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TP-Link RE305 Wi-Fi Range Extender Review

TP-Link RE305 Wi-Fi Range Extender Review
The TP-Link RE305 Wi-Fi extender is a good stopgap solution for fixing Wi-Fi not-spots in one or two rooms. It's good value, but not a high-end option by any means.

Should I Buy The TP-Link RE305 Wi-Fi Range Extender?

Pros
  • TP-Link Tether app
  • Compact design
  • Doubles as mesh satellite
Cons
  • Poor 5GHz range
  • No mains passthrough
Our Verdict
  • Good speeds and ease of use, plus added versatility make this a good buy, but limited 5GHz range means slower speeds are likely. Support for TP-Link OneMesh will a bonus for some.

Price When Reviewed

  • $39.99
The TP-Link RE305 is an inexpensive dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (aka 802.11ac) Wi-Fi extender which costs around £35/US$40.

In addition, the RE305 supports something called TP-Link OneMesh, which means it can act as a mesh Wi-Fi satellite when paired with a TP-Link router which also supports the same OneMesh technology. So, the RE305 has the potential to act like other mesh WiFi systems, and therefore provide stronger, more resilient coverage than your typical Wi-Fi extender.

Features & Design

The TP-Link RE305 WiFi Range Extender is a tiny little guitar pedal-shaped box which plugs into a spare mains socket. It features two external antennas which flip straight up, a large WPS button on the top, and four status LEDs for power, connection to your router, and whether it’s broadcasting on one or both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio bands.

Underneath is a single Ethernet port (10/100Mbps RJ45) so you can connect desktop PCs, laptops, games consoles, and so on.

While it’s small and takes up little space, there’s no passthrough for mains electricity here, so whichever socket you connect the RE305 to will be used solely for that Wi-Fi extender.
TP-Link RE305 Wi-Fi Range Extender Review

Installation

Setting up the TP-Link RE305 is simple, as you’ve got two options at your disposal: use the TP-Link Tether app for iOS and Android, or use the web UI to get everything up and running, whichever is the more convenient for you. 

Once you’ve plugged the RE305 into a mains socket in the same room as your router, it’ll begin the pairing process. You can do this via WPS, or manually. I’d recommend the manual option, as you’ll have greater control over everything. 

You’ll be asked to create a login/admin password for the RE305, separate from the one you create for your router, and once done you’ll be asked to pick from a list of nearby wireless networks to ‘extend’.

Find yours, select it, and then enter your wireless network’s password. You’ll need to do this twice, once for the 2.4GHz signal, and once for the 5GHz signal, even if you haven’t set your router up to broadcast two different SSIDs.

When that’s done, you can then safely install the RE305 in the room it’s needed, ideally midway between your router and wherever coverage is poor, or as close to that sweet spot as possible. The TP-Link Tether app will prompt you to do this before giving you a congratulatory message. 
TP-Link RE305 Wi-Fi Range Extender Review

The mobile app is really quite useful for other things, too, as you can get a view at a glance of which devices are connected to the RE305 and on which bands, and disable or enable the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands if you’re having any interference issues. You can also easily change passwords, rename SSIDs, or reset everything to default.

From here, you can also link the RE305 to a TP-Link router and turn it into a node for mesh Wi-Fi device, as the RE305 is part of TP-Link’s OneMesh family.

As I didn’t have a TP-Link router to hand, I can’t comment on how well this works, but the wireless link speeds recorded below should give you some idea of how it’d perform in that capacity. Note that only the third version (which I was sent for review) has OneMesh support, so if this is of interest to you, be sure to pick up the RE305 V3 model.

Performance

I installed the TP-Link RE305 in a spare bedroom that’s one floor up and one room along from where my router – a Netgear RBK750 – is set up, connected to a Virgin Media Super Hub that’s set to modem mode – I’m an M200 subscriber, and can comfortably get around 180-210Mbps from my service most days. 

The speed tests below were conducted in two rooms, one next to the room where I’d set up the TP-Link RE305, and another, two rooms along. In the first room, one solid brick wall sat between the client devices and the TP-Link RE305, while there are three walls between the client devices and the Wi-Fi extender in the second room. 

While I was able to pick up strong 5GHz signals one room away, I was only able to connect to the 2.4GHz band on both phones two rooms away:

Wi-Fi 5 client test: One room away
 TP-Link RE305 (2.4GHz)TP-Link RE305 (5GHz)Main router (2.4GHz)Main router (5GHz)
Average Wi-Fi link speeds138.93Mbps259.45Mbps53.99Mbps177.65Mbps
Average download speed75.74Mbps122.91Mbps69.53Mbps100.72Mbps
Average upload speed21.59Mbps21.61Mbps20.39Mbps21.14Mbps
Wi-Fi 5 client test: Two rooms away
 TP-Link RE305 (2.4GHz)TP-Link RE305 (5GHz)Main router (2.4GHz)Main router (5GHz)
Average Wi-Fi link speeds99.24Mbpsn/a52.66Mbpsn/a
Average download speed44.06Mbpsn/a38.12Mbpsn/a
Average upload speed21.11Mbpsn/a9.61Mbpsn/a

Wi-Fi speed on the 5GHz band was nice and fast, where I could get it, and while the 2.4GHz speeds were slower overall, speeds on both devices two rooms away were still respectable. You can see there’s a noticeable difference when using the RE305 versus relying on a single router.
TP-Link RE305 Wi-Fi Range Extender Review

Price & Availability

The TP-Link RE305 is available to buy now. You can’t order it directly from TP-Link’s site, but specs and support information are available there.

Instead, you can pick it up from Amazon for £28, CPC Farnell for £32.90, or ScrewFix for £35.

In the United States, there’s a link to buy on the TP-Link site, but it just takes you to this Amazon listing, where you can get the RE305 for £26.89.

Elsewhere, it’s available from Best Buy for $39.99, and Target, for $50.99.

In Australia, again, no purchase option is available on the actual TP-Link page, but Umart is selling the RE305 for $75, while The Good Guys is selling TP-Link RE305’s for $79.95.

Verdict

The TP-Link RE305 is a cheap and effective Wi-Fi extender, but like a lot of devices in this price range, there's a compromise, and the main drawback is limited 5GHz range.

Having said that, 2.4GHz performance is OK both in terms of speed and coverage, so if you are bumped down to this, it’s not all bad.

It’s also very easy to set up and configure, thanks to the Tether app, and support for OneMesh is a nice value add too, but only if you’re looking to buy a router like the TP-Link Archer AX90, or another device that supports OneMesh.

Overall, for the price, it's a good package.

Specs

  • 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) on 2.4GHz and 5GHz 2x2 dual-band
  • 1 x Ethernet
  • WPS
  • Repeater Mode
  • AP Mode
  • Supports TP-Link OneMesh standard (RE305 V3 only)
  • 80 x 78 x 77mm
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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.
TP-Link RE305 Wi-Fi Range Extender Review TP-Link RE305 Wi-Fi Range Extender Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 Rating: 5

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