Review TP-LINK N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender (TL-WA850RE)

I was pretty skeptical of the effectiveness of the device due to the low price compared to the competition. Turns out those were unfounded! 

The directions in the quick start guide are clear and had the device set up in two minutes with the push of two buttons; no connection to a computer was necessary since my router had WPS.

Our router is on the first floor in the office (far east side of the house). I took the extender to the west side basement to test it out. [Test was quickly done using a Samsung Galaxy S3 on Verizon, used the wireless network settings menu to view signal strength and link speed]

Basement without the repeater: Signal strength: Good (one bar), Link Speed: 20 Mbps
Basement with repeater: Signal strength: Very Strong (full bars), Link speed 72 Mbps

So far, so good, but the intended application was for an out-building/ detached shop, located about another 100 feet west of the house (approx 200 feet from router, and multiple walls/obstructions). 

Only the very closest corner of the shop got signal previously, the rest of the shop the phone switched to 4G LTE.

Out Building without repeater: Signal strength: Poor (no bars indicated, only WiFi icon was lit), Link Speed: 1 to 5 Mbps.

Out Building with repeater: Signal strength: Very Good (only missing one bar from full), Link Speed: 58 Mbps

Yeah Buddy! Everywhere in the shop has at least Good signal indicated, and the phone never goes to 4G LTE. 

Additionally, the Quick Start guide says that the signal shown on the device should show 3 lights for best performance. 

The outbuilding only gets 1 light (very minimum), but still able to reliably boost the WiFi transfer rate at least 10 fold; impressive.

Another plus; the repeater uses the same network name, so you don't need to add an additional saved network to your phone/laptop/etc. and then worry about switching between the two if you are moving around.