Review: TP-Link TL-WA7510N
- — 06 August, 2012 22:00
|Name||150Mbps Outdoor Wireless Access Point: TP-Link TL-WA7510N|
|At a glance:||5GHz access point with weatherproof housing and Power over Ethernet (60m cabling),Good range thanks to 15dBi configurable aerial and 500mW output,Awkward network configuration,Speed never reaches the promised 150Mbps|
|Summary:||Sturdy wireless access point for outdoor use that isn’t as quick as advertised.|
TP-Link’s TL-WA7510N is a flexible access point with multiple operating modes and a long reach. It uses 802.11a/n Wi-Fi in the 5GHz band, for increased performance and less susceptibility to interference – the usual 2.4GHz band is very busy these days.
The admin web interface provides full control over network parameters but the device was a bear to configure, requiring rebooting after changes. Nothing I did would make it pick up an IP address via DHCP on my LAN, and I had to use a static one instead.
Housed in a sturdy, light-grey weatherproof case suitable for outdoors deployment with power over Ethernet, 4kV lightning protection with grounding, and external aerial connector, the TL-WA7510N features a 15dBi dual-polarised antenna and 500mW transmission power. This, TP-Link says, is enough to maintain a stable wireless signal “ranging multiple kilometres”.
And, the TL-WA7510N does seem to provide good reach: after setting up the device so that it pointed towards a field roughly 750 metres away, I was able to connect to the TL-WA7510N from there via a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tab that showed three bars of Wi-Fi signal strength. The tablet was able to receive data 12-15Mbit/s and send at 8-10Mbit/s with WPA-2 PSK encryption.
The 150Mbit/s promised for the TL-WA7510N is too optimistic considering the Ethernet port runs at 100Mbit/s. What’s more, selecting New Zealand as the region stops the TL-WA7510N from using 40MHz bandwidth, only half that, and the 802.11n speed is set to 65Mbit/s instead.
In other words, the TL-WA7510N goes the extra mile but not at the speed promised and is difficult to configure, which is a shame as it retails for an affordable $165-$180: far below its $229 RRP.