Review of The RE 200 AC750 WiFi Range Extender by TP-Link

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What we love…

Quick and easy set up, portable, simple to move between locations, dual band, can use with a Blue-ray or game console at the same time as using as signal extender

Summary

My house is a big challenge for a signal extender and although I did not find one ideal location for the RE200 that gave good signal in all areas of the house, I did see an improvement in WiFi signal throughout, and by moving it between 2 locations I could get a useable signal in all areas (which I could not previously).

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

The RE 200 AC750 WiFi Range Extender by TP-Link is a Dual Band Range Extender designed to boost your WiFi signal in home or office locations where you have areas with poor WiFi signal or dead spots. The RE 200 plugs into a power outlet, and can also be used to provide wireless internet to a wired device such as a Blu-ray  player, Wii or Playstation console.

I have an awkwardly shaped house for WiFi signal – it is split over 3 floors with lots of walls and we have a lot of areas with poor reception and dead spots. I have used another WiFi extender in the past, but with it I have to keep switching between the main signal and the extender signal in different areas and still have dead spots, so I was interested to see how the RE200 would cope with this challenging environment.

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Setup

There are 2 ways to set up the range extender, if your router has a WPS button that is the simplest way, if not you need to setup via a web browser.

WPS  (WiFi Protected Setup)

My router does not have this button so I was unable to test this method but it sounds incredibly simple:

1. Plug in RE200, wait until WiFi light on RE200 is solid green

2. Press WPS button on router and Press WPS button on RE200, 2.4GHz and 5GHz LEDs will turn solid green once connected

3. Relocate the RE200 to preferred location (1/2 way between router area you are trying to extend coverage to.)

Web Browser Set Up

This is the method I used.

1. Plug in RE200, wait until WiFi light on RE200 is solid green.

2. Disconnect your Ethernet connection – this instruction confused me a little – disconnect it from where ? It actually just means if your computer is connected to your router via an Ethernet cable then disconnect it, otherwise do nothing.

3. Click on your computers WiFi to see available networks and choose TP-link-Extender.

4. Launch a web browser and connect to http://tplinkrepeater.net/, use admin as both username and password

5. Enter your router’s WiFi password and choose whether to keep this same name as your WiFi network name when using the RE200 or to give it a separate name. I choose a separate name  – it automatically suggested my regular WiFi name_EXT. Having a separate name allowed me to compare signal strengths with and without the extender in different parts of my house. If you choose to keep the same name as your regular WiFi network name you wont need to switch between networks in different parts of the house, making things very simple.

6. Repeat the setup for the other band (do once for 2.4GHz and once for 5GHz)

7. Relocate the RE200 to preferred location (1/2 way between router area you are trying to extend coverage to.)

Even though the non-WPS method has a lot more steps it was still very straightforward and only took about 5 minutes from start to finish.

If you make a mistake when setting it up (e.g. enter your WiFi password incorrectly) there is a recessed “reset” button on the base of the unit, a word of warning though – the RE200 must be plugged in when you reset otherwise the reset doesn’t work.

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In Use

My first challenge was finding a good location to place the RE 200 in, my router is upstairs in my kitchen, and I have dead spots in my bedroom (1/2 a level down and off to one side), living room (also upstairs) and office (full level down in another direction). One thing that made it a little tricky was that it needs to be located away from Bluetooth devices, cordless phones and microwaves, and I have a lot of Bluetooth devices in my house. The reason for this is that all these devices can interfere with the 2.4GHz signal, so you will get better performance avoiding them. The interference a typical household gets on the 2.4GHz band is a good reason to use a dual band extender like the RE200 (not all devices will work on 5.0GHz hence needing 2.4GHz also). The good news is it is really easy to move it between locations, after the initial set up it is just plug and go, when you move it to a new location just plug it in and wait for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz indicators to light green, and its ready to go.

My house is a really awkward configuration for WiFi signal, plus our incoming signal isn’t that strong (we have DSL but live quite a distance from the hub), so it is quite a challenge for a signal extender. I did find one location for the RE200 where I could get internet in all areas of the house, but the signal was still pretty weak in the far corners of the bedroom, this was still an improvement as there was no connection before in this area. However, I also found that by moving it between two different locations each one would improve my signal strength in different problem areas. The improvement in signal strength did vary significantly depending on the location of the RE200, and depending on whether I was using a computer or mobile device, in general the signal in the house was much worse on my mobile devices, so this was where I saw the biggest improvements. Once I had found the right locations I saw from 15% up to 100% improvement in download speed tests.

 

 

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The things I like about the RE 200 are: it is very easy to set up, very quick and easy to move between locations, it has both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands and can be used to provide wireless signal to a Blu-ray or game console at the same time as being used as a range extender. It worked better than my previous extender, and with my previous extender I found areas where my devices automatically connected to the extender even though it had no useable signal and I had to manually switch back to the main router signal in those areas, this did not happen with the RE200. My house is a big challenge for a signal extender, and although I did not find one ideal location for the RE200 that gave good signal in all areas of the house I did see an improvement in my signal throughout the home, and by moving it between 2 locations I could get a useable signal in all areas (which I could not previously).

The RE 200 AC750 WiFi Range Extender by TP-Link is available from Amazon and other retailers, retail price is approximately $50

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

The Case Logic Kontrast Action Camera Case- a Great Solution for Organizing Your #GoPro and Accessories


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Summary

The Kontrast Action Camera Case is a great option for organizing and carrying your GoPro and accessories, the moveable compartment dividers allow it to be adjusted to fit other action cams.. My favorite features are the padded, moveable compartment dividers, the tough waterproof base, and the detailed organizational features with lots of pockets, compartments and removable zippered pouch.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

GroPro and other action cameras are very popular at the moment and there are huge numbers of accessories available for them. I bought my husband a GroPro for his birthday, and his solution was to carry it and its accessories in a cardboard box so I have been searching for a better solution! I found it in the Kontrast Action Camera Case from Case Logic.

The Kontrast is a very well designed case for organizing your GroPro, mounts, chargers, spare micro-SD cards and other accessories. It is black with neon green trim. The case has dual zippers which can be closed with a luggage lock for extra security.

It is a zip-up case with a padded carrying handle, quite compact in size at 10.6 x 3.7 x 6.9 in and weighing 0.79 lb. The outer case is made from black polyester material and it has a solid, waterproof base which is great for keeping everything dry when putting it down in wet or snowy environments.

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Inside the main compartment is divided by padded barriers – these velcro in place so can be moved to whatever configuration works best for you. There is also a smaller zippered pouch that fits inside here and velcro’s in place. This is a great place to store charging cables, battery chargers and other small important items. Although the main case is black the lining and dividers are grey and bright green  making it much easier to spot things than with a black lining. Inside the lid there is also organized storage – with a long narrow zippered pocket and 2 smaller pockets with velcro closures perfectly sized for Micro-SD cards and readers.

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Overall, the Kontrast Action Camera Case is a great option for organizing and carrying your GroPro and accessories, and the moveable compartment dividers allow it to be adjusted to fit other action cams. My favorite features are the padded, moveable compartment dividers, the tough waterproof base, and the detailed organizational features with lots of pockets, compartments and removable zippered pouch.

Available from  Case Logic, Amazon, B&H Photo, Fry’s Electronics and other retailers RRP $39.99

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Review of the Impact Mesh iPad Mini Case by Tech 21


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Pros…

Very slim and lightweight, advanced impact resistant material

Cons…

Volume and power buttons hard to operate through case, best used with Smart Cover to protect screen.

Summary

Overall if you want a protective case for your iPad Mini whilst maintaining its slim, sleek lightweight profile, the Tech 21 Impact Mesh is a good option, it is made from an innovative material that gives very good impact protection in a slim package; however I wouldn’t recommend it for use with children or others with fine motor issues as the volume and power buttons on the case are very stiff and require a lot of pressure to operate.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

Tech 21 are a British company that specialize in making impact resident cases for Apple devices. I first came across Tech 21 at The International Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas and was impressed by how slimline they were for protective cases, so I was interested in checking them out in more detail. I tested the Impact Mesh Case for iPad Mini with an original iPad Mini. This case is available in 4 color choices: Clear, Smokey, Pink and Blue and is available for all iPad Mini models.

The case is made from a very interesting material –  D3O® impact material which absorbs and dissipates impact. This is a polymer, which in its raw state is a liquid, but when exposed to impact the molecules lock together to become rigid which dissipates the force. The larger the force the more the molecules lock together, thus protecting your device more  You can read more about this on the Tech 21 website.

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The Impact Mesh Case is transparent with a hint of color, it is smooth on the outside with a mesh pattern inside which shows through the case. It is quite flexible and easy to put onto the iPad Mini, snapping on over the 4 corners. It has cutouts over the speakers, charging port, headphone jack and mute button, with button covers over the volume control and the power button. It is designed to work with the Apple Smart Cover and so has a large cutout running almost the entire length of one long side.

This is a very slim, lightweight case it only weighs 73gm (less than 3oz) and hardly adds anything to the height or width of the Mini, and makes it about 3mm thicker ( approx. 0.1 inch).

Dimensions of the iPad Mini without and (with) the case

  • Height: 7.87 inches /200 mm (8.2 inches/ 209mm)
  • Width: 5.3 inches /134.7 mm (5.6 inches/143mm)
  • Depth: 0.28 inch /7.2 mm ( 0.39 inches/ 10mm)
  • Weight: 0.68 pound /308 g (0.84 pound / 381g)

I have been using this case on my iPad Mini for the last couple of weeks and love how thin and lightweight it is, it is great to be able to enjoy the sleek lightweight design of the iPad Mini yet still have it protected well. I have not been using it with a Smart Cover but I would recommend doing so to protect the screen from scratches when carrying it and to give extra protection to that exposed side.

My one gripe with the cover it that the buttons are hard to use with it on. My children are usually pretty independent iPad users, but they have been asking me to help them switch off the iPad or change volume as the buttons are too stiff for their little fingers. Even as an adult I find I have to press really hard to switch off the power or change the volume- to the extent it can actually make your fingertips tender repeatedly pressing the volume button to increase or decrease the volume.  I would love this case to have a different material covering the buttons, or even a cutout over the buttons to alleviate this problem.

Overall, if you want a protective case for your iPad Mini whilst maintaining its slim, sleek lightweight profile, the Tech 21 Impact Mesh is a good option, it is made from an innovative material that gives very good impact protection in a slim package; however I wouldn’t recommend it for use with children or others with fine motor issues as the volume and power buttons on the case are very stiff and require a lot of pressure to operate.

The Impact Mesh iPad Mini Case is available from the Tech 21 Website, RRP 39.95

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Review of BlueBee Pals – Interactive Bluetooth Enabled Soft Toys

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Pros..

Adorable stuffed toys that are soft and cuddly, and act as a speaker for any iOS or Android device, also act as speakerphone

Cons…

Phone calls can occasionally be a little muffled at callers end

Summary

Overall, this is a really fun toy- my kids love their BlueBee Pals and they are a great way to engage children in listening to storybook apps or to encourage them to talk on the phone to far away relatives.

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

BlueBee Pals are totally adorable stuffed toys that connect to your iPad, iPhone or other device via Bluetooth. They act as a speaker for the music or app playing on your device and can also be used as a speakerphone for your iPhone or other SmartPhone. The animal’s mouth even moves in time to what is being said/ sung to give the illusion that the animal is actually talking!

There are 5 different animals to choose from- Leo the Lion, Lily the Lamb, Riley the Zebra, Sammy the Bear and Winston the Puppy.

My kids were really excited to check out the BlueBee Pals, my 7 y.o. twins totally loved them. We tested Sammy Bear and Leo Lion. I was impressed by how soft and cuddly they were, although you can feel the speaker in the tummy, they are padded enough that they still feel nice to cuddle and their fur is super soft (especially Sammy’s). They are big stuffed toys- approximately 13″ tall and my kids really like cuddling them at story time.  The BlueBee Pals come with a nice, long sturdy charging cable which means you don’t need to have them right on top of your charger when charging.

They are very simple to pair to your Bluetooth device- I tested them with my iPhone 5 and a couple of different iPad models.  There is velcro holding the animals back closed, you open this to access the speaker, it has an on/off slider switch and a mini-USB charging port.  Once the BlueBee Pal is on, switch on Bluetooth on your device, and press his right ear (which is embroidered with “connect”) and he will connect to your device. It is really fun to have your BlueBee Pal read a story to your child and it works with any  iPad storybook app. The first book I had Leo read to my son was Snoopy’s All Star Football and he was really excited to hear all the Peanuts characters voices coming from Leo’s mouth. I did notice some noise from the mechanics of the mouth moving, but none of my children seemed to notice it at all. You can also use the BlueBee Pal to listen to music or watch a video- basically the mouth will move in time to any sounds, and it acts as a speaker for whatever is playing on the iPad or iPhone.

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If you connect your SmartPhone to your BlueBee Pal  you can also use it to answer calls. When the phone rings you will hear it ringing through the Pal’s speaker and pressing his left ear (marked “phone”) will let you answer the call. This is a really fun way for a far away grandparent, or a parent who has to work late, to connect with a young child. Both of my twins thought it was really fun to talk to me via Leo or Sammy – I did find that sometimes the call was a bit muffled on my end, but most of the time it was quite understandable and it seemed quite clear at the child’s end.

Overall, this is a really fun toy- my kids love their BlueBee Pals. They are a great way to engage children in listening to storybook apps or to encourage them to talk on the phone to far away relatives.

BlueBee Pals are available online from the BlueBee Pals website and from Toys R Us, Walmart and other retailers RRP $64.99

 


Giveaway
If you would like to win a Leo the Lion Bluebee Pal, we have 2 to give away, please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to USA and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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