TP Link Powerline with Wifi - No Wifi performance boost...?

  damnyounetwork 22:42 23 Mar 2014

Hi there.

Over the weekend I picked up a set of TP Link WPA4220 Powerline (with Wifi) Extenders and a pair of TL PA-411 wired extenders.

This should give me wired extenders in 3 rooms and a wifi boost in one of those rooms. The wired system all works fine but the wifi is a different matter.

The wifi extender is paired to the same SSID as my main Sky router and I can see both devices working properly, however there is absolutely no performance improvement in the room(s) which previously had patchy wifi and now have the wifi extender in. It's like the extender is having no impact at all.

Wifi quality on my Galaxy Note 2 and wife's Iphone 4s have not improved with the addition of the wifi extender. The internet on the xbox360 in my son's room was sketchy on wifi without the extender, and there was no improvement with the wifi extender switched on, so I have hardwired this now.

I tested the kit with some speed tests around the house via, using both wired and wireless on a laptop and wireless on my phone, and all speeds and pings are almost identical with the TP Link wifi extender switched on or off. I then used an Android app called Wifi Analyzer which can see the main router and TP Link extender and reports on both.

The Sky router signal sits at -40db ("excellent") when next to it, dropping to -60 ("medium") when in the bedroom with patchy wifi (and the extender in it). The TP Link wifi signal is sat at -60 (+/-3) all the time in the bedroom and drops lower as you move downstairs (to be expected).

This indicates to me it is offering no increase in performance at all. It's not taking up the slack where the router signal quality is starting to drop. In fact, the signal strength from the BT Home Hub 5 doors down is as good as that coming from the TP link...

So it appears the wifi element is extremely weak and has no use at all. Or am I missing something here?

Is there an alternative product on the market that would do the job better? I'm likely going to return the wifi extender and get a wired one. I basically want what the TP Link claims to be, but one that actually does boost/extend the signal quality...


  Bris 16:29 26 Mar 2014

It sounds like you are still connecting to your router rather than the extender.

I have a range extender and the SSID is the same as the router but with _EXT tagged on the end so in order to connect a device to it I have to go into windows networking and attach to the extender otherwise it will automatically attach to the router as in the past but I guess you have already tried this.

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