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Tenda A18 AC1200 Wi-Fi Repeater Review

Tenda A18 AC1200 Wi-Fi Repeater Review
The Tenda A18 AC1200 Wi-Fi repeater is a tempting buy, as it's cheap as chips and can be set up in minutes. It's not a long-term investment, though, and suffers from limited range and speeds.

Should I Buy The Tenda A18 AC1200 Wi-Fi Repeater?

Pros
  • Very cheap
  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • 2.4GHz band speeds are slow
  • Limited 5GHz range
  • No mains passthrough
Our Verdict
  • Very cheap and cheerful, the Tenda A18 AC1200 Wi-Fi repeater is useful in a pinch for boosting signal in areas where a single router can’t help, but it’s not without its limitations.

Price When Reviewed

  • $45
The Tenda A18 AC1200 Wi-Fi Repeater is one of the cheapest Wi-Fi extenders on the market, offering dual-band Wi-Fi support for around £25. An Ethernet port means you can connect devices that'd benefit from a wired connection, too.

Features & Design

The Tenda A18 AC1200 is a small unit which plugs straight into a spare mains socket and features two antennae which flip up and make it look like a small robot that’s trying to catch a tiny rugby ball. 

In terms of extra connectivity, there’s a single Ethernet port (10/100 Mbps RJ45) so you can plug in a laptop, games console, media streamer and so on – read our best Ethernet cables feature for more information on choosing the right cables. 

There’s no mains electricity pass through, however, so whichever mains power socket you use will be dedicated to the Tenda A18 AC1200.
Tenda A18 AC1200 Wi-Fi Repeater Review

Installation

Installing the Tenda A18 AC1200 is easy. For the initial set-up, Tenda recommends that you plug the A18 AC1200 into a mains socket in the same room as your existing router. This way, you’re guaranteed a strong wireless connection between your router and the extender for that initial pairing session. 

You can choose to pair the Wi-Fi extender with your existing router using the WPS push button, or, for more control, including the ability to rename the SSID of the Tenda A18 AC1200, use the web-based user interface. 

The web UI is easy to follow, if a little basic-looking. You’ll be asked to create a login/admin password for the Tenda A18 AC1200 itself during set-up, as well as create an SSID. 

Once that’s all done, you’re free to take the Tenda A18 AC1200 out from the mains and plug it in where it’s needed in your home, ideally the midpoint between your router and the not-spot. 
Tenda A18 AC1200 Wi-Fi Repeater Review

Performance

My router – a Netgear RBK750 – is set up in my living room, close to my Virgin Media Super Hub that’s set to modem mode, which is about a foot away from the master socket. I’m on a 200Mbps Virgin Media Internet service. 

I installed the Tenda A18 AC1200 in a room that’s one floor up and one room along from where the router is and conducted tests in an office that’s two rooms along from that. For added context, there are three walls, (one solid, load-bearing wall) between the office and the Tenda A18 AC1200. 

Below are average Wi-Fi speed test results taken on two devices with Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 radios (a Huawei Mate 10 Pro and a RealMe X50 Pro) using the WiFi Speed Test Android app, the same app we use at Tech Advisor for testing wireless home networking equipment like routers and mesh Wi-Fi systems.

Tests were performed in two rooms, one adjacent to the room where the Tenda A18 was installed, and the other two rooms away:

Wi-Fi 5 client test: One room away
 Tenda A18 AC1200 (2.4GHz)Tenda A18 AC1200 (5GHz)Main router (2.4GHz)Main router (5GHz)
Average Wi-Fi link speeds129.30Mbps519.63Mbps64.25Mbps62.58Mbps
Average download speed70.88Mbps154.32Mbps66.50Mbps76.88Mbps
Average upload speed21.31Mbps18.90Mbps20.69Mbps17.85Mbps
Wi-Fi 5 client test: Two rooms away
 Tenda A18 AC1200 (2.4GHz)Tenda A18 AC1200 (5GHz)Main router (2.4GHz)Main router (5GHz)
Average Wi-Fi link speeds66.64Mbpsn/a27.90Mbpsn/a
Average download speed35.00Mbpsn/a29.82Mbpsn/a
Average upload speed17.67Mbpsn/a6.62Mbpsn/a

Wi-Fi 6 client test: One room away
 Tenda A18 AC1200 (2.4GHz)Tenda A18 AC1200 (5GHz)Main router (2.4GHz)Main router (5GHz)
Average Wi-Fi link speeds72.08Mbps140.88Mbps32.03Mbps101.1Mbps
Average download speed56.05Mbps175.90Mbps29.32Mbps188.65Mbps
Average upload speed21.25Mbps19.44Mbps20.53Mbps21.86Mbps
Wi-Fi 6 client test: Two rooms away
 Tenda A18 AC1200 (2.4GHz)Tenda A18 AC1200 (5GHz)Main router (2.4GHz)Main router (5GHz)
Average Wi-Fi link speeds66.64Mbpsn/a27.90Mbpsn/a
Average download speed35.00Mbpsn/a29.82Mbpsn/a
Average upload speed17.67Mbpsn/a6.62Mbpsn/a
5GHz speeds, where I could pick them up, were very good, especially on the older Wi-Fi 5 client which is a little odd. 2.4GHz were less impressive overall, something I’m chalking up to the fact that the Tenda A18 only supports 802.11n (aka Wi-Fi 4) on 2.4GHz.

The top speed of Wi-Fi 4 on 2.4GHz is 150Mbps, hence why I couldn’t pick up anything faster than that here. Speeds on the 5GHz were more in line with what I’d expect from a Wi-Fi 5 device, so that’s reassuring. Limited range means that overall, the Tenda A18 AC1200 is only effective if you’re working a short distance away from the device.
Tenda A18 AC1200 Wi-Fi Repeater Review

Price & Availability

The Tenda A18 AC1200 Wi-Fi Repeater is available to buy now. It’s listed on Tenda’s site here, but note that you can’t currently buy it directly from Tenda. 

In the UK, Amazon is selling the Tenda A18 AC1200 for £22.74, down from the usual £28.99 price. Currys PC World also sells the Tenda A18 for £26.99, while Batna24 sells it for £22. 

If either of those places are out of stock, there’s Box although, at the time of writing, the Tenda A18 was priced a little higher – £36.99. 

In the US Amazon sells the Tenda A18 AC1200 for $46.08, while Newegg sells it for $44.99. Best Buy and Target did not stock the Tenda A18 at the time of writing.

In Australia, Officeworks currently has the Tenda A18 on clearance for a very nice $33. If that sells out, then Amazon has it for $76.05, while Kogan is selling the Tenda A18 for £83.99.

Verdict

The Tenda A18 AC1200 Wi-Fi Repeater’s low price is very attractive and hard to argue with.

While it won’t burn a hole in your wallet, it also won’t give you a decent speed boost everywhere, so be mindful of its limitations before you snap one up.

If there’s one area or room in your home which should be well-covered by your main router but isn’t, then the Tenda A18 might plug the gap.

Specs

  • 802.11n (Wi-Fi 4) on 2.4GHz / 802.11ac wave2 (Wi-Fi 5) on 5GHz 2x2 dual-band
  • 1 x Ethernet
  • WPS
  • Repeater Mode
  • AP Mode
  • 80 x 58 x 48mm
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Tenda A18 AC1200 Wi-Fi Repeater Review Tenda A18 AC1200 Wi-Fi Repeater Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, August 13, 2021 Rating: 5

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