwrapped.

The hard wired connection option is available straight from the box with the cables provided. The wireless (with Windows 7) was easy to set up using the supplied software disk and management program which was required to establish the wireless network name and access password. The easy install guide is more than enough to take you through the process.

I have used the wireless unit in various locations, upstairs, different rooms and even out in the garage without any problems - I tested it streaming various episodes from BBC Iplayer without any lost of continuity. The base unit connected to my router is actually plugged into an externsion cable and at the furthest extreminity, in the separate outside garage, the wireless access point was over 25m away.

Having tested the unit and moved it around various locations without any problems I am going to purchase an additional kit to expand the wirelss access form the office to the retail area of my wife's business.
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