Despite the immense praise I had for the TP-Link AC2600 (RE650) in our review of it, I do think there are some situations where it didn’t live up to my expectations. One of those was related to obstacles interfering with it’s signal, while another was its ability to maintain a good connection in less ideal circumstances while under heavy load. After relaying these concerns to TP-Link, they graciously sent us one of their TP-Link AV1300 Powerline Adapters to review.
Similar to the AC2600, the packaging was very minimalistic, which is something I like a lot about TP-Link products. It shows that as a company they value condensed use of space, and thus less waste. They’ve basically become almost apple-like in their packaging and product design. These improvements to design have come over time, and I’ve witnessed it due to my early adoption to TP-Link Products.
Both modules of the adapter are mostly white with a neath unimposing look which should allow for them to fit almost any room. There’s even a feature which allows the user to switch off all the LEDs while the unit still functions.
Setup is also simple in that you’re required to connect a LAN cable from the modem to the transmitter, plug it in to a nearby power outlet, then plug in the receiver in the room in which you wish to use it. From there you basically just need to connect LAN cables from the receiver to whatever devices you desire.
Speeds on the adapter are almost equivalent to what you’d achieve by connecting directly to the modem. On our network we got speeds of about 90mbs down on the modem with about a 60mbs average on the powerline adapter. To put this into perspective, a wireless range extender at the same range on the same network average about 11mbs down. With only a third of the average speed lost, its surprising that powerline adapters, or range extenders using similar technology are not more common in the market. ISPs commonly recommend range extenders, but I’ve not noticed any who recommend powerline adapters. Not sure why that is, but if you’re a power user, there are few better options.
The AV1300 also has wireless capabilities which seem to dwarf those on your average range extenders, however I won’t recommend it for such a purpose. In our tests we found its wireless download speeds to be almost double that of a conventional range extender from our ISP (Virgin Media); however, it suffered downtime whenever too many devices were connected. If anything I’d recommend just using it for LAN connections in difficult to reach rooms in your house and only connecting 4 devices to it’s wireless on a needs only basis. On ours, I connected my PC and PS4 via LAN with a LAN port to spare, and only connected my Kindle tablet and Nintendo Switch to the wireless.
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Both modules also come with a power pass-through ports so you shouldn’t lose access to a power port on the sockets you connect them to. The receiver is the larger of the two, taking up a full socket with some extra space. On a standard UK socket that shouldn’t be an issue, but American sockets tend to be much smaller and thus it may block access to a socket on those.
The choice of getting one of these rests on the application you have in mind. If you’re a power user on a PC or Game Console, then this is an easy recommendation. Streaming from this or downloading massive games on this is effortless. You’ll have great speeds in difficult to reach places in your home or office, with the only downside being that the wireless from it isn’t the best. That though is a minor shortcoming when considering it’s easy setup, great performance and clean design. In short, the TP-LINK AV1300 is one of the easiest recommendations I’ve made in years.
The TP-LINK AV1300 used for this review was provided to us by its manufacturer, TP-Link.
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