The TP-Link EAP 225 V3 (AC 1350) and TP-Link EAP 245 V3 (AC 1750) are the successors the to the wonderful EAP 225 and EAP 245 V2 devices I reviewed last year. Let me cut to the chase. The EAP 225 V3 is an extremely affordable access point for improving the Wifi in your home. And if you want a little more speed at a little more cost, get the EAP 245 V3. Read on to find out why.
TP-Link EAP 225/245 V3 Specs and Features
Let’s start with the basic specs:
- 802.11abgnac support
- 2.4Ghz radios at 450Mbps max rate (x3)
- 2×2 5Ghz Radio at 867Mbps max rate (802.11ac). The EAP 245 has 3×3 5Ghz for 1300Mbps max rate
- Supports MU-MIMO
- 128MB of RAM, 8MB Flash
- 802.3af and Passive PoE support
- 1 Gigabit POE Ethernet port (EAP245 has an additional port)
- VLAN management
- Access control lists
- Web management
- Software controller management
- Cloud access*
- Rate limiting*
- Load balancing*
- Band steering*
- Client connection statistics*
- Captive portal*
*You must use the free Omada software controller to access these features
Differences from EAP 225/245 v2
There are three main differences from the EAP 225 v2:
- The v3s have a different look and feel and come with 802.3af and passive PoE support
- They have slightly faster 2.4Ghz Antennas (450Mbps as compared with the v2’s 300Mbps)
- They support MU-MIMO
These differences add up to simpler installs if you want to use PoE, as well as faster speeds for 2.4Ghz connections and potentially faster speeds for 5Ghz connections through MU-MIMO (your connecting devices have to support it). Multi-user, multiple
Why I recommend it
I wrote a lot about what I like in the EAP 225/245 v2 review and all of that still stands. The main reasons are:
Good speed and stability and range
This device does slightly increase the max theoretical speed for 2.4Ghz clients as mentioned above. In my tests, with this access point loaded with over 20 devices, I experienced good speeds and never a dropped connection. Some of these devices include always streaming IP cameras. Smallnetbuilder’s review contains performance charts (at the bottom) if you want more statistics about how well this AP performs.
One of these APs easily covers 1250 square feet of space with the 2.4Ghz signal. The 5Ghz signal does show weakness in a few places over that distance, but I have an AP on each floor and each side of the house and everything is covered well for 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz signals. I need great Wifi for my smarthome!
The Omada Controller is the free gem that unlocks the full potential of the EAP 225/245 V3s. It runs on Linux (yay!) and Windows and is easy to install. My favorite features it adds are:
- Captive Portal – This allows a much better experience and management of guests connecting to your network.
- Allows for seamless wireless roaming between APs.
- Allows for cloud access to the APs via an app.
- Centralized configuration and monitoring – I have multiple access points, but I can manage their settings, see what clients are connected, signal strengths, and even block and reconnect clients from one central interface for all APs.
- Access Control Lists (ACLS) – With ACLs, I can set up rules for which devices can connect to each other, which allows me to greatly enhance my Internet of Things (IoT) device security.
- Easily set up multiple SSIDs (wifi networks) across all the access points. For example, I have a guest network, an IOT only network, and a regular network that all have different bandwidth (rate-limiting) and security settings. I don’t have to worry about setting these up the same in each AP. The Omada controller takes care of it for me.
It’s easier to see the power than to read about it. Here is a video about TP-Link controller setup. It gives a good overview of the use cases and shows you the interface and capabilities of the Omada controller at the end.
If you aren’t interested in running the Omada controller on your own hardware, you can also purchase the TP-Link OC200. This dedicated appliance does all the same things the Omada controller does.
Price is what really drew me to the TP-Link EAPs. The V3s are a bit more expensive than the V2s were, but the features are worth it. They are more affordable options than competitors like Ubiquiti’s Unifi AP or Linksys’ AC1200 AP. Those AP’s cost over $100, while the TP-Link EAP 225 v3 can be found under $70!
TP-Link’s EAP 225 v3 is a good upgrade over its great predecessor, the V2. It adds MU-MIMO, POE, and speed in a more modern package while retaining all the great features it had before. The price is great, and I can’t recommend it more highly. If you are linking for an access point for your home, don’t hesitate to purchase this one.
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