Customer Review

30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So far so good! Edit: I spoke too soon!, 19 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: TP-LINK TL-WA850RE 300 Mbps Universal Wall Plug Range Extender/Wi-Fi Booster (Accessory)
For historical reasons, our telephone line enters upstairs at the rear of the house. This means that the WiFi signal is at best variable and at worst weak. Moving the router to a more central position improves this, using a long LAN cable (we are on BT infinity) but to get downstairs the signal still has to cross a wall and floor/ceiling.

This is where this device comes in handy. I found I could position the router on one side of the wall and this extender on the other side. That way, the extender receives a strong signal to forward downstairs. It works! The repeated signal is at least 8dB stronger than the original.

You may see Powerline WiFi extenders advertised too. These work well, but in a different way. With the TL-WA850RE, the repeat is on exactly the same frequency as the original and is indistinguishable from it as far as devices are concerned. The SSID, channel and security are all matched. With other devices, you may have to set a different channel and SSID, else your devices will get confused and may fail to connect.

Setup could not be simpler, using WPS. First, plug in the TL-WA850RE near your router and let it settle down. Press the button on the router. The power LED will generally flash to indicate connection mode. Now hold in the central button on the extender for about two seconds and release. After a while the LED patterns settle down and the RE LED is permanently lit. The LEDs on the right indicate the signal strength. Don't worry about the WiFi LED, which continues to flash.

Finally, move the extender to its final position and you are done. Ideally this should be between the router and where you want to work.

Edit: Sadly, this occasionally loses connection. The result is that if your client is connected to this, and it is not connected to the router, you find you have no internet connection. The only solution seems to be a restart. I had high hopes of this, and at first it tracked my router's WiFi admirably, but it isn't robust enough to be a long term solution, so I am downgrading it.

There is a web interface to tweak settings on the extender. I found this confusing and best left alone.

I don't think there is any problem in using several of these to extend coverage around the house and garden. My only criticism is that the LEDs are quite bright and can't be dimmed. (Sticky tape?) I had hidden it at the back of my wife's wardrobe but she immediately spotted it and said "What's that? Is it safe?" It runs very cool, so I guess it is safe!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Jun 2014 14:32:28 BDT
Klong says:
Have you tried updating the firmware and if you did, any improvements?

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2014 14:51:49 BDT
 says:
Yes. No difference. I tried it again and it is blocking connection to the signal it is boosting. Also, despite being half way between me and the router, its signal strength is -67dB as opposed to the router's -68dB. Totally useless!

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Aug 2014 11:15:03 BDT
I am having the same problem with losing signal. Works fantastic but then loses connection and no option but to reboot. Frustrating!
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