TP-Link TL-WN725N is a fairly small Wireless N USB Adapter, rated at a maximum speed of 150 Mbps. It is also priced quite economically, at just Rs. 499 and comes with a 3-year-warranty.
Even though no-name Chinese Wi-Fi adapters can be had for half the price on Amazon, I decided to go with this Wi-Fi adapter from TP-Link, because it was the cheapest one from a known brand.
Most people opt for USB Wi-Fi Adapters when their existing ones in their laptops stop working or they do not wish to use the Ethernet cable to connect their desktop with their Wi-Fi router.
I opted for one because I was tired of plugging my phone to my desktop computer with a USB cable, each time my Excitel connection went down and I had to use my mobile phone internet as a backup.
Since no mobile phone operator in India provides enough speed to saturate a 150 Mbps adapter, let alone a 300Mbps one, I saw no need in spending more. Plus I am a firm believer in wired Ethernet, which provides lower latency and fewer disruptions.
The Nano Design
TP-Link claims TL-WN725N is the smallest 150 Mbps Wi-Fi Adapter, while I have no way of testing that claim and in any case, I do not care about it. It is fairly small, smaller than a Rs. 10 coin and plugs in quite flush to the computer. Letting me use the front USB port for it and for those using Laptops, this should easy to use, as it won’t protrude much.
The Functionality and Software
You have to install device drivers, in order for this Wi-Fi adapter to work. There is a CD included in the package, though I recommend going to TP-Link website and downloading the latest driver for your country.
After that, it is pretty easy to use. It works in the same way as built-in Wi-Fi, so you have to configure it the same way to access your router/Wi-Fi hub through Windows Network Tool.
Like I said earlier, I am using this mainly with my mobile phone running as a hotspot, so speed wasn’t a criterion for me since my Vodafone 4G connection rarely runs faster than 4 Mbps! However, for the purpose of this review, I connected it to my TP-Link TL-WR841N 300 Mbps router, having a 50 Mbps Excitel Internet Connection.
My Desktop when connected to the router with Ethernet cable, is able to fully saturate the internet connection with a latency of just a couple of milliseconds.
However, TP-Link TL-WN725N adapter could only hit a max speed of 42 Mbps and usually hovered around 35-38 Mbps with the latency hovering between 5-6 milliseconds.
My Honor 6x on the other hand, connected to the same Wireless N router, is able to max out the connection and usually had the latency of around 2 milliseconds i.e. almost the same as my desktop connected using the Ethernet cable.
The above speed test goes to show, the TP-Link TL-WN725N isn’t able to fully exploit even a Wireless N router, connected to a 50 Mbps link. If you have a faster internet connection and are planning to use TP-Link TL-WN725N with it, you might be better off spending a little more and buying a 300 Mbps Wireless N or an AC Adapter.
However, if you’re like me and are planning to use it with a slow connection eg. mobile hotspot etc. then there is no need to shell out extra. Especially since, it does what it is supposed to do, without fail.