Tech Review: TP-Link 300Mbps Wi-Fi Range Extender AV500 Powerline Edition

Tech Review: TP-Link 300Mbps Wi-Fi Range Extender AV500 Powerline Edition

June 7, 2014 1 By Marc

Its time to get rid of those nasty Ethernet cables and go wireless!

We haad the chance to test out the TP-Link 300Mbps Wi-Fi Range Extender AV500 Powerline Edition at the workplace to how it performed and see what different utilizations we had for it.

If you just look at the box it looks and reads like any other range booster that is out there. It will boost your signal to places where you didn’t have it before, it gives you high speed, it can go anywhere, and its easy to set up. This is something that is pretty much on every similar product boasting the same features and benefits, but generally falls short of delivering and ends up in the box in a corner of the office.

This one was a little different to start off with; it wasn’t just an attachment to the router, it wasn’t a bigger antenna, and it didn’t force me to go buy AAA batteries for it. The range extender comes in two pieces; the first piece is an adapter that plugs into a socket in your home, and hardlines into the router. The second piece is a range extender that plugs into an outlet in another room where you want the wi-fi to be but you have the weak signal. To sync the pair up, all you need to do is press the sync button on the adapter, then press it on the extender… and its done. I was honestly surprised on how fast it actually was to get hooked up and going for the first stage.

Second was actually testing if it works. The router I’m currently using is a D-Link N600 and the distance from where I have it to where I have the extender plugged in is approx 43′ and through two walls. Generally my laptop would pick up 1 or 2 bars — maybe 3 on a good day (my laptop is a Compaq CQ60 for those who need to know). With the range booster, I actually did get full bars, which was amazing, and it connected up easily to the net as well with no degradation to the speed.

Another feature of the range booster that I had to test out was that it has two Ethernet ports on the bottom that you can use to hardline your computer and essentially get the exact same speed than if it was hardlined to the router. This I was VERY skeptical about since I couldn’t believe that it would give the same stability and speed that my hardlined connection would give. I had to eat those words because here are my results…

withbooster

With the hardlined connection with the range extender

Just on WiFi with the range extender.

Just on WiFi with the range extender.

Needless to say, this did exactly what it said it would do and more.

Since testing it out with my laptop, I have connected it to my gaming desktop to see how it fares in downloading large files and playing online games. When downloading Battlefield 3, it downloaded at 5-6MBps which was exactly what I had when it was hardlined, and while playing either BF3, or FF14: A Realm Reborn, I had little to no latency or lag during playtime whatsoever.

Those are the pros, but there also were some cons. Twice over the past week I have lost connection to the internet, and the only solution was to unplug and plug the adapter back in. I have also noticed that my bandwidth usage has been slightly higher since installing it which could have something to do with the sending and receiving of information… or the fact that I just got a crunchyroll.com free two week trial and I marathoned Log Horizon on the weekend.

But when it comes down to it, the pros far outweigh the cons for this device and I have already suggested it to others looking for a way to get rid of Ethernet cords running across the floor and get hardlined speeds wirelessly.┬áThe Powerline Wireless Range Extender is available now at a list price of $69.99 from TP-LINK’s vast retail and online partner network across Canada.

Final score for this product:

910tech