If you live in a larger house or even in an apartment where a central router is too far from your home, you may experience poor connection problems or even dead zones that connect to the Internet. Here are funk extensions used. If you use them for an existing wireless connection, you can broadcast a wireless signal to areas in your home that were previously wireless. The TP-Link AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender RE305 is a low-cost no-frills extender that promises quick set-up, understated design and usually smooth connectivity at a great price.
We tested over a week at home to test design, ease of setup, and network performance.
Design: neither seen nor heard
The RE305 is quite small and inconspicuous, has a white plastic surface and silver accents that blend into one another, do not attract attention. At just 3.1 x 3.1 x 2.4 (LWH) inches without casing and 6.4 ounces, this is one of the tiniest Wi-Fi solutions on the market. This means that you can simply plug it wherever your radio signal needs to be amplified.
The two wireless antennas on both sides of the device can be adapted to your needs. Pressing the WPS button on the top of the device triggers a hearty click. Both sides of the unit have adequate ventilation when it gets warm, although this has never been a problem when we put it through its paces. It can easily be mistaken for one of TP-Link’s smart plugs as both are similar in size.
It is important to know that the RE305 does not accept the entire socket when it is attached to the bottom connector. However, if you use the top plug, your antennas will block the other outlet.
There is an Ethernet port on the bottom of the device and a button to reset holes just in case a reboot is required. It’s a bit cumbersome to hang an Ethernet cable on the extender, depending on where you put it at home. However, it’s a useful addition to bringing Ethernet to a desktop, TV, or game console without drilling holes in the wall.
Setup process: simple and fast
The setup is extremely easy. No software is required to install the RE305. The decor is very fast. Commissioning via a web browser takes a few minutes. There is a quick installation guide that describes the process. We found it painless to follow.
First connect the extender to a power outlet and then use any computer to connect to its network. After plugging it into a power outlet, we found it immediately appeared on the list of available wireless networks on our MacBook Pro. After connecting to the network, setup is done through the web address given in the manual.
You create a password, let the device scan your network for a suitable router, and then enter the SSID and password for your current wireless network. There are options for changing the extender network SSID and password if you wish. Otherwise, it stays the same as your default network. Once the process is complete, the 2.4GHz and / or 5GHz indicators on the device should light up, depending on the functionality of your router. The whole process from unboxing to surfing the internet took about 7 minutes.
If necessary, you can download the TP-Link Tether App for iOS or Android devices to manage the extender via mobile devices. You can just download the app and make sure you’re using the same wireless network that the extender is connected to.
There is, however, one important point to keep in mind when setting up. The extender administrator password uses a standard “admin / admin” login. So you should change it to keep unauthorized users out. It can be changed using the TP-Link Tether app, which is not clearly shown in the manual. This is not required, but if you want to keep your network as secure as possible, this is an important part of the setup.
Connectivity and network performance: Strong connectivity with multiple devices
Several devices were connected to our wireless network, including a MacBook Pro, an iPhone X, an iPad Pro, a Nintendo Switch, and a PlayStation 4. When you test the range of the Wireless Extender, you’re in a 2,100-meter-distant router Distance of 10 feet to the router square feet at home, the signal was pretty strong, with full bars on an iPhone X and iPad Pro in most areas. In a bathroom on the first floor there were occasional spotty connections at a distance of about 300 meters to the router.
There were occasional disconnections on the farm, especially trying to load YouTube videos or play online games on mobile devices. The speeds did not normally wobble even though we did not have the full 300 Mbps that our wired connection usually conjures up. The product announces 867 Mbps for a 5 GHz connection and 300 Mbps for a 2.4 GHz connection. Therefore, it was promised what was promised, but with some dropouts during the trial period of five days.
Software: Clean and easy to understand
The browser-based setup process could not be simpler, and no third-party software is required to save the above-mentioned optional device management app. It’s a pleasant, minimalist, mint green website with a clean interface and easy-to-read text. Two tabs at the top contain Quick Setup or Preferences, where advanced users can customize options to their liking.
For experienced Extender users who want to work with settings and skip setting the “Easy Mode”, some features are a little lacking, but it does a great job. It even includes a QR code that allows users to download the wireless management app directly from the setup page. To reach this website, there is no need for any real action and can be reached at any time via the network.
Price: An offer for every price
With a list price of $ 59.99, the RE305 is a fantastic proposition, considering that it is usually available for much cheaper, often $ 10- $ 15 less than retail. It’s not TP-Link’s low-end option, but the performance and speed offered for the price is certainly worth more than your money, especially if you live in a larger house and pay for higher internet speeds. It’s important to know that it does not include all the features available with cheaper extenders, such as multiple Ethernet ports or additional antennas, but this default setting only meets average user requirements anyway.
Competition: more of it
There are a variety of different extenders on the market with similar price points, and many are more expensive, with fewer promised features and less range. If you want to stay on the mark, you may decide to compete like the Netgear EX3700. However, there is no reason to do so if you offer a good number of the same features at a similar price. We also found the RE305 much more aesthetic if it’s important to you.