- Simple installation and configuration
- Excellent speeds
- No socket
- Mesh limited to TP-Link devices
The TP-Link RE700X is a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 repeater with a throughput of 3000 Mb/s. It is also compatible with OneMesh, the Mesh protocol used by TP-Link on all its network products.
The TP-Link RE700X is a repeater without external antennas, measuring 14.9cm in height. Due to the lack of a socket, it blocks an electrical outlet when plugged in. When fitted into the socket, it protrudes 4.5 cm and is 7.8 cm wide.
Its contained weight of 262 g allows it to be properly held in place despite using a type-C (phase-neutral) plug. At least it has the advantage that it can be oriented either head up or head down, depending on your choice.
The RE700X has a Gigabit standard RJ45 socket. In repeater mode, it acts as a network access point for a device, while in access point mode, it is the source of the network.
Just above it, a WPS button allows you to pair your devices, while the reset button is hidden above it.
The front panel houses four blue LEDs to indicate the status of the repeater, the quality of the connection with the signal it is repeating and the status of the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands.
On the Wi-Fi side, the TP-Link supports the 802.11ax standard (Wi-Fi 6) on two frequency bands, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, with a speed of 574 Mb/s and 2402 Mb/s on the second. In theory, the RE700x should therefore send high-speed data, even if the theoretical figure is divided by two since it communicates with both the source (router/internet box) and the connected device.
The TP-Link RE700X repeater can be installed in two ways. Via the Android/iOS application called Tether or directly in the web interface of the repeater available at tplinkrepeater.net. In both cases, you must plug the repeater into an outlet near the box or router whose network you wish to extend.
Once the start-up indicator has stopped flashing, you can connect to the newly created Wi-Fi network (TP-Link_Extender) and follow the installation guide in the application, which will ask you for the identifiers of the network you are extending and will create two new SSIDs: networkname2,4G_EXT and networkname5G_EXT Once the configuration is complete, you can unplug your repeater and place it halfway between your internet box and the area you want to cover, with the application indicating whether you have positioned the device correctly. Good to know. If you have a TP-Link router with the One Mesh function, the repeater will take the SSIDs of the router and manage the roaming of your devices automatically.
The application then allows you to altogether dispense with the web administration interface. It is thus possible to access all the repeater’s parameters, configure the lighting of the indicator lights and even define a time slot for use.
No parental control is on the menu, as this task is generally the responsibility of the router or the internet box; parental control only on the repeater’s Wi-Fi network would not make sense. However, it is possible to exclude devices or set time slots for them.
To evaluate the performance of the TP-Link repeater, we repeated the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signals from a Netgear RAX200 router, to which we connected a laptop via an adapter to the 2.5 Gb/s socket. To measure the data rates, we transferred a file (a disk image) of 4.73 GB from the first laptop to a second one equipped with an Intel AX210 Wi-Fi 6 chip and a fixed desktop PC upstairs connected with a Gigabyte GC-WBAX200 PCIe card. The latter was equipped with the Intel AX210 chip but with an external antenna.
The router is positioned at a corner of the housing, with the repeater plugged in almost in the middle of the housing, on a socket 15 cm from the floor. We carry out a first measurement with the repeater close to the router (point 1), a measurement at 1 m from the repeater placed in the middle of the dwelling (point 2), another in a room at about 5 m from the repeater with a load-bearing wall opposite the router (point 3), another measurement on the fixed PC upstairs through a concrete floor (point 4), and a last one upstairs as well, but above the first room where the router’s throughputs are the lowest.
The 5 GHz frequency band performance is simply the highest we have measured on a repeater. For example, 610 Mb/s download and 531 Mb/s upload are achieved at the closest. Once installed in its socket to cover our home, we get almost 400 Mb/s, both in download and upload.
Even at the furthest measurement point (point 5), the RE700X outperforms the competition with 323 Mb/s download and 219 Mb/s upload.
In the 2.4 GHz frequency band, the RE700X has no reason to be ashamed of its 574 Mb/s performance. The RE700X flirts with the 300 Mb/s mark, regardless of the measurement point in the home, except the furthest point. On this last point, the RE700X still displays 225 Mb/s for downloading and 142 Mb/s for uploading.
It will succeed if you already have a Wi-Fi 6 internet box or a high-performance router that can supply the RE700X bandwidth. The RE700X, coupled with a good router, will be more efficient than some of the more expensive Wi-Fi 6 mesh kits.
The TP-Link’s power consumption is 5 watts when idle and 7 watts when we put a lot of strain on it. A little more greedy than the average of the tested repeaters (3,13 W at rest and 5,38 W under load), it remains much less energy-consuming than the most economical mesh systems.
The connection is made on a type C socket (phase + neutral), and the device does not have an earthed socket. The RE700X does not have a socket, so using it will require a socket.
The TP-Link RE700X, with its cumulative speed of 3000 Mb/s, offers high performance for a simple repeater. Admittedly, it does require an electrical outlet, but if you have a Wi-Fi 6 box, it’s a good choice for extending your range.
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