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108 of 110 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2014
Model: Starter KitVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have Verizon FiOS for TV and internet at home and for all you Verizon FiOS users, you know that the Actiontec wireless router provided is not exactly the best for strong wireless signals. I have an older model MI424WR-GEN2, so the best it can do is wireless-G. It does not have AC or even N. For years I had to deal with weak wireless signal throughout my house, especially in the bedroom which is located furthest from the router, two floors up and across the house from the router which is located in the basement. Additionally, where I live, there are a TON of other wireless installations in the area, all of which are competing with my wireless for signal strength. I could only get one bar of strength in the bedroom, even with the antenna on the router aimed correctly and with the best channel selected.

Enter this TP-LINK TL-WPA4220KIT Advanced powerline/wireless kit. This kit works by adding a second wireless access point to your house which you can place in an ideal location. It doesn't have to be anywhere near your router because it links back to your router via an ethernet-though-powerline connection. It sends its signal though your house wiring, so you don't have run ethernet cables throughout your home.

Setup can be a little tricky and if you're not a computer person, you may need to borrow or rent somebody who is. I have a Windows PC, so I cannot speak for Mac users. This is the installation in a nutshell for a Verizon FiOS user, since the Actiontec router does not have a working Wi-Fi Clone function. First, install the included software onto your computer. The "Powerline Utility" is used to locate and configure the the base unit. The "Powerline Scan" is used to locate and configure the wireless access point. It would be nice if there was one program which did both functions, but its no big deal.

Then, plug the smaller, wired connection into an open LAN port of your router with an ethernet cable (this kit includes two if you don't have any). Now plug that unit directly into a wall outlet - Note that you shouldn't plug it into any kind of surge protector, UPS or power conditioner. If you do, you may not get the maximum speeds this system is capable of or it may not work at all. Now if you run the "Powerline Utility," you should be able to see the base unit show up in the list. Now plug the larger, Wireless Access Point (AP) unit into another wall outlet. For the purpose of configuration, just plug it in near your computer and the base unit. Don't worry, you can relocate it later. Now press the "pair" button on the Wireless AP unit, and then press the "pair" button on the base unit (it doesn't matter what order). If everything went well, the powerline lights are now lit or blinking on both units and the two units should now be communicating with each other over your house wiring. Also, the larger Wireless AP unit should now show up if you run the "Powerline Scan" software. Now you have the hardware installed, but not configured.

Now open a web browser, and go to 192.168.1.1. This is the default IP address for the larger Wireless AP unit. Note that this default default IP address for the TP-LINK *may* interfere with your router or another device on your home network, so it wasn't the best choice IMO. You log into it using the default username/password provided. And from this web interface, you can configure your new Wireless AP exactly as if you were configuring your home router - for instance, you can control the SSID, wireless security, network type etc. of the new Wireless AP. From here you can set up the remote unit to be a duplicate of your main wireless AP, or set it up with a different SSID, preshared key, etc. Once you have everything set up the way you like, you can simply unplug the larger, Wireless AP unit and locate it where you need it to be in your house. It will automatically reconnect with the base unit - you don't have to re-pair it with the base unit or do anything else, just plug it back in.

I have my new TP-LINK access point set up in a room on the 2nd floor of my house as a duplicate of my original wireless setup, except I have it set to wireless-N only and I have it set to a different channel for maximum performance. Now when I connect to wireless in my bedroom on my LG Optimus G or 2014 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, I can get the full speed of my FiOS setup, which is 50 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up, where I could barely get 5 or 10 Mbps down before. Additionally, the remote wireless AP unit has two ethernet ports which you can plug computers or other devices like game consoles or DVRs into directly or install a network switch or hub without having to run ethernet cables through your home. On average, I'm seeing amost 200 Mbps when plugged in directly which is much faster than my internet connnection is capable of.

For me, there are only two minor downsides. For one thing, I'm losing two electrical outlets. The units have no passthrough. That's no big deal, but it is worth mentioning. And second, because of the nature of my installation, where my Verizon Actiontec router only has wireless-G and I have the new TP-LINK access point set to wireless-N, and I have them manually set to different channels for superior signal strength, my wireless devices do not switch between them automatically when I'm closer to one access point or the other. Again, this is no big deal for me as it takes only seconds to cycle the wireless off and back on my devices after which they then pick up the strongest (closest) access point. I think if I had them set identically to wireless G and to the same channel, my devices may switch between them automatically, but I haven't tried that - and I'm not going to use the new TP-LINK access point on slower G when it has N. Since in my case, they do act independently, I may set up the TP-LINK with a separate SSID, etc., so I know exactly which one I'm connected to.

Overall, I'm very happy with the kit and it solves a problem I've been having for years. You may need assistance setting this kit up, but once its configured, it works great.
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134 of 142 people found the following review helpful
This is a very affordable and useful powerline networking adapter from TP-Link. It consists of two powerline ethernet devices - one that connects to a router, and another one that has two ethernet ports and a built in wireless access point.

When both are on the network the two port + wireless adapter will route all of its traffic through your home's electrical wiring to the other device. It works quite well and is an easy way to extend a network without having to run ethernet cable.

I have found that these devices are rarely a replacement for ethernet. In many ways they're better than wi-fi but I have never come close to getting the promised 500 megabit speed that this and other products tout. The reality for me is closer to 100 megabits and that is when the devices are connected to the same outlet.

In a real-world application the best I can pull down is about 30-40 megabits of sustained speed. That speed is more than adequate for web surfing but probably not as good for more demanding applications like Blu Ray media serving and other high bandwidth applications.

But on balance this is the best powerline kit I've reviewed. So if you're in the market for one this is certainly one worth considering.

DISCLOSURE: TP-Link sent me this product to review.
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70 of 78 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 6, 2014
Model: Starter KitVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There's really not much to this unit. Plug one end into the router/outlet and the other one to a outlet near where you need to amplify the signal. Press a couple of buttons and everything is automatically set up for you.

The difference between this unit and a typical wi-fi extender is very important. Your standard wi-fi extenders "catch" a bad signal and move the same bad signal further out. They DO NOT amplify the signal.

Ethernet over power adapters, like this one, use your building's internal circuits to basically directly connect to the modem/router (getting 100% of the speed of the router/modem itself as if you plugged your computer into it). Then you can either use an ethernet cable to plug into the extender unit far away from the primary router/modem or you can use the wi-fi instead. The wi-fi coming out of this unit will be as if you're standing next to your primary router.

It works well and I've used many of these, you can see my reviews on the Zyxel unit as well but this one is better because unlike the Zyxel Ethernet over power units I bought, this one has an additional wi-fi option that is obviously much better since you're cordless.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Model: Starter KitVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Have a real problem getting wifi to the upper end of my house away from the router itself on the second floor on opposite end of house. This did the trick. I like the fact that it uses the existing wiring in the house to do the job and you plug an ethernet cord from your router into the base unit and plug it into an outlet nearby, then you take the other unit upstairs or wherever and plug it into an outlet. It can be set up to do wired or wireless cloning and extending. (That means that you can either ethernet both ends or on the initial set up wps the network to the base unit and take the extender upstairs or where you want it and you will have wifi extension in that room or area. Nice to have both options. The only thing I'd advise is that you plug both ends directly into the wall plug as many surge suppressors will filter data and interfere with the operation of the unit.

It's working fine in my house as a wireless extender and that's what I wanted. No more dropouts in the bedroom like we had before.

I'd recommend it.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2014
Powerline units are all easy to set up: plug in two units, connect cables, done. It takes longer to describe the process than to just do it; and in this, the TL-WPA4220 and TL-PA4010 in this kit perform exactly as expected. The WPA4220 unit also has an additional 100Mbit port (to make two), which is very handy. They inter-operate with other units (WD and Netgear also in use) with no issues, and should do the job very well.

But be careful if your setup isn't a trivial one: If you have a DHCP server, if you want 802.11Q or have anything more advanced than a basic "join my powerline network and also bridge Wi-Fi" plan, you may want to tread carefully and ask questions.

If you have a DHCP server, these units will ignore it completely. It appears to auto-assign its own address if you don't set one in the config, choosing and checking (D.A.D mode) random ones until it finds one. Then it goes quiet: WITHOUT THE WINDOWS LOCATOR APP, YOU WILL NOT FIND THIS UNIT. This device will not register its IP address with anything, for instance, and since it doesn't solicit an address from the DHCP server, any logging in that respect will not be useful. So be ready to install that app and use it somewhere on the segment where this unit will live, and come to terms with that requirement. If you expected something smart enough to support RFC2131, anticipate disappointment.

Nits aside: these units are as simple as can be, are very simple to install as expected for powerline gear, and do exactly what they promise -- nothing more. Manage your expectations and you'll be fine.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Model: Starter KitVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
.
- - - The Power Line Model - - -

This is a review of the "300 Mbps ADVANCED" model...the model that uses your 120-volt household wiring as a network segment. 95% of the reviews here are for simpler versions that do not use household wiring to route data. Check "This review is from:" at the top of each review. If you've already selected the "Advanced" version on the product page, reviews for the Advanced model will be easier to pick out (No blue-underlined hyperlink).

- - - Better and Worse Methods - - -

There's a diagram on the box showing how it works (I uploaded it -- see Customer Pics).
Say your main router is 4 walls away from a room where you want WiFi signal. It's best to get through most of those walls with copper wiring. This model does that.

Worse: The other [NON-Advanced] models here are WiFi-in, WiFi-out repeaters that you locate at the outer fringe of your main router's range. OK signal + OK signal = mostly OK throughput that competes with itself for bandwidth. Helpful, but not ideal.

Better: A less expensive "Access Point" device such as TP-LINK TL-WR702N Wireless N150 Router/AP/Client/Bridge/Repeater 150Mpbs,Edimax EW-7228APn 150Mbps 11n Wireless Range Extender/Access Point with 5 Port Switch, or ZyXEL 3-in-1 Wireless N Pocket Travel Router, Access Point (MWR102) connects to your main router via Ethernet networking cable. That's a better solution if you have network cable running through your house, or don't mind running some.

PROs:

* Good signal and good throughput. Better than WiFi-in, WiFi-out repeaters.
- Less expensive than Netgear and Linksys models (When selling for $58)

OKs:

- Energy use (24x7) is 4.1 watts for WiFi Extender and 1.6 watts for Powerline Adapter.

CONs:

* Quick-start Guides are confusing to novices and have some wrong information.
* Admin can be hard to access and flaky. I burned up 2 hours. (see Note 3)
- Admin from Mac may be difficult or impossible (contradictory info provided).
- More expensive than "WiFi Access Points" that connect to your main router with network cable.

- - - Set-up Hassles - - -

The documentation had me guessing, briefly confused, and frustrated in places. They do not explain things as if you're from Mars. They explain things as if you already know a bunch of stuff, and you know how to work around the missing (and sometimes wrong) information. (see Note 1).

- - - Set-up Tips - - -

There is a "Unify and Extend WiFi Network" method, but I feel it's better to use the "Build a New WiFi Network" method (see Note 2 for reasons).

1.) Plug the small box [Powerline Adapter] into a wall outlet near your main router. Connect it to your main router with a data cable [provided].

2.) Write down the "Wireless Password" (an 8-digit number) printed on the larger box [WiFi Powerline Extender] and then plug it into an outlet.

3.) You're done. The WiFi Powerline Extender shows up as SSID: TP-LINK_XXXXXX and any WiFi device can log in using the password you wrote down.

Well, not exactly done. You should change the admin password (They don't even suggest it in the Quick Install Guide, but you should). You probably want to change the WiFi user password also. This should take about 5 minutes. I burned up 1 hour getting into the admin interface (see Note 3), and then had to undo everything because I could not use the network when I was done. Until I discovered...

4.) When changing the WiFi password, also change the SSID. If you change the password only, devices previously logged in will be refused. They will not be asked for a new password. Flaky. (This is not disclosed anywhere. I burned up another hour figuring this out). Not discussed in the Manual.

- - - Alternatives - - -

I don't know if these are any better.

Linksys Powerline AV Wireless Network Extender (PLWK400)
NETGEAR XWNB5201 Powerline 500Mbps to N300 Wi-Fi Access Point

- - - Notes - - -

Note 1: User Guides - If you like puzzles, you'll love the user guides!

A. There is no overall Quick-Start Guide, only guides for each device. Same for User Guides

B. No step-by step: There no "start here...decide your install method [based on pros and cons]...then go to step X." You are left to wander the separate manuals and figure out a plan.

C. Contradictions: The Extender Guide says "TP-LINK powerline devices are Plug and Play. A powerline network is established between the adapter and the extender as soon as you plug in the powerline devices." The next page says "To create a powerline network using the Pair button, follow the steps below." (Turns out, these are unnecessary steps.)

D. The Quick Start Guide does not mention the need to set a new admin password.

E. The Troubleshooting Guide in the Extender User Manual covers only 3 problems: "The Power LED does not light up," "The Powerline LED does not light up," and ""The Ethernet LED does not light up."

Note 2: Two setup methods - The "Unify and Extend Method" asks your main router for its SSID and password and sets up the WiFi Powerline Extender with the same SSID and password. Drawbacks: 1.) It requires that your main router is "WPS enabled." WPS is bad news for security. It should have been turned off. (see Wikipedia "Wi-Fi Protected Setup"). 2.) You never know which device you're logged onto. Confusing, if you want to troubleshoot or test the range of each device. This is why I chose the "Build a New WiFi Network" method.

Note 3: Admin Interface - Logging in to admin should take 2 minutes...type the correct IP address into your browser...type in the user ID and password. It took me an hour. You must do so from a Windows PC with WiFi capability, or a Windows PC with a CD-ROM [Mini-CD capable] that is hard-wired into the Extender device. You must use TP-Link's Setup Wizard interface, or you must juggle your proxy settings a prescribed way to use your browser. It might be possible to do it from a Mac, but there are no instructions for jiggling the proxy settings on your Mac. The box says MacOS is supported, but the User Guide says "Windows only" under System Requirements.

No admin access is explained in the Quick Start Guide. You must find it in the 47-page User Manual on the Mini-CD

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2015
Worked well for a week or so, then the wireless would drop out regularly and reconnect after 2-3 minutes on its own. After troubleshooting and getting nowhere I gave up the wireless side of it and just ran a cable to it. This worked fine for a couple of months and has steadily gotten worse, first losing connection every week or so, then every day or so, now its about every 20-30 minutes that it loses the internet. Once it does that, it comes back on its own after 2-3 minutes, or immediately if you unplug it and plug it back in. Sorry, this really isn't a good solution. It seems to have a DHCP design flaw that TP-LINK is unable or unwilling to fix, as the complaints about this issue mount on their forum for almost a year now with little to no response from them. Complete waste of money. I just trashed mine and will be looking into another solution from someone else. This will be the last TP-LINK product I throw my money away on.

Read the TP-LINK forums before purchasing this. Googling for "TL-WPA4220 drops connection" will give you the truth about this.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2014
Amazing little gadget! Why didn't I find this sooner!!! Ok so I'm paying $$$ for fast internet... But with 6 kids, 8 iPads, 4 cells, bluray player, crome cast, drop cam and all the TVs on wifi...everything is SLOW!!! Not to mention when I'm in my bedroom there is no wifi to speak of. After installing these little guys, I'm happy to be posting this from my bedroom. :) not to mention, not one child was freaking out over lost wifi signal today, which make me a very happy mom!

Now the installation was pretty simple... Plugged the smaller guy into the wall and attached on end of the wire to it and the other end into my router. Then I attached the big guy into the wall next to it. Clicked the pair button on the smaller one then the pair button on the bigger one... Waited a min... Then clicked on the button on my router then the clone button on the big one. Then everything seemed to be working except when I went onto my I pad, hmmm...password for my wifi was wrong. So I logged onto my router via my computer to see the password...and it was changed to about 30 numbers and letters... I changed it back to my original password... Then I realized I had to log into the TP link via computer... Once I got into those settings, I changed that password to the same one as my router. Then I unplugged the big guy, and plugged it in my kitchen... And OMG it worked!!!!! In my bedroom (upstairs from the kitchen) where I had NO wifi signal at all, I'm currently getting 20Mbps download speed and 21Mbps upload speed.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Model: Starter KitVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This review is for the powerline + wireless extender version of this product.

I have been using Powerline adapters for years, but this is among the first adapters I have used that also includes a WiFi extender. While I had problems using the same network name and password as my primary network when using a different product, the Actiontec Wireless Network Extender Plus Powerline Network Adapter 500 Kit (PWR51WK01), this TP-LINK product made it easy to use my existing network name and password by using the special clone button.

I plugged the sender unit into my router and into the wall near my computer, and plugged the receiver unit into the wall in my living room near my TV and other audio/video components. I used the clone button, and now my laptops and other wireless devices in my living room have the same network name and password, but with a 95-100% WiFi signal where it used to be 60% before this device. And since a direct, wired connection is almost always faster, I used the Ethernet port on the receiver to connect to the router in my living room so all of my A/V devices are connected.

Powerline adapters are lifesavers in homes that are not wired for Ethernet. And the added bonus of having a wireless signal extender is great, especially for this price range.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2015
Worked way better than I expected. The signal was really weak even though the router was only about 20 feet from the computer. I was getting really low DL and UP speeds that often fluctuated and got interference often. Awesome product, the powerline acts as another router, I was able to use the Ethernet cables that came included and connect it to my computer. Now my computer has a wired connection and I don't have to worry about losing Wi-Fi Signal or interference. I almost asked my ISP to rewire the router into the computer room JUST so I could have an Ethernet cable connect to my PC for a better connection, but they were asking an absurd amount of money to just rewire. Luckily this solved my problem with half the cost and with twice the benefits. I recommend this to anyone.
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