Sarah and I are staying with my parents temporarily, and overall it is working out well. However, there is one issue that makes life difficult: the WiFi reception in my parents’ home is terrible. The router sits all the way on one side of the house, and picking up signal in our room (downstairs and on the opposite end) is very dicey. I needed a simple, cheap way to extend the signal, and Joel suggested the TP-Link mini router he had reviewed.
After I read Joel’s review thoroughly, I headed to Amazon to check out the device. The price was certainly right ($19.99), and the customer reviews were mostly positive. The one negative complained of issues with trying to configure the router, and I noted that even a positive review explained that the written instructions were incorrect with some of the configuration settings. Still, Joel said it was easy to use, and most customers seemed to like it, so I took the plunge.
The tiny router arrived on Thursday, but due to a busy schedule I didn’t get the chance to open it until Friday evening. I laid out the instructions and the various cables, and pulled out my laptop. Despite following every instruction to a T, I had no luck connecting to the router. Frustrated, I gave up for the night and spent the evening staring forlornly as my iPad fluctuated from one bar to no bar of signal. Yes, a true geek tragedy.
Today I decided I had to take another crack at setting up the router as a repeater. After another failed round of the directions versus reality, I remembered the Amazon reviewers. Sure enough, a second perusal of the reviews led me to a tip: Instead of using the written directions, Google for the company’s support site instructions, which had the correct IP address and other important pieces of information. Bingo! Within ten minutes I was up and running, and we have signal in our room! Sarah is especially thrilled because she loves streaming Amazon Prime video, and her Kindle Fire couldn’t muster the signal before.
I am just glad that I read the Amazon reviews, and remembered to check them again after I couldn’t get the settings right. It’s a shame TP-Link doesn’t have the instructions properly updated and included, but thanks to customer reviews I went from frustrated customer to pleased one!
Have you ever been saved by the user review? Let us know in the comments!