Tenda A301 Wireless N300 Universal Range Extender Review

Final Thoughts


Pricing

At the time of writing, the Tenda A301 Universal Wireless Range Extender can be had for $23.89 at NewEgg, £22.46 at Amazon, or starting from €21.99 via Geizhals.

Conclusion

Tenda created a great base with their A301 Universal Range Extender, but I have to say right away that it’s slightly outdated by today’s standards. The 2.4GHz band is great for coverage, but it doesn’t provide the same throughput as the newer 5GHz band. We get up to 300 Mbps from this IEEE 802.1 N standard and when we’re honest, it is theoretically enough for a lot of usage scenarios. If you’re just using your systems for surfing and other online services, but never or rarely move anything from one system to another inside your home, then you don’t need anything better than the speed that your internet connection provides you with. That said, latency could be a factor.

The A301 has a pretty square and pretty boring shape, but it doesn’t matter much. Once it is plugged into an outlet and setup, you’ll forget all about it and only see it when cleaning. The addition of two external antennas is great and it gives the unit better coverage than the ones using internal antennas. It would have been nice if those antennas were removable, but it is a good start. Tenda also added an RJ45 port to the A301, allowing you to connect an otherwise wired system to your wireless network, a great addition that could come in very handy.

The performance was as to be expected. My apartment is almost too small to properly test it, but we did see how it could improve the signal strength and throughput. It will also help to keep a stable connection when moving obstacles get in the way of the signal. Should you place the wireless range extender close to your garden, then you’ll easily be able to enjoy WiFi surfing in the furthest corner of it.

Whether it’s worth the price or not is really up to everyone’s own opinion. I’d say it’s slightly outdated by today’s standards and that there might be better options on the market. If you already have one or get one cheap or for free, then there’s no need to get rid of it again. It does a very good job at what it does.

Pros

  • External and adjustable antennas
  • RJ45 port
  • Easy to read 4-zone 2-colour LED area
  • More functions than usual through web-interface

Cons

  • Only 2.4GHz N300
  • Price might be too much for what it is today.

“The Tenda A301 is a great start, I just wished it was dual-band and supported faster protocols.”

Thank You Tenda for providing us with this sample