There is no doubt, Powerline networking has brought about a new flexibility to today's home networks. Having the ability to create and manage an entire home network without running yards of Ethernet cable is truly a great achievement.
As of late, vendors have been adding to Powerline networking doubling up the devices as wireless range extenders. One such product is the WPA4220KIT from TP-LINK, which features a 500Mbps Powerline connection while also having 300Mbps 802.11n capabilities. Additional features include a Wi-Fi clone button that allows the adapter to clone your existing wireless network settings at the push of a button. We also have 128-bit AES encryption via the pair button on the bottom of the unit.
MSRP for the TP-LINK WPA4220KIT is set at $79.99 with a two-year warranty.
Scope of delivery for the 4220 gave us two Ethernet cables along with a resource disc and user manuals.
Looking at the front of the adapters, you can see the unit on the left is much smaller and is meant to be the lead adapter accepting the LAN connection from your router. The unit on the right houses the Wi-Fi extender and powerline endpoint.
Looking at the connection points for the adapters, you can see the adapter on the left has a single connection, while the endpoint houses two for connecting devices.
At the end of the previous column is the testing layout for the charts that follow.
In our powerline testing, the 4220 did quite well, except for one concern I do have. The adapters, and therefore the extender, are rated at 500Mbps and 300Mbps, respectively. The problem is, as you can see, TP-LINK outfitted the adapters with fast Ethernet connections, so you will never get past 100Mbps.
Here we have our quick range test for the TP-LINK 4220KIT. We perform this test with a live feed utilizing network utilities on the MacBook Pro. Starting right next to the adapter, you can see we have a great signal rate at -25 dBm. Then, we move out in ten-foot increments reaching a max range of 40ft and a signal rate of -70 dBm. We then move back towards the adapter to finish the test procedure. Throughout testing, the peak connection rate was 117Mbps, which you can see above.
The TP-LINK WPA4220 is a great product; everything about the unit is easy to setup and very user friendly. The build quality is great. The entirety of the unit from the buttons to the plastic housings are secure and feel quite durable.
The problem I am having trouble getting past is the inclusion of very quick 500Mbps Powerline technology and then adding a wireless extender on top of that, then turning around and putting fast Ethernet connections on the unit. It's sort of perplexing, isn't it?
Performance of the unit across all of our testing showed the unit capable of 94Mbps peak through powerline, while the wireless was able to connect at 117Mbps. Range of the unit was pretty decent, but not what I would expect from 2.4GHz. Typically, we see range in the 60ft to 70ft mark, but the TP-LINK started to drop off at around 40ft.
MSRP of the TP-LINK 4220KIT is set at $79.99 with a two-year warranty. Current market pricing can be found below.
PRICING: You can find the TP-LINK 4220KIT for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The TP-LINK 4220KIT retails for $56.99 at Amazon.