TL;DR – Get the firmware update for the TL-WA850RE at http://www.tp-link.us/support/download/?model=TL-WA850RE&version=V1, unzip it and run the update from within the TPLink setup page. This solves most problems. The other handy thing is to change the SSID of this range extender by adding a “2” to the name of your original SSID.
I’ve got a TV that’s just out of range from my wifi router. Yes, I know, I should get off my lazy butt and just run cat6 thru my whole place. But in the meantime, I purchased a TP-LINK TL-WA850RE 300Mbps Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender.
I plugged it in and did a manual setup. I could get devices to connect to it but it took a long time. Once connected, each device had no internet access whatsoever. Bummer. I tried some different configurations of it but the thing that worked the best was just going to the TPLink download site and grabbing the latest firmware. The firmware on my newly purchased device was like 2 years old. I’m not sure why they ship it like that.
Once I updated to the latest firmware in the web-based tool for the TPLINK, it still didn’t work as smoothly as I would have liked. The final two settings I did were under “DHCP” where I set a static IP to be one IP up from my wifi router. I also tweaked the SSID put out from the TPLINK to have a “2” at the end of my original wifi SSID.
Once I did those three things, the wifi range extender worked to perfection. I have a great fast signal far away from the wifi router. It’s fast enough to stream Netflix adequately.