Thursday, September 12th 2013

TP-LINK Releases 300 Mbps Universal WiFi Range Extender

TP-LINK, a global provider of networking products, today announced a new solution to resolve wireless dead zones in your home or office. The TL-WA850RE 300 Mbps Universal Wireless N Range Extender expands the WiFi coverage of your existing network by up to 40 percent.

The device's miniature size and AC plug wall-mounted design makes it easy to deploy around your home or office. Placing the Universal Range Extender between your main router and the area where additional WiFi coverage is needed will yield the best results.

Setup is facilitated by the built-in range extender button, quickly pairing the Range Extender with your main router after simultaneously pressing its WPS button. Login credentials are retained internally after setup, allowing users to relocate as needed to generate ideal coverage.

The TL-WA850RE is currently the only wall-mounted Universal Range Extender with a five-tier LED signal strength indicator. This feature makes it easy to find the best possible location for deployment.

Users can position the Range Extender to concurrently extend their coverage while functioning as a WiFi adapter through the built-in Ethernet port, providing network access to TVs, game consoles, Blu-ray players, and other Ethernet-enabled devices. No configuration, beyond the initial setup process, is needed to take advantage of this function.

300 Mbps Universal WiFi Range Extender TL-WA850RE Highlights:
  • Boosts wireless signal to previously unreachable or hard-to-wire areas
  • Miniature size and wall-mounted design make it easy to deploy
  • Easily expand wireless coverage at a push of Range Extender button
  • Compatible with all 802.11 b/g/n wireless devices.
  • Compatible with the latest Windows 8 operating system
  • Added value: Concurrent Range Extension and WiFi Adapter functionality
The TL-WA850RE Range Extender has a MSRP of $39.99 and is available from various retail and online locations.
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12 Comments on TP-LINK Releases 300 Mbps Universal WiFi Range Extender

#1
Sasqui
This looks like a great no-hassle product, as long as it works :p
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#2
Melvis
by: Sasqui
This looks like a great no-hassle product, as long as it works :p
Being TP- Link it will work :p
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#3
shovenose
by: Melvis
Being TP- Link it will work :p
toilet paper link!
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#4
remixedcat
by: shovenose
toilet paper link!
LOL I think the same!!!
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#5
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
Naah that's not entirely fair. They are pretty solid for the price.
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#6
remixedcat
Naah we know... it's just a funny name. Lol
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#7
xvi
Working for a WISP, we see a lot of issues caused by range extenders. Keep in mind that these cut your WiFi bandwidth in half.
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#8
Sasqui
by: xvi
Working for a WISP, we see a lot of issues caused by range extenders. Keep in mind that these cut your WiFi bandwidth in half.
Overall, or just through the extender?
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#9
Fourstaff
by: xvi
Working for a WISP, we see a lot of issues caused by range extenders. Keep in mind that these cut your WiFi bandwidth in half.
Why would it cut WiFi bandwidth by half? I am interested
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#10
remixedcat
Becuase it sends and receives at the same time and the radio is busier. Plus there's prolly more stuff going on like error correction, CTS protection and the like, depends on the config of the repeater.
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#11
xvi
Wireless network connections operate at half-duplex, like a walkie-talkie. There's only one wire (the air). Most range extenders use the same channel when they repeat, so half the air time is spent repeating the same packet even if the wireless client successfully received the packet from the AP.
AP sends packet, range extender hears packet and retransmits (AP must wait). Client sends ACK frame, repeater retransmits.

To make things more fun, if network 1 and network 2 are next to each other and use the same channel, the CTS frame for network 1 will be picked up by network 2 (for the most part) and the two networks can share and co-exist nicely.
If instead network 1 uses channel 1 and network 2 uses channel 2, the CTS frames for one network won't be recognized by the other network. Each network won't realize the other network is about to transmit and will often try to transmit over each other. Collisions galore.

As icing on the cake, at work, we use mostly unlicensed bands for our last mile connections. Lots of people use their home wireless in the same unlicensed connections (as do things like wireless phones and baby monitors to name a few). It's easier to buy a USB WiFi adapter than run a cable, after all. If their router/AP/range extender is near our radio and it's on a slightly different channel than our equipment, packet 1 comes in to our radio, goes down to their router, and gets blasted out their AP/extender the same time packet 2 tries to come in to our radio. Our AP waits to hear an ACK (ACK timeout auto-adjusts to the minimum needed, thankfully), doesn't get one, retransmits packet 2, goes to their router, gets blasted out their AP/extender and collides with packet 3 on our radio.

We dislike the range extenders specifically because they're often very high power. I haven't looked in to whether or not they violate EIRP, but I'm sure they come close if they don't.

The best way to handle wireless interference is to survey your area for local networks. A standard 2.4GHz WiFi channel is 20MHz wide and each channel is spaced 5MHz apart. That means a WiFi network on channel 1 will completely occupy channels 1 through 5 (allowing some buffer between channels). The next completely-free-of-interference channel would be channel 6 (taking channels 6 through 10), and the final free-of-interference channel being 11 (in the US). In a perfect world, networks would be placed on either one of those three channels with any additional networks reusing the same channels so that the CTS frames are recognized between networks. A new wireless network would be placed on whichever of the three have the least networks visible since, like with the range extenders, wireless bandwidth is shared with all networks on the same channel.

In the above senario, if someone were to add a wireless network in a congested area on, say, channel 3, the CTS frames that network would not be recognized by networks on channel 1 and 6 (and vice versa). That means they'll won't know not to transmit the same time Mr. Channel 3 does most likely resulting in a collision (and a retransmission). In any case, nicely sharing potentially half your wireless bandwidth with your neighbor is ALWAYS better than trying to out-transmit them.

Additionally, the 5.8GHz spectrum does not penetrate walls as well as 2.4GHz which reduces noise between neighbors. Additionally, there's much more room in the 5.8GHz spectrum which should also help reduce congestion.

The best way to extend your WiFi coverage without causing excessive wireless network slowdowns would be to run a network cable to an access point in the heart of the deadzone and give it a channel that doesn't interfere with your other network, but the same network name (SSID), encryption and password. Wireless clients will recognize that there are two APs and connect to the closest one (and even switch between the two rather seamlessly). It will, however, favor holding on to a weaker signal even if a stronger signal on the same wireless network is nearby (turning WiFi off and on will solve this. See my avatar? :p)

I think this turned in to a crash course in 802.11 standards. I'm done now.
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#12
remixedcat
One good thing, the range extender will NOT FRY YOUR BALLS
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