Welcome to another Tim’s Tech Tips. Today we are going over a little $60 combo that will give you a 2.4ghz 802.11N access point with plenty of coverage without breaking the bank. You’re going to see that I have a lot of solutions where I combine multiple pieces of hardware and/or software to accomplish a goal.
In the review I posted before this (FitBit Aria Scale) I talked about setting up a separate wireless network for the FitBit Aria scale. I did not want to spend a ton of money on this setup as I had already spent $200 on my main Access Point (NetGear R7000) and another $130 on the scale itself. I decided to go this route as I had a spare network drop to my main PoE switch and wanted something that was self-powered from the main switch. Enter the TP-LINK WR841HP with a handy 12V PoE adapter.
I picked up the TP-LINK TL-WR841HR for $25 from Amazon via a warehouse deal and the PoE adapter for under $11 shipped. I updated the firmware on the router with the latest one from TP-LINK’s website and set it up as a separate network from my main one at home.
The router is placed in my bedroom on a dresser and has no obstructions. I am able to get a stable and quick (10-20mbps) around my entire 1500+ Square foot condo with it and it does well to fight off the other 2.4ghz networks here. I think it may actually have better 2.4ghz range (but not throughput) than my NetGear R7000 but given their placement and purpose are different I cannot give an accurate assessment.
Performance & Features
Once I got the network all setup I connected a few devices and started running WAN and LAN throughput tests. I had a multitude of devices that I tested with so you can get a feel for the speed of this device. Do note that the 2.4ghz band is pretty congested in my building and you may see better throughput if you are in a single family home where there is less interference. All the tests were done about 50 feet from the router with 1 wall in between the router and the devices. I have a 150+ MBPS WAN connection so the LAN and WAN throughput tests were identical. The upload from WLAN to LAN were all within 1-5 mbps of the download averages.
All in all the speeds were what I expected from this router. The limiting factor here is that all the ports are 10/100 so even though the radio supports up to 300mbps you will never see past 100mbps when pulling data from a wired network port.
This router is pretty standard aside from its higher output wireless signal. You have port forwarding, basic firewall options, uPnP, DNS forwarder, and DHCP server. This is a baseline router so keep that in mind.
Closing Thoughts & Links
For the application, I was needing this worked out very well. I used a cheap/off brand PoE to 12V power adapter from Amazon to get power to this router so that I wouldn’t have to worry about placing a power strip or UPS by it to protect it. This adapter will work with most 12V network devices under 2A of load if you want to power them over PoE. I am using a small 8 port Engenius PoE Gigabit switch and it powered it all up with no problem.
If you want to use this to extend your network and not make use of the router features just leave the WAN port set to dynamic, disable DHCP, and set the LAN IP address to an open address on your network. Once that is setup connect the router to your network via one of the 4 LAN ports, do NOT use the WAN port in this kind of setup.
I could see this being a nice solution to extend a network over PoE for a low cost if high speeds are not needed. The range on this router is fantastic for the price and I think you would be hard-pressed to find a better deal in the sub $40 range. The only thing that would make this router better is if there was Tomato or DD-WRT support for it. If you have any questions or comments please use the Contact Me link at the top of the page, comments are closed on this site.
Purchase Links (NOT affiliate links):
12V PoE Adapter: Amazon.com
TP-LINK TL-WR841HP Router: Amazon.com
Specifications From TP-LINK’s Website
||4 10/100Mbps LAN Ports
1 10/100Mbps WAN Port
||2*9dBi Detachable Omni Directional Antenna (RP-SMA)
|External Power Supply
||12VDC / 1A
||IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b
|Dimensions ( W x D x H )
|Quality of Service
||WMM, Bandwidth Control
||Dynamic IP/Static IP/PPPoE/
||Server, Client, DHCP Client List,
||Virtual Server,Port Triggering, UPnP, DMZ
||DynDns, Comexe, NO-IP
||PPTP, L2TP, IPSec (ESP Head)
||Parental Control, Local Management Control, Host List, Access Schedule, Rule Management
||DoS, SPI Firewall
IP Address Filter/MAC Address Filter/Domain Filter
IP and MAC Address Binding
||CE, FCC, RoHS
||300Mbps Wireless N High Power Router
Power supply unit
Quick Installation Guide
||Microsoft® Windows® 98SE, NT, 2000, XP, Vista™ or Windows 7, Windows8/ 8.1/10
MAC® OS, NetWare®, UNIX® or Linux
||Operating Temperature: 0℃~40℃ (32℉~104℉)
Storage Temperature: -40℃~70℃ (-40℉~158℉)
Operating Humidity: 10%~90% non-condensing
Storage Humidity: 5%~90% non-condensing