TP-Link AV1200 Gigabit Powerline Kit Review
It is rather self-evident that powerline range extenders have come a long way in a rather short period of time. In previous generations, users had to put up with a lot of downsides if they opted for these handy devices. For example, older models rarely gave performance that was even remotely close to what a secondary wireless router could offer. Furthermore, their range extending distance was basically limited to the whims of your home’s electrical layout and how the power circuits were run, and they were generally wonky as all hell so they were best used only by experienced IT professionals. Essentially, they were finicky little devices that had great potential, but rarely lived up to said potential.
The AV1200 kit on the other hand is like a breath of fresh air, and proves that powerline-based networking is now ready for the average consumer. The secret to this nifty little device’s success is simple: TP-Link has created a fantastic hybrid device that is both a wireless range extender and a powerline network adapter.
By adding the wireless range extender features to a next generation powerline adapter capable of 1200Mbit/s speeds, owners of this device will literally get the best of both worlds. For short to moderate ranges, the WPA8630’s built-in three LAN ports can provide speeds that are nearly the same as if you ran a long RJ45 wire directly to the router. For longer distances, the wireless abilities ensure great coverage since the distance to the router may be rather long, but they are relatively short to the wireless extender.
In effect, this is a bloody awesome combination that may not be quite as plug and play simple as a typical range extender – as you will have to track down the furthest wall plug on a given circuit – but in return you will get performance that is very nice to a second router in bridge mode. Better yet, you can get this performance without spending nearly as much as what a high performance router will you them back. Brilliant stuff!