Like many people, I run wireless networking at home to support a range of mobile devices. For the most part my setup has worked well. Where it doesn’t work that well is outside and the parts of the house that are on the opposite side to where my wireless-AC router is.
Fortunately, a number of networking companies produce wireless extenders that assist in extending the range of your wireless signal. One such device I was recently able to try was the TP-Link TL-WA850RE. The TL-WA850RE is marketed as a “300Mbps Universal WiFi Range Extender”. Whilst this wasn’t a 802.11ac extender, 802.11n (Wireless-N) is fine for my current needs.
The following diagram from the TP-Link website does a good job in explaining how the device works:
I paired the TL-WA850RE with an existing TP-Link Archer C7 (AC1750) Wireless Router. Configuring the 2 devices to work together couldn’t have been easier. As both support WPS, it was a simple matter of hitting the appropriate button on the router and extender, waiting a few seconds for the visual confirmation and that was pretty much it. The blue indicator light in the front of the extender provides signal strength information at a quick glance.
I picked a room where the wireless signal wasn’t at it’s peak and tested the signal with a Xperia Z Ultra handset.
Before the extender:
After the extender:
An inexpensive and easy to install addition to the home network that enables you to squeeze that little extra out of your wireless range.