Review: TP-Link WA801ND Wireless Access Point

October 30th, 2012

I have had a version 1.1 of one of these devices running for about a year and I have literally never had a problem with it. I have not had to reboot once for any type of connection problems.

?? CMYKBecause of this, I have since purchased three more units for our church to replace old, less reliable access points. This time, they we the version 2 models. The only differences I have seen is version 2 looks a lot different and the software on version 1 requires a reboot after most changes.

The software on these access points is great, right out of the box. It offers most everything most people will need. The WA801ND will operate in many modes such as Access Point, Access Point with Multi-SSID and wireless client (allowing you to make a wired network connection wireless).

I really like the Multi-SSID feature. (SSID is the name a wireless network displays) This allows you to have up to four SSID’s and each can be assigned to a VLAN. If you have a VLAN infrastructure, you can then do things like have a guest wireless network that only has access to the internet, while also having an internal wireless network that allows more access.

It also comes with a PoE adapter. That is a power over Ethernet adapter. What this does is actually allows you to insert the electrical power needed by the access point into the ethernet cable. This would come in handy if there is not electrical outlet near where you need the access point to be. You can plug in the adapter and then only run the ethernet cable to the access point.

I must point out that these access points are not necessarily made for large scale use. I am not sure how they would perform if we were getting hundreds of devices trying to connect to one at the same time. The most I have ever observed is around 20 devices and it was having no problems. I should also point out that this cannot be used as a wireless router. It has no WAN port nor a firewall.

I purchased my three from Newegg for $39. It shows a picture of the Version 1.1 but I received the Version 2.

As I said before, this model has been rock solid for us. I highly recommend them.

It appears two of my new access points keep broadcast storming our network and shutting it down. I have contacted TP-Link support to see what they say. I have read one other report of this happening with this model so not sure it is a widespread problem. But it is a problem. Hopefully they will have a solution. I will report back here when I find out.

After corresponding with support for a couple of weeks, they sent me a BETA version of the firmware. This seems to have solved all the storm issues so I can once again, assuming this firmware is released, recommend these access points.

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