While I was testing the TL-WR700N, a lot of people asked me about the repeater mode. It seems wireless range is an issue for many, and they want to extend their wireless networks into new places. I’m happy to report that the TL-WR700N will be a perfect device for this purpose. I was blown away by its range in repeater mode. After placing the TL-WR700N in what is close to the center of my house, I went outside with my iPhone in hand and walked about 30 yards (90 feet) in each direction. To my surprise, the signal stayed stable at 30 yards, and I was able to stream SHOUTcast stations without a problem. I did not find any dead spots as I walked around my house, resulting in the TL-WR700N having some of the best wireless coverage I’ve seen.
Note: The area around my house is not heavily populated with access points. So there was very little interference from neighboring wireless networks. The range you experience will vary on many factors.
Throughput Test Procedure
I used LAN Speed Test and LAN Speed Test Server for all speed tests. Speed tests were conducted in four different locations. The first location was in the same room as the router at a distance of 10ft. Second was at about 15ft from the router with one wall of separation. The third location was about 30ft with two walls between the router and the wireless adapter. Finally, the fourth location was 50ft with two walls.
LAN Speed Test allows you to pick data size and how many times to send that data. I setup 10MB chunks of data, and sent it back and forth five times. LAN Speed Test will then average each transfer to give you a final measurement. All data was sent from the desktop to the laptop.
Router: TP-LINK TL-WR700N
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.0GHz
RAM: 1GB DDR2 PC2-5300
OS: Windows XP Pro SP3 (32bit)
NIC: Marvell Yukon 88E8055 PCIe Gigabit (onboard)
CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 3.20GHz
RAM: 8GB Mushkin Enhanced Blackline DDR3 1600
OS: Windows 7 Pro (64bit)
NIC: Realtek PCIe GBE (onboard)
Wireless Adapter: TRENDnet TEW-687GA (450MBps)
For such a small device, and being rated at half the speed of most Wireless N routers, the TL-WR700N definitely holds its own. In fact, at the further distances, it outperformed the TL-WR1043ND. A great quality about the Tl-WR700N is its throughput curve is near linear. Meaning, there is not a sharp drop off in throughput between any of the distances. If you were to draw a line on the graph, each throughput reading is about what you’d expect it to be.