Howard Sobel, Reviews Editor
These three words spell out the advantages of TP-LINK’s new TL-WR700N 150Mbps Wireless N Mini Pocket Router. Packed inside this tiny footprint (3.2 x 2.8 x 1.1 inches it fits inside a large pocket) sits an extremely flexible wireless solution for use at home and travelling. Since many hotels offer wired ethernet connections they seem to limit you to one specific area. TP-LINK has eliminated that problem by allowing you to plug in the device near the cable and you have your own WI-FI hot spot in your room. You can then use your any of your WI-FI enabled devices. Surprisingly, it supports 5 modes: AP Mode (Default), Client, Repeater Mode and Bridge Mode. The AP mode converts a wired (cat 5 connection) into a simple wireless access point providing any WI-FI device within range a solid ultra fast connection. For comparison we tested a Fios G router, a Belkin N router along with the TP-LINK product. The WR700N got the fastest download and upload speeds on Ookla’s speed tests feeding off of a FIOS fiber optic connection. The modem is compatible with 802.11n/g/b and supports WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK encryption standards.
Flexibility and Installation
Since the WR700N can operate in 5 modes it is necessary to read the set up guide carefully since it requires you to change your default IP4 address to 192.168.0.10 in order to access the routers setup screen at 192.168.0.254. Because the router has to handle DHCP issues while supporting the various modes it requires this dedicated IP address. I “assumed” that since I had already set up so many routers I didn’t need to read the setup –and was quickly proven wrong. After reading the start up guide I made the quick change and things worked as they should.
How to use each mode
AP – Mode – This works as a traditional Access Point. You connect to it just as you would any WI-FI hot spot. In my tests the tiny WR700N had a far stronger signal from the same distance as my other WI-FI routers and has a faster connection.
Client Mode – In this mode you can WI-FI enable any of your devices which have an Ethernet port such as a Smart TV, Game Console, Blue Ray etc. The WR700N becomes your WI-FI receiver and connects your device to the wireless network.
Repeater Mode – In this mode the unit scans your existing WI-FI access point(s) and then allows you to set it up as a repeater which rebroadcasts your WI-FI signal. This is great for homes that have weird construction or corners that block the signal. I found this to be extremely useful.
Bridge Mode – allows you to set up another network (name) that uses your existing WI-FI signal. This allows you to create another SSID with our without password protection. For example you want to offer an open network in your small office or bar where you don’t want to give out your password.
Router Mode – this turns an access point into a wireless router which allows sharing your wired connection.
Can be found online and in retail stores in the US at about a $30 USD price point.
Awesome! I really love what TP-LINK has put into this product. The WR700N is a beautifully designed small wonder for travel or at home. It offers superior performance, tiny size, flexibility at an affordable price.