on 2 September 2014
Works great, WHEN it works. Unfortunately it's got a nasty habit of cutting out, meaning I have to disconnect and reconnect the WiFi on the machines on that side of the house. This is probably going to get "gifted" to the in-laws so I can get a replacement - something more reliable
EDIT: 9 months after buying this I'm actively seeking a replacement - anything but a TP-LINK. The WiFi was bad at first, but now I can only describe it as atrocious. It constantly cuts out, meaning I have to reset it every 10-15 minutes by turning it on and off at the wall. The ethernet-only plugs (I have two) seem to work fine, but the WiFi access point is just rubbish, and that's where it's going to wind up.
I have been using home plugs for years to great effect and have had my eye on these for a little while now. The rear of my house suffers from a lack of Wi-Fi coverage, in no small part due to old stone walls and baby monitor etc. Having previously tried a Wi-Fi range extender with little success I came across these.
What struck me first about these is how small they are compared to some of the ones I have had in the past. I was particularly keen to try them as they pipe a strong signal to where it's needed and then create a new or cloned Wi-Fi hotspot, thus not suffering the same issues repeaters do
Installation was simplicity itself. I plugged the small nano unit in and connected it to my Virgin Superhub. I then plugged in the Wi-Fi unit at the rear of my property. Powered on the connected instantly. I then pushed the Wi-Fi clone button and then the WPS button on the Superhub and after about a minute I was up and running. I now have a flawless signal all around my home, garden and even in my garage. As I sue dthe Wi-Fi clone option my devices all move seamless around as if it were one network. Great for streaming movies to my iPad whilst I have a soak in the tub.
Now where these take it a step further is that in the Wi-Fi homeplug there is also 2 ethernet ports as opposed to the usual one. This is great as not only can I benefit from wireless but I can also supply a cabled connection to at least two devices. I find that with a cabled connection, my speeds aren't much worst off than when connected direct to the router. I use them for gaming, linking my xbox downstairs to my router upstairs and pings/latency etc are spot on.
A word of caution. Homeplugs/powerline adaptors etc can be a bit picky. Recommendation is that they are kept on the same ring main and not used in extension sockets, especially ones that are surge protected. In practical use I have not encountered any problems myself. I have used them in extension sockets (surge protected ones) and not experienced any problems.
Overall this is a fantastic bit of kit that works for me perfectly and it is to me the perfect solution to extend your Wi-Fi to areas not covered.
on 14 October 2014
Fantastic product! The whole downstairs of my flat was a WiFi dead zone but this Powerline adapter & WiFi extender kit now graces the whole flat with Internet! Merely having a WiFi connection downstairs is a joy, but I can also achieve download speeds and a ping that is as good as a direct connection to the router! The only niggle is that because I've cloned the router to the extender, it occasionally loses connection when I move from upstairs to downstairs. Simply turning off and on WiFi on the device when I've moved downstairs resolves this.
As mentioned by others, the instructions are confusing mainly because you're supplied with separate instructions for the Powerline adapter (AV200) and the WiFi extender (TL-WPA281). I followed Dancing Bob's steps on here (5 Aug 2014) and I got it working first time:
1. Plug the WiFi extender (TL-WPA281) to a mains socket
2. Press the WPS button on the broadband router
3. Press the Clone button on the WiFi extender
4. Wait for WiFi clone LED light on the WiFi extender to - blink slowly, then all lights solid, then WiFi clone light to blink quickly
5. Wait for WPS scan/connection to complete on broadband router
6. Plug the Powerline adapter (AV200) to a LAN port on broadband router using an Ethernet cable
7. Plug the Powerline adapter to a mains socket
8. Press the Pair button on the Powerline adapter and the Pair button on the WiFi extender
9. Relocate the WiFi extender to another mains socket in the building that suffers from WiFi dead zone
on 25 January 2015
I have a 240Mbps down and 24Mbps up broadband connection at home. In the room where I tend to work I tend to get less than 40-30Mbps and even lower when there's channel interference on the wifi spectrum. So I bought these to ensure I would get a steady reliable speed when working from home.
It turned out that on these powerline adapters I was getting very low speeds, I tried all sorts of configurations and the highest speed I ever got out of it was about 50-45Mbps, and this was when connecting them together on the same socket. After investigating further it turns out that the ethernet ports on these adapters are only 10/100 and not gigabit. So I have returned them back to amazon.
If your internet connection is 50Mbps or less then these are right for you, but if you have faster speeds than that then you don't want these as they'll actually make things slower.
I have bought myself the AV600 TL-PA6010KIT which is meant to be better. Read on review on it of a guy with an experience just like mine and on those he is getting consistent 100-120Mbps which is more acceptable.
on 17 July 2014
Ignore the instructions and do the following:
Plug in the smaller adapter, attach via ethernet cable to your router
Plug in the larger adapter in its desired location
Press the pair button on the front of the smaller device
Press the pair button on the underside of the larger device
(this is where the WPS stuff would normally go, i tried that 5 or 6 times, each with a device reset on the larger device but to no avail)
insert the mini-cdrom into a computer, click the larger device icon as it appears (there are only 2 in front of you on the program which autoruns) This will now show you the IP address for your WIFI Tp-link device. Mine was 192.168.1.124 (yours might be different to this)
Login is "admin" username and password
Type this IP address into your browser on the computer, under 'Wireless settings' change the network name to your existing network SSID name,and the channel (if you know it, if not change it to any number, thats not 1 as this is the auto), thats the one that it broadcasts to all your devices just now.
Then under 'Wireless security', simply change the hexadecimal password (PSK password it is labelled as), which on mine was all numbers, to that of the same as your EXISTING Wifi network.
It will ask you to reboot the device, via the browser screen. Do so.
and VOILA! it will now be a clone of your wifi.
I was using a skyhub, the newer black one, and the WPS just wouldnt clone (I think its because it times off before the full 60seconds are up as this was what was required on the tp-link manuals)
on 13 July 2014
I bought the TL-WPA4220KIT to increase my wireless access in an upstairs bedroom. I connected the TL-PA4010 unit to a mains socket downstairs and to my router via an ethernet cable. I then connected one of the TL-WPA4220 units to the mains in the bedroom. I tested the internet access by connecting a laptop via ethernet cable to the TL-WPA4420 (ensuring that the laptop's Wi-Fi was disabled) and ran a speed test via speedtest.net. I got very good speeds of 75 Mbps down and 16 Mbps up. That is brilliant as that is about the same speed I get via an ethernet cable connected to my router. (My ISP is BT and I subscribe to its Infinity 2 internet service.) I then tested the internet access via the wireless signal from the TL-WPA4220 unit using the same laptop with the ethernet cable disconnected and Wi-Fi turned on and connected to the specific SSID broadcast by the TL-WPA4420 unit. Unfortunately, the wireless connection was sporadic at best. Occasionally it was as fast as the wired connection but usually it was very slow at about 5 Mbps down and <1 Mbps up. This meant that at best I could only get internet access to text-based sites; access to video content such as YouTube worked very poorly and usually not at all. I tried using different wireless channels on the TL-WPA4220 unit but changing the channels made no difference. I tried different laptops and a tablet and the results were the same. I also tried using the other TL-WPA4220 unit that came with the TL-WPA4220KIT and the results were equally poor with regard to wireless.
Given that the TL-WPA4220 provided me with excellent wired internet access, I then connected an old Wi-Fi router of mine to the TL-WPA4220 via an ethernet cable, turning the router into a dedicated wireless access point (having disabled DHCP in the old router). I now have excellent wireless internet access in the bedroom by virtue of my old router connected via ethernet cable to the TL-PA4220. I reliably get 35 Mbps down and 19 Mbps up. This workaround is not ideal but, in my view, most powerline adaptors that double as a wireless access point do so rather poorly. Maybe it’s the small size of the adaptor that limits their wireless capabilities; I don't know.
Thus the TL-WPA4220KIT, in my hands, provided excellent remote wired internet access but unusable wireless internet access. I am keeping mine because I have found a workaround that I can live with. But I would not recommend buying this for its wireless capabilities as you are likely to be disappointed.
on 31 January 2015
Just as the other reviews said the set up instructions are misleading - don't follow them! Fortunately having read the other reviews I quickly realised that the instructions wouldn't work (it just wasn't cloning our wireless network) and did what the other reviewers recommended. Then it was really simple and it works very well. So in short this is all I needed to do:
Write down the last 6 figures on the top number on the large plug in unit and also the password that is shown further down on the same unit. Plug the small unit in near to the router (ours is a Virgin superhub) and connect with one of the Ethernet cables provided. Plug the large unit in elsewhere. Press the button on the front of the small unit and then the little button UNDERNEATH the large unit - they'll flash a bit, the bottom green light on the big unit will keep flashing but you should be done now and you should have available to you a new wireless network with the name TP_LINK_xxxxxx (the x's being the 6 digits you wrote down), connect to this using the password you wrote down - you can unplug the large unit and plug it in anywhere you like to extend your wireless capability (ours is now in the shed and we can go wireless right up the garden). For ease I found it better to plug in fairly close to the small unit when setting up to save running round the house while pressing buttons. Hope that helps anyone buying one and many thanks to those who reviewed before me and saved me hours of frustration.
Just one question remains - why on earth aren't the guys who make it able to write a set of instructions that actually work?
on 13 February 2016
Despite being shown working over 3 floors, because most UK homes have a separate ring main circuit for each floor the units won't usually operate between floors. TP-Link do state that, "The Powerline adapters need to be connected to the same electrical circuit" but they should be more explicit & state same ring main circuit.
I easily got the units to connect & then sync with my Wi-Fi, but only on the same floor; when I moved the receiver to a different floor (& ring main circuit) it lost connection.
Before you buy, check your consumer unit (main fuse box) to make sure that the place you want to use the units are on the same ring main circuit.
on 3 July 2014
I'm giving this a three chiefly because of the frustrating setup. 'no configuration' it isn't. 'Push a couple of buttons and you are done', nope. Took two hours. However, once up and running it seems to work pretty well.
So what happened? There are two sets of 'quick installation' instructions with the kit, which is a little confusing. Spending some time, it became clear that one set was only about setting up a wired connection, the other for wired and wireless. The whole point for me was to extend the wireless network, so I took that one, but not after first doing the other one. I plugged the small adaptor into the wall socket near the router, plugged the ethernet cable between the two, went upstairs and plugged the larger (wi-fi extender) box into a socket upstairs. I got the impression that it would pair up automatically, and perhaps it would, but in fact I did the 2-second button press on both anyway, and they paired just fine. So far, a five star effort.
Next, read the other quick installation guide, where it says to plug the wi-fi extender close to the wi-fi router, press the WPS button on the router for 2 seconds, then the button on the front of the extender (not the little pairing button underneath) for 2 seconds, and watch the pretty lights. I watched the demo on youtube, but it never did what the youtube video showed, the lights just never did that, it did the fast flashing straight away, not slow flashing for twenty seconds, then a little fandango and finally fast flashing. I tried this multiple times, and also did the reset (little hole underneath) and tried again. Nothing. It always showed as a separate wi-fi network called 'TP-Link...', which I couldn't log into. It definitely wasn't copying the SSID and password from the router.
Check the PDF manual online. You don't get this manual with the device, nor a reference to it, I think. You do get a cd-rom, but it is one of the mini ones that only work with tray-loading dvd drives, so useless. OK, so I learn that the extender has a web interface. It says if you are connected wirelessly you can go to http://tplinkplclogin.net but I couldn't connect via wireless. I plugged in my Macbook Pro over ethernet, but that address didn't work. I noted that it gave me an IP address of 192.168.1.67 so I tried entering 192.168.1.1 in the browser, and got a password dialog. Entered 'admin' for both and got in. In there, I set the SSID and password manually to match my router, rebooted, and no it worked!
Now it is up I like it, but I can imagine a lot of people getting very frustrated setting it up.
UPDATE: I was finding that although my Macbook pro and all the iPads could connect easily to the router as before, my iPhone would not even see the network, but if I took it upstairs would connect happily to the extender. Also, the Mac upstairs (which is more or less equidistant between the router and the extender) would keep dropping its connection. A family member's Dell would not see the network at all and had to use ethernet. This was with them sharing SSID and channel to make a seamless wifi zone. So I made the channels different, channel 1 on the extender and channel 11 on the router itself (still sharing same SSID and password), and now it all works fine, everything can connect everywhere. I searched on the web for info about channel settings, but it was ambiguous.