Top critical review
Large houses & MAC users beware..
on 14 March 2013
Our home setup -
We live in a 3 bedroom Victorian house, it has very thick walls and is quite a long distance from front to back/top to bottom, we use:
- mainly an iMac
- Windows laptop
Virgin router is based downstairs in the lounge and won't transmit its wireless signal to the furthest top bedroom where we have our iMac.
To overcome the problem we use:
- a TP-link wireless network extender (lounge)
- TP-link home plug
This means we can use the iMac via the home plug (it works via an ethernet cable in that bedroom, very quick connection, GREAT!) However this doesn't solve the lack of wireless connection for phones or tablets in that room. No big deal but it would be nice, so I was keen to try this router.
THE ROUTER -
Appearance is ok for a router. Let's face it though, most of us surely buy routers for their function rather than appearance?
It is as it appears in the picture - piano gloss black and although slim it is reasonably large, especially with the 3 big antennae. Nevertheless if you are like our household a router will be hidden behind a piece of furniture by a plug socket anyway.
MAC - on the iMac this was actually impossible! Despite it being listed as compatible the disc provided was a miniature CD so was not suitable for the iMac CD drive. There was another way to install without the disc. Great! But that didn't work either. The link provided in the instruction did not work, and I was at a loss for what to do! It wasn't actually a problem with the iMac itself but the fact that the setup just wasn't really designed for Mac, it was clearly aimed at Windows.
WINDOWS - so I resorted to getting out the Windows laptop so that I was able to use the mini installation CD. It was relatively easy using this.
The wireless signal was definitely a lot stronger than it had been without this router, but it certainly did not solve the problem for us. The iMac in the far bedroom WAS able to connect wirelessly though the speed was not great. The iPhones and iPad were so slow that you just wouldn't even bother.
Closer to the router the speeds were excellent on all devices, and I definitely noticed that the wireless signal had been significantly increased.
I think that in a small/medium sized house or office this would be great, because it would allow for fast wireless connections and multi-tasking on different devices simultaneously. Not suitable for larger houses or ones with particularly thick walls.
I haven't lost faith in TP-link though! I think they provide excellent products and I think I've discovered the perfect product to solve our problem...
A TP-link "nano router" for less than £20 (look it up if you have a similar problem!)