Broadband Hardware

What do the lights mean on my TP-Link WA854RE Wi-Fi Extender?

The TP-Link WA854RE Wi-Fi range extender is an affordable bit of kit if you need to extend your wireless range or eliminate dead spots. It’s also easy to set up and should give you years of service. However, if things go wrong, knowing what the lights mean on the front of the tp-link Wi-Fi extender may help you solve the issue.

tp-link wi-fi extender

Let’s look at each light in turn.

The RE Light

The RE light is essential as it lets you know if the extender is connected to your wireless network or not. If it is turned off, the extender is currently not connected to your router and won’t be able to extend your Wi-Fi.

The light may also be blinking. If that is the case, you’ll have pressed the WPS button on the extender, and it is attempting to connect to your wireless network via WPS.

Light StatusWhat it means
On (solid green light)The extender is connected to the wireless network
Off (no light)The extender is not connected to the wireless network
Blinking (blinking green light)the extender is trying to connect to the network via WPS

The Wireless Light

The wireless light is also handy as it indicates whether the extender’s wireless function is turned on or off. If the light is off, the extender is not sending out a wireless signal.

Light Status What it means
On (solid green light)The extender’s wireless function is enabled
Off (no light)The extender’s wireless function is disabled

The Power Light

As you may have guessed, this light lets you know if your extender is actually getting power. If the light isn’t lit, make sure the socket the extender is plugged into is switched on, or try your extender in another socket.

If this light is blinking, then the extender is starting up or a firmware upgrade is in progress. In both these cases, wait until the light becomes a steady green.

Light StatusWhat It Means
On (solid green light)The extender has power and is switched on
Off (no light)The extender has no power (switched off)
Blinking (blinking green light)The extender is starting up, or a firmware upgrade is in progress

The Signal Strength Lights

tp-link wi-fi extender

Six LEDs make up the signal strength lights. These lights help you determine the signal strength between the TP-Link Wi-Fi extender and your router. The more LED’s that are lit, the better the signal strength.

Please be aware that all Wi-Fi extenders need to be placed in an area where your router gives you a good wireless signal. At the same time, they also need to be far enough away to extend your Wi-Fi to the area where it is needed. These lights can therefore help you decide where best to position your extender.

What else can I do if I have a problem?

Whatever the issue, the first piece of advice would be to turn both your extender and your router off for 10 seconds. Once done, switch them both back on and wait for about five minutes, so everything gets set up.  After that, try re-connecting to the internet with one of your devices.

It is also worth noting – unless you have changed it – that the wireless name for the extender will be the same as the router, but with an _EXT at the end. For example:

Router wireless name: myWiFI

Extender wireless name: myWiFi_EXT

If that is the case, and you’re having issues, then you may be connected to the weaker Wi-Fi signal. To make sure, check the wireless settings on your device and connect to the other wireless name if needed.

If things still aren’t working, check the lights as described above and then download the user manual from tp-link’s website to help you diagnose the issue further.

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About the author

Mark Parvin

I have worked with and wrote about computers, video games and consumer tech for more years than I care to admit.
I currently run my own IT support business and write about the wonders of tech whenever I can.

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