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Customer Review

102 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars **DUMMIES' GUIDE**, 14 May 2013
This review is from: TP-LINK TL-WPA281KIT AV200 With 1 LAN port 300M Wireless N Powerline Extender Starter Kit (Accessory)
I know nothing about this sort of stuff, so this review is to help real dummies like me. Fortunately my wife is tech savvy (maths teacher geek) and saved me a lot of wasted time.

We have a blackspot upstairs where our already weedy wifi signal (the perils of village life) registers at most 1 bar, making watching iplayer or Netflix very frustrating. Heard you could 'boost wifi signal around the house' so researched it, and found that pure 'wifi extenders' (as I discovered they're called) suffer with a lot of signal dropout, which underlines the main problem with wifi.

Saw 'Powerline' extenders online but didn't know what it meant. Then browsed in maplin where the nice man explained that half of their wifi extenders get returned due to poor signal, in exchange for powerline extenders. I understand 'powerline' to mean it runs through the electric circuit of the house. That may be obvious to many of you, but like I say, I'm a techno dummy.

I think this means the extender socket is effectively wired to the router and therefore should not have signal dropout. Then the only issue is if you use it in wifi mode, the device you want to use needs to be near enough to the extender - I believe it covers 150m and I'm using it mainly in the same room, so I'm hoping it should never be a problem. There is also an Ethernet port on the extender (and a 2nd cable is supplied) if you wanted to connect a device to the extender to have it wired for maximum speed and reliability.

Where my wife saved me time was by telling me not to bother 'configuring the extender' as it suggests in the (laughable) 'quick start' instructions. The only instructions I needed was how to 'pair' the base unit (the smaller of the two supplied devices which has 3 LED lights and a 'pair' button) with the extender (larger with 4 LED lights, pair button and a reset point).
Pairing involved:
1. Attaching one of the supplied Ethernet cables into a spare port in the back of the router (in our case a BT Homehub 2.0)
2. Attaching the other end into the base unit
3. Inserting base unit into plug socket and switching it on - all 3 LEDs came on
4. Inserting extender into adjacent plug socket - top 3 lights come on and 4th (wifi) light flashes
5. Pressing pair button on extender for about 1-2 seconds
6. As soon as possible (they advise max 2 minutes) pressing pair button on base unit for 1-2 seconds
7. Waiting with trepidation whilst the power button (top one) on the extender now flashes too, whilst the 2nd and 3rd buttons have gone out
8. After about 5 mins, all lights are solid apart from the 4th (bottom) one on the extender
9. Unplugging extender and taking upstairs to a plug socket near blackspot - switch on at mains
10. Switch on entertainment device (in my case an ipod) - either wait for it to pick up a signal, or go to 'settings' - wifi - and choose TP LINK
11. Hey presto, 3 bars of signal upstairs for the first time ever

It'll probably all go wrong by tomorrow, but til then, i'll enjoy the moment!

All the other stuff in the 'quick start' seems to be if you have already set up a home network - we had it once, but it went down for some reason and we've never got it back up again.

Hope that helps the techno illiteratti, apologies if someone who understands these things felt obliged to read thru to the end to check for novice errors - hope I didn't make any...
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Jan 2014, 17:55:59 GMT
great help cheers.

Posted on 12 Jan 2014, 17:39:30 GMT
lanet says:
Thank you so much for this dummies guide, this helped me more than any of the instructions or disc. If you want to save yourself any hassle read this guide first and ignore the instruction leaflet. Thanks to you and your wife I now have full internet connection in the granny annexe :)

Posted on 26 Jan 2014, 12:17:55 GMT
Thank you very much for the trouble you have clearly taken to explain the powerline extender and its configuration. Very much appreciated, and also very helpful!

Kind regards,

Geoff Fellows

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jan 2014, 12:28:27 GMT
me says:
Thanks for your post, I sent it ages ago but only getting replies now. I'm just pleased others are finding it useful. It's funny how complicated it is to describe something simple!
Sumeet Singhal

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jan 2014, 12:31:42 GMT
me says:
Really glad it's helping people.
But I'm just Dr Watson to my wife's Sherlock...

Posted on 29 Jul 2014, 16:49:40 BST
What a wonderful and most helpful review! Thank you Barnstone Cowboy.
I shall follow your instructions, although I di not have any 'techies' in the house to help me out.

Posted on 30 May 2015, 18:54:16 BST
Redalways says:
Didnt bother with the instructions, which are confusing. Just printed your review out . Works a treat.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2016, 17:54:44 GMT
me says:
Glad to hear it!
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