Archive for TP-Link

Review: TP-Link AX1800 Deco X20 Mesh WiFi System

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 11, 2020 by itnerd

The TP-Link AX1800 Deco X20 Mesh WiFi system bills itself as the “WiFi Dead Zone Killer” among other things. That’s a pretty bold claim as pretty much every mesh WiFi system has some version of that claim. So I guess the question that I’m asking is if it lives up to that claim. Let’s find out. I’ll start with the specs that are on board:

  • WiFi 6 speeds up to 1,800 Mbps
  • 1,201 Mbps on 5 GHz
  • 574 Mbps on 2.4 GHz
  • OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology to increase capacity over 150 devices.
  • WPA3 encryption
  • 2 Gigabit ports per unit
  • Amazon Alexa compatibility (which I did not get the opportunity to test for the record)

Well on paper things look good so far. So let’s look at what you get in the box:

In the box you get three units. These three units will cover a staggering 5800 square feet.

Here’s one of the units with the protective wrap still on it. It’s going to fit into any decor without a problem because it doesn’t look like something from space or a Transformers movie.

You get a power plug on the back along with two gigabit Ethernet ports which increases the versatility of this mesh WiFi system. And as part of the deal you get TP-Link HomeCare. That encompasses the following:

  • Parental controls
  • Built-in antivirus
  • Quality of service

Setup is insanely easy. All you have to do is the following:

  1. Turn off your modem
  2. Connect one of the Deco units to your modem and power on both devices
  3. Download and launch the Deco app (Available for iOS and Android. I used the iOS version) to walk through the setup
  4. Declare victory and have a beer

Once everything was set up, everything happens through the app. Firmware updates, configuration, setting up TP-Link HomeCare. Everything. You can also get all sorts of stats from the app as well. But if old school web management is your thing, it can do that too as long as you have the most recent firmware version.

So, now that I am through the setup and specs, how does it perform is the next question? Well, I don’t have a 5800 square foot home. But I have a 1000 square foot condo with lots of concrete as well as a ton of competing WiFi access points as illustrated here:

If you come back in 30 seconds, you’ll see more WiFi access points. It is a challenging environment for WiFi to operate in. I used this setup for a week and noted these observations:

  • Even though I don’t currently have any WiFi 6 devices, I found that devices that relied on WiFi connected with more consistent speed above roughly 600 Mbps downstream. Which was about 100 Mbps higher than normal.
  • The range that I was getting was impressive. I could easily get these same numbers on places like my balcony which is usually a dead spot in my condo. I was also able to get WiFi in the hallway outside my condo. Plus I could also get WiFi one floor above or below my condo. If I had a house with a second floor, there’s no question that this range would be most welcome.
  • I noted no connection issues of any sort and moving devices like laptops and smartphones from place to place was a non-issue as the device was able to seamlessly connect from Deco unit to Deco unit without a problem.

So based on all of that, I think that it is safe to say that the TP-Link AX1800 Deco X20 Mesh WiFi system talks the talk and walks the walk in terms of being the “WiFi Dead Zone Killer”. If you want speedy WiFi that will cover your entire home, this mesh WiFi system is worth a look. I found it on Amazon for $400 CDN with free shipping which is a very aggressive price for a mesh WiFi system. That gives you another good reason to have a look at this mesh WiFi system and perhaps set one up in your home.

Review: TP-Link AX6000 WiFi Router

Posted in Products with tags on October 22, 2019 by itnerd

I’m just going to get to the point. If you want consistent speed and a router that is future proof, you need to get the TP-Link AX6000 WiFi Router. Period. End of story.

Actually, you’re looking for more than that statement as to why you should spring just under $400 USD for a router. I can help you with that. Let me show you the router:

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So I will admit that this looks like one of those gaming routers from companies like Asus. But the antennas are foldable, and the lighting isn’t over the top. Here’s where things get interesting:

AX6000-5

As you can see here you get a USB-A and a USB-C port for printers and storage devices. But more importantly it has 8 Ethernet ports and 1 2.5 GB Ethernet port. The latter is more important as ISPs are going above the Gigabit mark when it comes to the service that they provide, and your router has to be able to keep up with that. But don’t ignore the fact that it has 8 Ethernet ports as link aggregation is on board for those who have devices like NAS devices with multiple Ethernet ports where you can bond those ports together to get extra speed. 

Other features include:

  • 802.11ax (also known as Wi-Fi 6)
  • Dual band wireless. It has 1148 Mbps on 2.4GHz (802.11ax) + 4804 Mbps on 5GHz (802.11ax)
  • 1.8GHz 64-bit Quad-Core CPU
  • Antivirus provided by Trend Micro
  • A Quality of Service feature that lets you prioritise traffic by type, such as streaming or gaming.
  • Parental controls which are easy to set up and use.

Setting this router up was absurdly easy. I went the route of using the web page and had it set up on my Gigabit Internet connection in five minutes. But you can also use the TP-Link Tether App to do the same thing.

But let’s get down to brass tacks. What is the performance like? Let’s start with speed. I will simply let this picture speak for itself:

Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 5.40.54 PM

Now this test was done over WiFi a few feet from the router. It’s also is the fastest speed that I have recorded in all the years that I have been testing routers. I’ll also point out that I was using an 802.11ac MacBook Pro to do this testing. Which means that this router if you use an 802.11ax device you might get even better performance. Another thing to point out is that unlike most routers where the speed that I get during my testing is all over the place, I was consistently getting speeds above 800 Mbps. That was impressive. So is the fact that this router was fast all over my sub 1000 ft condo where range is sometimes an issue with routers that I test.

Now, who should buy this router? I see several use cases:

  • If you want to future proof yourself, buy this router.
  • If you want performance in terms of speed and range, buy this router.
  • If you have a ton of devices on Ethernet that you want to connect to your router, buy this router.

The fact is that I am going to have a tough time giving this router back to TP-Link as I was very impressed with it. And I believe that you will be impressed with it as well. Sure it’s not cheap, but it’s very much worth it given the performance and versatility that you get.

 

TP-Link Link Wifi 6 Router Arrives in Canada

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 17, 2019 by itnerd

TP-Link is now bringing its first AX router to Canada, the AX6000 Next Gen Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router. TP-Link is known for its high-quality networking products at consumer-friendly price points.

At the hub of the powerful AX6000 router is Broadcom’s 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) chipset. The next generation 802.11ax standard is designed to provide incredible Wi-Fi speed with the stability, range and efficiency to optimize home Wi-Fi networks

Archer AX6000 Key Features Highlight

  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) speeds of 4,804 Mbps (5GHz) and 1,148 Mbps (2.4GHz)
  • Backwards compatibility with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Advanced OFDMA, MU-MIMO and 1024-QAM (4x more capacity, performance and speed)
  • 2.5 Gbps WAN port
  • 1.8 GHz 64-bit Quad-Core CPU
  • 1 Type C USB 3.0 Port
  • 1 Type A USB 3.0 Port
  • 8 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • HomeCare Parental Controls and Antivirus monitoring
  • RangeBoost, Beamforming and Smart Connect Technologies
  • Accelerated VPN Access (5× faster OpenVPN and PPTP VPN connections)
  • Airtime Fairness
  • Link Aggregation doubles the connection speeds

Pricing and Availability

TP-Link Next-Gen AX Routers can be purchased at BestBuy Canada starting at MSRP $199.99 CAD for Archer AX50, $399.99 CAD for Archer AX6000 and $549.99 CAD for Archer AX11000.

TP-Link Combines Two Wireless Technologies in One Device: Whole Home Wi-Fi and Powerline

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 26, 2019 by itnerd

TP-Link Canada has announced the availability of Deco P7, a whole home hybrid Mesh wireless system in Canada. The Deco P7 supports powerline connection, aimed at providing stable Wi-Fi everywhere in the building.

Dual-band AC1300 Wi-Fi and AV600 powerline connections combine to create a seamless, fast whole home network. Powerline backhaul allows data to move through walls and other structures without losing transmission strength, thus eliminating weak signal areas. Users can enjoy fast, secure Wi-Fi for over 100 connected devices with Deco P7. The Deco P7 comes with TP-Link HomeCare which includes robust Parental Controls, dynamic Antivirus and traffic-optimizing Quality of Service (QoS) features, helping homeowners create a personalized and secure family network. The Deco P7 solves many wireless issues in the home.

Spotty Wi-Fi

The Deco units connect to each other to create a network system for the entire home. Having a network system eliminates weak signal areas and dead zones by placing units near hard-to-reach areas or by providing multiple access units for wireless devices to connect to. The Deco P7 operates on the IEEE 802.11r/k/v specifications for a truly seamless roaming experience.

Powerline Connection

Powerline technology uses the building’s electrical wiring to create stronger connections between Deco units. Wi-Fi integrated with powerline allows for link aggregation and gives the ability to boost bandwidth effectively. Backhaul bandwidth is improved by up to 60% more in the hybrid Wi-Fi system compared to a standard system without Powerline capability. No restrictions from thick walls or long distances, the Deco P7 can even reach as far as the mudroom or backyard.

Cyberthreat Protection

With advanced HomeCareTM in partnership with Trend Micro, the Deco P7 is one of the most secure Mesh Wi-Fi systems in the market. In addition to parental controls and QoS, HomeCare protects every connected device on the network from outside malware and hackers. Malicious site blocking takes the extra step of preventing users from accessing malicious websites. Live cyberthreat preventions are updated regularly with HomeCare.

Connects More Devices

Beneath the stylish exterior is a Qualcomm Quad-core CPU, giving Deco P7 the processing power to support over 100 devices. 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO technology and AC1300 dual-band speed provide lag-free connections, ensuring a smooth gaming and 4K streaming experience simultaneously. Multiple applications are handled with ease to deliver smooth and stable Wi-Fi for every device in the home.

Simple Onboarding

The Deco app provides clear onboarding instructions with visual aids, making setup fast and easy. Remote network management is also available through the Deco app such as limiting and monitoring internet use, pausing internet and setting up a guest network.

Key Features:

  • 400 Mbps on 2.4 GHz; 867 Mbps on 5 GHz; HomePlug AV 600 Mbps.
  • Effectively boost bandwidth
  • No limits to data transmission distance or wall restrictions
  • Each unit covers up to 2000 sq. ft.
  • Add any Deco units to expand Wi-Fi coverage
  • Qualcomm Quad-core CPU:
  • Supports over 100 wireless devices
  • Deco App simplifies network setup and management
  • TP-Link HomeCareTM (parental controls, QoS and built-in antivirus software)
  • IPv6: supports the latest Internet Protocol Version 6.
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa, IFTTT and other Deco models

Price & Availability The Deco P7 (3-pack) is currently available at all retail and e-tail partners for MSRP of $299.99 (CAD).

TP-Link OneMesh Upgrades Your Home’s Wi-Fi With Seamless Roaming

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 6, 2019 by itnerd

TP-Link, a leading global provider of consumer and business networking products today announced the expansion of its Mesh product lineup by adding the RE300 OneMeshTM AC1200 Range Extender. TP-Link OneMesh offers consumers more choices and options to experience whole-home Wi-Fi without replacing existing networking devices or purchasing a new Wi-Fi ecosystem.

While most whole-home Wi-Fi systems are considered expensive by the average consumer, OneMesh allows TP-Link router users to upgrade their home Wi-Fi to Mesh technology by simply updating their router’s firmware and adding a OneMesh range extender. OneMesh products will extend into Powerlines and be offered with TP-Link’s small office and home office product lines. The first OneMesh product available is the RE300 OneMesh AC1200 Range Extender which features up to 300 Mbps at 2.4GHz and 867 Mbps at 5GHz and works with Archer C7/Archer A7 models (firmware upgrades are required for the routers to use OneMesh).

OneMesh is a powerful technology that reliably eliminates dead zones and boosts signal strength with a single Wi-Fi network that extends to every corner of the home. Consumers no longer need to wander around in search of a stronger or faster signal. OneMesh intelligently connects mobile devices to the router or extender, whichever provides the best connection. Compatible OneMesh routers and extenders share a single Wi-Fi name so wireless users stay connected to the same network as they roam from room-to-room, enjoying uninterrupted streaming or downloading.

OneMesh ensures wireless devices are operating at top speeds with Adaptive Path Selection (APS) and Band Steering. Both technologies operate together to optimally select the fastest connection path to transfer data. TP-Link’s Mesh products have self-healing capabilities to ensure all wireless devices are always connected even if the network setup disconnects, so the Wi-Fi network is consistently stable and no dropped connections are experienced. Setup with the Tether app simplifies Wi-Fi extension onboarding and management.

Key Features at a Glance:

  • Dual band (2.4GHz at 300 Mbps and 5GHz at 867 Mbps)
  • Creates smart roaming Mesh network (single network name) on 802.11k/v standard
  • Smart signal to find optimal location
  • WPS button for easy, secure setup. Alternatively, the Tether app for network control and management on smartphone is available.
  • Works with any compatible Wi-Fi router and access point. See full list of compatible products: https://www.tp-link.com/en/onemesh/compatibility

Pricing and Availability:

The RE300 AC1200 OneMesh Range Extender will be available at online retailers for an MSRP of $49.99 CAD.

If You Have A TP-Link Router…. You May Have A Problem…..

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 22, 2019 by itnerd

Owners of TP-Link routers need to read this story from TechCrunch ASAP as there’s a remote access exploit that has been out in the wild for as much as a year:

Thousands of TP-Link routers are vulnerable to a bug that can be used to remotely take control of the device, but it took more than a year for the company to publish the patches on its website.

The vulnerability allows any low-skilled attacker to remotely gain full access to an affected router. The exploit relies on the router’s default password to work, which many don’t change.

In the worst-case scenario, an attacker could target vulnerable devices on a massive scale, using a similar mechanism to how botnets like Mirai worked — by scouring the web and hijacking routers using default passwords like “admin” and “pass.”

Well, that’s not good. However it gets worse:

Andrew Mabbitt, founder of U.K. cybersecurity firm Fidus Information Security, first discovered and disclosed the remote code execution bug to TP-Link in October 2017. TP-Link released a patch a few weeks later for the vulnerable WR940N router, but Mabbitt warned TP-Link again in January 2018 that another router, TP-Link’s WR740N, was also vulnerable to the same bug because the company reused vulnerable code between devices.

TP-Link said the vulnerability was quickly patched in both routers. But when we checked, the firmware for WR740N wasn’t available on the website.

When asked, a TP-Link spokesperson said the update was “currently available when requested from tech support,” but wouldn’t explain why. Only after TechCrunch reached out, TP-Link updated the firmware page to include the latest security update.

That’s pretty bad on the part of TP-Link as the media should have to tell anyone that they have an issue as the optics just suck when that happens and it’s made public. In any case, if you have either router that is mentioned above, it is worth your time to see if you’re running the latest firmware.

Review: TP-Link Deco AC1200 M4 Whole-Home Wi-Fi System

Posted in Products with tags on May 3, 2019 by itnerd

Mesh WiFi is the in thing to get if you have a large home and you need to get WiFi to every corner of it. The catch is that mesh WiFi is usually expensive. But TP-Link is here to change this with the Deco AC1200 M4 Whole Home Wi-Fi system. I got a two node system to test out and here’s a look at one of the nodes:

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It’s a tower that looks really looks good and will fit into any decor. Oh and you can get any color you want as long as it is white.

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They also have a pair of gigabit Ethernet jacks. One can be used to connect to your ISP’s modem. The other you can use to plug a wired device into it.

As for specs, TP-Link brings the following to the table:

  • 802.11 ac/n/a 5 GHz, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz
  • 300 Mbps on 2.4 GHz
  • 867 Mbps on 5 GHz
  • Router/ Access Point Mode
  • Optional Ethernet Backhaul
  • Guest network
  • MU-MIMO
  • Auto Path Selection
  • Self-Healing
  • AP Steering
  • Band Steering
  • Beamforming
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT

These are very solid specs. The only thing that is missing is a web based GUI for nerds like me. In the absence of that, you have to use the Deco app to do the setup which is dead easy. The app is available in iOS and Android flavors and from unpacking to having both units fully operational, it took me less than 1 hour. The mobile app does an excellent job taking you step by step on how to configure each device, and the entire setup worked flawlessly. This should be something that anybody can do without outside help. I also performed the first firmware update on the nodes directly from the mobile app as well and that too was easy.

In terms of coverage, two units which should be good for 3800 sq feet of space had no trouble covering my sub 1000 sq ft condo with surprisingly speedy WiFi. I was able to stream 4K video for example to my TCL TV without a hiccup. The app also has options for anti-virus protection, parental controls, and a quality of service. That way you can control access, protect yourself, and tweak things to get the best performance.

That all sounds great. But do I have any gripes? Well, other than the lack of a web interface, not much that I could find during my testing. Given that the price is $235.99 CAD for three nodes on Amazon, $169.99 CAD on Amazon for two nodes, $127.99 CAD on Amazon for 1 node, this is the best value for mesh WiFi that I am aware of. The Deco AC1200 M4 Whole Home Wi-Fi system deserves a good look.

TP-Link Voted the Best Home & Consumer Router Manufacturer By Resellers

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 14, 2019 by itnerd

TP-Link Canada, a leading global provider of consumer and business networking products was awarded 2018 Best Home and Consumer Router Manufacturer by the Reseller Choice Awards. TP-Link is consistently ranked by analyst firm IDC as the No. 1 provider of WLAN and broadband CPE devices, supplying more than 40% of the global market. Winning the 2018 Reseller Choice award speaks volume about which networking brand is trusted globally and by Canadians alike. Entering the Canadian market since 2010, TP-Link has made significant strides in networking, smart home and mobile accessories.

Founded in 1996, TP-Link is a global provider of reliable networking devices and accessories, involved in all aspects of everyday life. The company is consistently ranked by analyst firm IDC as the No. 1 provider of WLAN and broadband CPE devices*, supplying distribution to more than 120 countries and serving hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

With a proven heritage of stability, performance and value, TP-Link has curated a portfolio of products that meet the networking needs of all individuals. Now, as the connected lifestyle continues to evolve, the company is expanding today to exceed the demands of tomorrow.

Ranked highest in customer satisfaction for wireless routers by J.D. Power in 2017 for signal strength, brand confidence and reputation, speed specifications and ease of use.

TP-Link Announces A Number Of Products At CES

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 7, 2019 by itnerd

Today at CES, TP-Link has launched OneMesh home networking and its first Wi-Fi 6 products:

  • Deco X10 Whole Home Mesh Wifi
  • Archer AX110000 gaming router – CES 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree
  • Archer AX6000 router
  • Archer AX1800 for price conscious consumers
  • AX1800 Range Extender

Kasa Smart has also introduced its new artificial intelligence, cloud-based platform for cross-product interaction. Smart Action adds features such as face recognition and an AI filtered video summary that work across the Kasa Smart portfolio:

  • Kasa Smart Video Doorbell
  • Kasa Smart Wire-Free Outdoor Security Camera System
  • Kasa Smart Spot Indoor Security Camera
  • Kasa Smart WiFi Light Switch with Voice Assistant – CES 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree
  • Kasa Smart WiFi Power Outlet
  • Kasa Smart WiFi Outdoor Plug
  • Kasa Smart WiFi LED Light Strip

TP-Link’s products will be on display during CES at the Sands, Halls A-D, Booth 42765, and at Pepcom at the Mirage Hotel.

More information can be found in the following press releases:

TP-Link Announces New Cloud-Managed Wi-Fi Solution

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 18, 2018 by itnerd

TP-Link has launched the Omada OC200 cloud controller. This cloud-managed wireless network gives decentralized IT operations the flexibility to control multiple access points in different locations and instantly troubleshoot from anywhere in the world without having to move from site to site. The ability to set up a robust wireless connection at multiple sites while managing and controlling the network in a centralized location greatly reduces business costs and improves productivity.

The Omada wireless solution includes a hardware cloud controller, EAP cloud-enabled controller software, ceiling-mount access points, and outdoor access points. Adding to the comprehensive Omada solution is the just released EAP225-Wall AC1200 MU-MIMO PoE Wall-Plate Access Point which gives users fast, private and stable dedicated in-room Internet connections regardless of room size. These wall-plated access points are widely used in hotels, dormitories and other locations.

Omada hardware products are powered by Broadcom and Qualcomm enterprise-grade chipsets and provide abundant processing power and superior wireless experience. The elegant and modern encasing blends in with any interior design and appeals to hospitality, campuses, parks, stadiums, restaurants, retailers, offices and government IT departments moving towards a cloud-managed solution.
Instantly Configure a Network

Centralized management with the Omada controller software and cloud access gives IT administrators remote access from a single location. Simple plug-and-play configuration allows for new access points to be set up within minutes.

Quicken IT Response Time

Network downtime can be costly for any businesses. IT administrators no longer need to travel to the physical location to troubleshoot wireless connectivity with a cloud-managed solution. Omada hardware also connect to form one seamless mesh network. If an access point fails within the network, other access points on the same network adapt to the change automatically and connect to the wireless equipment to maintain seamless coverage.
Increase Network Visibility

The complimentary EAP cloud-enabled access point controller software allows the ability to control, adjust and visualize the entire network from any connected PC or device remotely. Speeds can be throttled, network usage reports can be generated and IT administrators can detect network issues before they happen with improved network visibility application.
Omada Cloud-Managed Solution, Pricing and Availability Overview:

Cloud Controller

Cloud Access Controller for Centralized Management – Manage wireless network over the cloud with PoE (802.3af/802.3at) support, Omada App and secure login via SMS and Facebook: Model#: OC200 – MSRP $99.99 (CAD)

AC1200 Wireless MU-MIMO Wall-Place Access Point – Upgrade Ethernet wall jacks to a high-performance wireless access point. No additional wiring required with PoE (802.3af/802.3at) support and acts as switch by providing three Ethernet ports: Model#: EAP225-Wall – MSRP $89.99 (CAD)

Ceiling Mount Access Point

AC1350 Wireless MU-MIMO Gigabit Access Point – Model#: EAP225 V3 – MSRP $99.99 (CAD)

AC1750 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Access Point – Model#: EAP245 V3 – MSRP – $129.99

AC1200 Broadcom Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Access Point – Model#: EAP320 – MSRP – $199.99

Outdoor Access Point 300Mbps-  Durable and Weatherproof Wireless N Outdoor Access Point Model#: EAP110-Outdoor – MSRP $69.99 (CAD) T

he Omada Cloud Managed Solution is available for TP-Link resellers at any TP-Link authorized distributor. Customers can also purchase TP-Link business products at any national retailer and e-tailer. Learn more about the Omada Wireless Solution.