I love powerline adapters as they are incredible devices. They are really easy to setup and it works better than wireless repeaters. I use a set of AV500 powerline wireless extender to improve the wireless coverage of my home previously and they worked really well. You can read my review of TP-Link TL-WPA4530 KIT here. TP-Link recently released the TL-WPA8630P KIT which is an AV1200 capable powerline wireless extender kit so I decided to take a look at it.
TP-Link TL-WPA8630P KIT Hardware Overview
TP-Link TL-WPA8630P KIT comes with 2 adapters. You have the main powerline adapter which will be plugged to your router and the wireless powerline adapter which will be wireless extender access point. Both adapters now support power passthrough in which there is a power outlet on the powerline adapter so you do not waste a power outlet. Besides, the wireless powerline adapter comes with 3 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports which is handy. For instance, you can have the wireless powerline adapter used near your TV so you can plug in your IPTV STB or your gaming console and have expander wireless coverage at the same time.
Speaking of specifications, the TL-WPA8630P KIT support the powerline AV1200 standard. This mean that they are really fast with a theoretical performance of up to 1200Mbps but that is really unlikely in real world. It is still very much faster than a AV500 powerline network nevertheless. Besides, the wireless powerline adapter support 2X2 MIMO Wireless AC for optimum wireless performance. The Ethernet ports are now Gigabit capable as well. All the bottlenecks are eliminated so this is a truly high performance powerline wireless extender.
Setting Up the Powerline Adapter
Setting up a this product is really simply. You just connect your wireless router to the main powerline adapter and turn it on. Next, turn on the wireless powerline adapter and that’s all. The powerline adapters will automatically negotiate a network without any configuration required. Your powerline network is now good to go and the wireless powerline adapter should be expanding your wireless coverage now.
I also want to point out how easy it is to configure the powerline adapters. The powerline adapters can be configured using the tpPLC app. You can view the performance of your powerline network or change the name of your wireless network from there. Besides, you can also turn off the LED indicators. This could be useful if you use the powerline adapters in your bedroom and you don’t want the blinking lights to disturb your sleep. It is worth mentioning that it is possible to have have more than 2 powerline adapters exist together as well. As you can see, I am currently using 3 powerline adapters from the screenshot of the tpPLC app above. Basically, if you have a really big property, you can have your wireless router in the middle of the house and place 2 wireless powerline adapter at 2 ends of the house for the best whole home Wireless AC coverage.
TL-WPA8630P AV1200 High Performance
The performance is really good with this AV1200 capable powerline adapter. It is indeed much better than the AV500 powerline adapter I got previously. With the AV500 powerline, I am only able to achieve a real world performance of 60Mbps on a speedtest. However, with this new AV1200 capable powerline, my performance doubled and getting the full 100Mbps of my Internet bandwidth is possible through the extended wireless network. I figured that the performance can be higher if I my home is using a single phase cabling. My home is having 3 phase power so that may slow down the performance. On my testing, the performance difference between the wireless powerline network compared to a direct connection is very small and that was much better than a wireless repeater. The ping latency is really not really affected so that may be a point for consideration when comparing against a wireless repeater.
I also want to give credit to TP-Link for putting Gigabit Ethernet ports as the previous TL-WPA4530 KIT only come with 10/100 Ethernet ports. As such, your connection will not be bottlenecked by the Ethernet ports on the powerline adapter now.
I always recommend my readers to use a powerline wireless extender to improve their wireless coverage instead of wireless repeater whenever possible as a powerline wireless extender is able to perform so much better and it offers far better stability than a wireless repeater system. TP-Link TL-WPA8630P KIT is a good set of powerline adapters. They are able to extend my wireless coverage reliably and offer a really good performance.
In short, they are really well built and they work really well. I can’t find any issues with them and I have been using it for a month prior to this review. Setting the powerline network up is as simple as plug and play as well. At around RM450, it is not exactly cheap but the performance it offers is amazing and this is a recommended purchase if you really want the high AV1200 performance. If you want some cheaper powerline wireless extender, you can take a look at my previous review of TP-Link WPA-4530 KIT.