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on 3 December 2013
First to get honesty out the way , although a very regular customer I bought mine from Argos , it was £1 dearer but I had a £10 voucher to use up and have just got a new tablet so wanted to see if I could extend my Wi-Fi now without waiting the few extra days for delivery.

Now I am usually one of those unlucky or jinxed so and so,s so especially around Christmas time no matter how "simple" or "plug and go" or "universal" or easy to set up and gadgets and gizmos are that I usually end up spending hours getting the damned things working , if I have resisted the temptation to simply bin it.

However with this Extender I as normal opted for the easy option first plugged it in pressed the wps button on the router , pressed the button on the extender and after about 90 seconds it was sorted.
The one thing I found perhaps its just me the process of the flashing lights and in particular what should and should not be flashing could be better explained as I at first thought I was having my usual gadget problems until it dawned on me that it was ok.

I must admit I did not waste ant time trying different spots for it , I already knew where my Wi-Fi was weakest , the kitchen , conservatory and living room , plugged it in the kitchen switched on tablet and BANG full strength Wi-Fi.

I am very very pleased both with the item and with myself for buying it.

I would not put anyone off buying one of these as its worked for me.
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on 13 August 2013
I had reservations as to whether this would do what it said, so just bought one to begin with. (On this occasion it was for my son's house where there are two levels separated by reinforced concrete floors and thick concrete walls.) I tried one and found it easy to set up the link with the unit close to the router, then by moving it to other locations to see what the signal strength was (even a single bar on the blue indicator scale seems enough) it was possible to find an optimum position to extend the range. After that I went on to get a second one and spread the coverage further. We may go for a third one after experimenting with these two for a while. Plus, after upgrading my own router I will seriously consider trying one or more in my own house. (I need to find out what the range is like anyway with the new router.) It is essential the router has a "WPS" button on it for initial setup, in which case it's only necessary to press that followed by the one on the link and the rest is just automatic. The new area covered by the range extender seems to be lifted to full strength as though close to the router itself, so all devices like smartphones and tablets work fine and laptops don't need hard wired links by e.g. ethernet links over the power system. I had heard that these extenders can be "daisychained" and so relay from one to another, but some elementary tests I carried out seemed to indicate that each one needed to pick up the signal from the router itself so requires to be within range of that.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This TP-Link unit comes in a beautifully presented classy white box clearly modelled on those for Apple's Temple of Shiny products. Slide it out and the Range Extender 13A wall plug inside looks the part, with its superb white gloss looks and (very) bright circle of blue LEDs. In amongst the box is the small mini CD containing the full manual as pdf, and a short grey RJ45 network cable for the WiFi plugs optional single 10/100 Mbps network socket. The Range Extender supports n/g/b wireless with WEP, WPA/WPA2-PSK encryptions. I plugged the TP-Link Range Extender into a 13A socket next to my WiFi router as suggested.

I have a D-Link DIR-655 Pre-n/g/b WiFi router with a 4-port 1Gb switch, beefed up with D-link's high gain DWL-50AT antennae. The router has the easy link 'WPS button' to automatically connect to other network devices similarly endowed, like this Range Extender Plug. Initially I didn't get anywhere pushing both the WPS buttons, they didn't connect. Then I found if I pushed the Range Extenders front button once, and then let the flashing WiFi active LED come on for a while, and then pushed the DIR-655 Router WPS button, and then pushed the TP-link button a second time, the two mated perfectly. The rows of LEDs on the Range Extender plug all flashed on and off for a minute or so while connecting, and then the Wireless LED stayed flashing, the `RE' LED remained on, and all 5 LEDs of the signal strength meter lit up (the Extender plug was around 10 feet from the router). This meant that my D-Link router and the TP-Link range extender had mated 'for life' and now it's a simple matter to unplug the range extender and replug it back in, in any weaker WiFi signal area, where you have say a laptop or netbook struggling to connect. If the WPS button doesn't work, the Range Extender can be set up manually using an internet browser (no software required), either by WiFi or by connecting the PC to the Range Extender using it's wired network port. The only thing I don't like about the TP-link plug, other than dazzling blue LEDs, is that there's no 13A socket on it to pass through the mains, so the unit clogs up a valuable 13A socket. And it's tall form blocks sockets on some distribution boards and is unsuitable for 2 or 3 way 13A adaptors.

As a try-out check I found the place in our bungalow front room where our wireless `g' 54 Mbps Dell Studio 17" laptop could only connect to the main D-Link router with a low (3 yellow bars) signal, saying just 36 Mbps. Plugging the TP-Link Range Extender in nearby (on an extension lead as most 13A wall sockets are buried behind things) and software disconnecting the laptop from the WiFi and reconnecting it, the Range Extender instantly upped the laptop's signal to 'excellent' 5 green bars and a full 54 Mbps speed. However all is not what it seems, using Totusoft's cheap LaN Speed Test app, the 'low' 3 yellow connection's real world speed was writing files across the network at 18 Mbps and reading files at 10 Mbps, well down from an excellent signal nearer the router of 22 Mbps for both. However via the range extender and it's `excellent signal', the Lan Speed Test app reported just 13 Mbps file write and 15 Mbps read - not a disaster and very reliable, but little better than the previous 'low' connection speed. This is simply because of how the range extender works. To quote the manual: "TP-LINK recommends that you connect to the Range Extender when your home network connection is poor, or when you want to eliminate "dead zones". In compliance with the wireless transmission protocol, the Range Extender is set to work in half-duplex not full-duplex mode. In other words, the Range Extender has to process one-way communication between your Wireless router and the clients. So the transmission time will be double-increased, while the speed will be decreased." By 'decreased', they mean that your network speed can be halved. In fact if I plug the range extender in an excellent high Wifi signal area and use it, our laptop's network file read/write speed immediately drops from 22 Mbps to 12 Mbps. So this Range Extender really is best used for blackspots in the WiFi where the connection is too weak with drop-outs to be useful - and here the TP-link Range Extender should work quite well. Elsewhere don't connect to the Range extender and keep the internet connection established before the Range Extender was powered up. As the range extender connects to the router automatically when plugged in (once mated), it's easy to just drag it out and plug it in when needed. In areas where the connection is rated low but completely reliable, it could be better to avoid using it. Our Range Extender keeps the memory of our router for weeks when disconnected from the mains, and it can remember previous routers it has been mated to. If you have a matching 300Mbps TP-Link wireless router and TP-Link 300Mbps network card in the PC/Laptop you could get network file read/write speeds running typically 3 to 4 times faster than our 54 Mbps wireless 'g' laptop, although there will still be that half duplex hit on the '300Mbps' networking speed networking via this TP-Link Ranger Extender (we prefer using the laptop internal 'g' cards as the 300Mbps 'n' laptop adaptors are quite bulky and get in the way, and our internet speed is only 6Mbps max anyway).

So within the limitations of the device, this TP-Link Range Extender works quite well. Sadly, or rather happily, in our house we don't use it often as all the desktop PC and TV's have a wired network option using our 13A mains wiring network system which provides a reliable 80 to 120 Mbps connection throughout the house (see D-Link DHP-P501AV/B Powerline 500M Homeplug AV Passthrough Starter Kit). As the D-Link PowerLine mains wired solution is superior, we don't bother with the TP-Link's optional 10/100 Mbps cable port at the base of the Extender plug (although it works well). Our WiFi signal is reserved for the likes of smartphones, an iPad and our iPod Touch's, but we find this range extender is mostly useful when used with our laptops and a netbook, as they are more difficult to move about for signal, and easier to wirelessly connect to the TP-Link Extender plug. So I think it's a 4* product, provided you have a real WiFi blackspot area and don't want to go down an alternative 13A wired PowerLine cable route. When ordering, make sure you get sent the one you want, as there are both 13A UK/Ire and Europlug versions.

Update 2015: Our D-Link 500AVs were getting a bit flakey after many years use so I replaced them with a Devolo dLAN 650+ Starter Kit and Devolo dLAN 650+ Single Adapter. I have to say the Devolo dLAN 500 Wi-Fi Adapter was far easier to integrate into the Develo powerline series than this TP-Link WiFi adapter, plus the Devolo control software is superior (e.g. can it automatically update the firmware on any adaptor in the network). And our new Devolo 500 powerline WiFi network speed is much faster than this TP-Link unit as it runs as a seperate WiFi network node from the main router (i.e. full speed, with no half duplex).
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on 13 July 2013
Worked like a dream. I spent 2 mins reading the Quick Installation Guide, ignored the set-up disc and went for the WPS option. Plugged the unit in close to my router, pressed the WPS button on the router and then the button on the front of the unit. Less than a minute later had a solid blue light against the 'RE' LED ('wireless' light flashes - but that is the norm). Unplugged the unit and moved it into another room to extend the wireless signal into the garden. 30 secs or so later the 'RE' light was solid again and I was able to connect my iPad out in the garden. Even switched the unit off at the socket overnight and it quickly picked up the router again next morning.

If you have a WPS button on your router, forget the install disc - you will just be making life hard for yourself!
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on 15 August 2015
As I have been using TP-Link power line adapters for two years without issue I believed the addition of one of their wireless extenders to cover a couple of dead spots in the house was the obvious choice. My current router is plugged into the main phone socket which is situated to one side of the house. The kitchen/family room is at the other extreme and whilst 95% of the time I can get a signal, occasionally it will drop out. The bedroom above the kitchen suffers more whilst any connection in the seating area of the garden, which is to the kitchen side of the house, is nigh impossible. It was these areas I needed to improve.

Firstly pairing the extender to the router takes, as described, under two minutes and is very simple or at least should be. I followed the quick pairing via the WPS button and as the instructions stated waited for the wireless strength lights to go solid. They did not. After several resets and attempts with the same result I moved to the second method using my laptop, which if all works correctly should only take a few minutes more than the WPS method. Lights continued to flash that shouldn't. After some frustrating time I decided to try the extender in it's intended place despite the lights flashing. As described, apart from the flashing lights, the unit took 30 seconds or so to re establish connection with the router when plugged back in. To my amazement it worked brilliantly giving wireless signal to the previously uncovered area. I also used the ethernet socket to connect up a smart TV which again worked very well. Later that day I contacted TP-Link customer help via their online chat to query the flashing lights that should not. Surprisingly I was told that as the unit functioned not to worry. Perhaps then the instructions should say the lights may flash or they may not!

Two days after initial installation I needed to print some papers via my wireless Hp printer. It would not work. Two very frustrating hours of trying to
get the printer back online were only resolved when I discovered that if the wireless extender was switched off the printer sprung to life, switch the extender on and the printer refused to work. I then discovered that my Kindle HD Fire suffered in the same way. Extender on, No Kindle Fire internet, extender off, Kindle Fire works.Very odd? More hours spent trawling the internet for a solution to this problem which appears to be quite common by the amount of questions about it online. None of the suggested solutions worked.

Again I contacted TP-Link via their online chat. Nothing they suggested resolved the problem.I was little bemused when the advisor suggested that I had no internet connection via my main router as I was actually chatting online to her via it! Another two hours and the final suggestion is that the brand NEW extender needs a software update. I was directed to the TP-Link download pages and advised if their was any issues to re contact them. Now I'm no computer expert but I do know how to operate one and can normally understand and resolve most issues but these download instructions were incomprehensible. So I had three options; 1) live with the fact that each time I needed to use my printer or Kindle I had to turn the extender off. 2) Join the Open University and obtain a degree in computer science so I could download the new software which judging by some of the advice given by TP-Link was not guaranteed to work. 3) Return the extender and accept there are a couple of Wi-Fi dead spots in the house.

Quess what? I choose option 3. Life is just too short.
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on 30 December 2013
I set this up pretty quickly with the WPS button on my Virgin router. The two units spoke nicely and joined forces well within the specified two minutes.

I now suffer with full and uninterrupted WiFi coverage throughout my entire home which is of old school 1950's solid brickwork throughout. If I have had any issues with anything to do with this unit since fitting, it has been to do with individual items dropping signal altogether as I move about the house. NOT the problem of the WiFi extender.

Easy to set up, easy to fit and a doddle to re-position!

Added bonus - you only need one. This is not an item that demands two or more units to be positioned throughout the house to make use of your ring main electrics. It'll securely pick up your current WiFi signal and simply boost it.

For greater coverage over a longer range or where walls are exceptionally thick, you may wish to consider a booster that operates via your home's electrical system, but for an average modern home, this is going to be a good and slightly cheaper alternative for sure.
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on 19 November 2013
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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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The 'TP-Link TL-WA850RE Wi-Fi Network Range Extender' is a standalone unit that you simply plug in to a standard three-pin wall plug within the wireless router's range and it extends the range outwards from the plugged-in unit (thereby doubling the range again). The diagram on the item's product listing under the 'Flexible Placement' title really does show you exactly what the product is designed to do. And to be frank, it does exactly that.

Having recently moved house, we found that we were barely able to connect to our wireless network in our new livingroom and diningroom areas if we had the router located in the downstairs study. In the livingroom area, our iPad only connected showing one bar, and similarly our laptop only had a 40% connection in the diningroom.

After setting up the TP-Link plug-in (which was an absolute doddle to do) locating it halfway between the study and the downstairs living areas, the iPad showed a full three bars (i.e maximum connection) in the livingroom (it previously only showed one bar) and the laptop had a 90-100% connection in the diningroom (it was previously around 40%).

Also, to say that the plug-in range extender was simple to setup is one heck of an understatement. It's quite literally a case of plugging it in next to your router, pressing the WPS button, and then the 'Network Finder Button', and then just leaving it to locate your network. Once it's done that you just need to unplug it, move it to where you want it to go, plug it in again, and hey presto!

Furthermore, if you're a bit fancy-pancy with your gadgets, you can also plug it in alongside your TV or games console and take advantage of all that comes from internet accessibility on those devices - all without having to be plugged in directly to a router or a computer.

It really is as simple as that! For us it's just a simple case of being able to get internet access across the length and breadth of our house. And within 2-3 minutes of setting it up, we had just that.
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on 20 September 2013
When I opened the instruction booklet it was like trying to read a foriegn language to me, far, far too complicated. However one part that I did take note of was the fact that the Extender can be set up on a Tablet or Smart Phone. So this is the route I decided to take and had no problems at all. Heres how I did it via Ipad......

1. Plug in the Extender
2. Sit near the Extender with Ipad
3. Enter Settings on Ipad, select WiFi.
4. Select TP Link Extender from available networks
5. Enter 'admin' for both User name and Password

On the Ipad you are then automatically taken to The TP Setup Page.

6. Follow all on screen instructions. (Which is all pretty straight forward)
7. Select your Home Router from available Networks list
8. Enter password if on secure network
9 Click connect

TP Extender will light up like a Xmas Tree within a couple of minutes and your Ipad will automatically reconnect back to your Home Router.

Hope this helps.
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on 14 January 2016
No matter what I did I couldn't get it to work. I followed the instructions enclosed and even tried many online forums and fixes but still no joy. I do have a fair bit of computer knowledge. Supposed to be easy but lost my rag after many unsuccessful wasted hours. Maplin were happy to refund though.
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