TP-Link EAP245 v3 AC1750 Access Point Review: Mesh-Ready, Affordable, Fast, and Reliable

The TP-Link EAP245 v3 access point.
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The TP-Link EAP245 v3 access point.

The TP-Link EAP245 v3, not to be confused with the EAP225 V3 which has a similar look, is the latest in TP-Link’s Omada access points, and the fastest. Apart from being a standalone AP, it can also work as part of an Omada mesh system.

The most significant difference the EAP245 V3 has over other Omada APs is its higher Wi-Fi specs. Other than that, it has the same features and setup process as the rest of the family — it’s a business AP and requires a bit of work to get it up and running.

In all, at a current cost of $99, the EAP245 V3 is a great new purchase and a significant upgrade to the previous APs. If you’re looking to extend your network via running cables or create a robust mesh system for a large property, the EAB245 V3 is well worth the investment.

TP-Link EAP245 v3 AC1750 PoE Access Point

8.1

Performance

8.5/10

Features

8.5/10

Ease of Use

7.5/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Excellent Wi-Fi performance at a low cost
  • Lots of features, including Wi-Fi captive portals
  • Supporting both active and password PoE standards, injector included
  • Easy to mount with included accessories

Cons

  • Not home user-friendly
  • Facebook check-in captive portal requires the controller
  • No SmartConnect option

On top, these two APs look practically identical with the wavy tops. On the underside, though, the EAP245 V3 has two network ports, one is PoE-enabled and the other, a regular port. The EAP 225 V3 has just one PoE network port.

The two support both passive and active PoE and each comes with an injector. As for Wi-Fi, the EAP245 V3 features 3×3 Wi-Fi 5 with up to 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz. The EAP225 V3 features 2×2 Wi-Fi 5 with up to 867Mbps and 450MBps, respectively.

TP Link EAP245 AP
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech Out of the box, the EAP245 V3 comes with everything you need to get it up and running, including mounting accessories and an PoE injector.

Standard setup process

Setting up the EAP245 v3 is like that of any PoE access points. That said, make sure you’re comfortable with networking before continuing.

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The hardware part is straightforward thanks to the included mounting accessories. First, you mount the AP where you want it to be — the AP can be installed on a wall or a ceiling. After that, connect a network cable to its PoE port and run it to the router (or switch). If the router doesn’t support PoE (most routers don’t), you need to hook the other end of the cable to the router via the included PoE injector. And that’s it.

Now it’s time to configure the device, which is not super hard for those who are comfortable with the basic ideas of networking, like IP address and MAC address.

The first step is to figure out the AP’s IP address by finding it on your router’s current list of connected clients. After that, point a browser to this IP and you’ll to the AP’s interface where you can configure its many settings and features.

The TP-Link EAP 245 v3 has two network ports on its underside.
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech The TP-Link EAP 245 v3 has two network ports on its underside.

Lots of settings

As a business AP, the EAP245 v3 comes lots and lots of settings.

For example, it can host up to 16 separate Wi-Fi networks (8 for each band), and each can have its own captive portal which is an excellent option if you want to use it to host a public Wi-Fi hotspot. The captive portal can be integrated with Facebook check-in, but this option is only available when you use the OC200 controller with the AP.

Using the web interface, you can configure the EAP245 v3 to the max.
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech Using the web interface, you can configure the EAP245 v3 to the max.

On top of that, you can configure the Wi-Fi networks, QoS services, MAC filtering, Wi-Fi scheduling and so on. You can also monitor connected clients in real-time.

What’s missing, however, is a feature called SmartConnect that combines the two bands into a single network. You’ll need to configure each Wi-Fi network separately. Also, there’s no support for Dynamic DNS which is quite normal since this is an access point and not a router.

PoE Injector
Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech A close-up on the included PoE injector.

Excellent performance

I tested the EAP245v3 the same way I did other APs and mesh routers, and it delivered outstanding performance. On the 5GHz band, at a close range of 10 feet (3m) it averaged 855 megabits per second. When I increased the distance to 40 feet (13m) it now still registered 567Mbps.

On the 2.4GHz, the AP also did quite well with 110Mbps and 100Mbps for close and long ranges, respectively.

Dong Ngo | Dong Knows Tech

I also tried it with the EAP225v3 in a mesh setup, together with the Omada OC200 controller and the roaming worked exceptionally well, too. Its seamless hand-off worked even better than that of most home mesh systems I’ve tested.

The EAP245 v3 also proved to be reliable. I used it over a week continuously, and there was no disconnection at all. In terms of coverage, the unit I tested could cover about 3000ft² (280m²) when mounted on a ceiling of a large warehouse. This obviously varies depending on the environment but I can say that its coverage is quite excellent.

Conclusion

The TP-Link EAP245 v3 is a versatile access point. You can use it as a single device or a pack of a few units to form a mesh system. In either case, it delivers! And the affordable pricing means it’s an excellent choice for anyone who wants to have a robust Wi-Fi network without breaking their bank.

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46 thoughts on “TP-Link EAP245 v3 AC1750 Access Point Review: Mesh-Ready, Affordable, Fast, and Reliable”

  1. Hi, Dong

    I enjoy the reviews, keep them coming.

    I moved into a house that is wired for POE access points. I have some ability, but am by no means a networking pro or even a semi-pro.

    My wife and I work from home and with kids starting school we need to upgrade from our current set up.

    Any consumer friendly access point suggestions?

    Many Thanks

    Reply
  2. How do you run your speed test? I can only get around 500mbps out of my EAP245 v3. I’ve got a laptop connected to the spare ethernet port and it runs about 930mbps (I have google fiber). Any suggestions?

    Reply
  3. I believe the controller is actually needed if you want Fast Roaming 802.11k/v support on the access points.

    If it is not running when your devices switch between access points you may encounter a brief connection drop. Depends on what you are doing whether you will notice it.

    There are guides out there to run the controller on a rasperry pi which is what I do with a similar setup to Peter.

    Reply
    • You’re right, Brad. Ideally, you should have the controller on at all times. But for a home network, I think folks can get away with having it on only when needed, in case they don’t want to dedicate a computer for the role.

      Reply
  4. I’ve just implemented a minimal home network with EAP245 and a wall mount EAP-225-WALL powered from a TL-SG108PE POE switch and using a Ubiquiti ER-X as the gateway.

    I ran an Omada controller instance (free download) under Parallels on my laptop to set this up. When this isn’t there, the EAPs just carry on as normal. You can also run the EAPs in standalone mode but then it takes more effort to coordinate the settings between the EAPs.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing, this is very close to the setup I’m considering – the Ubiquiti APs certainly seem more popular but the TP-link EAPs look comparable (or better) in performance and are currently slightly lower in price. (Comparing UAP-AC-LITE to TP-Link EAP245v3).

      Any updates on how this has been working for you over the last couple months?

      Reply
  5. Hi! Super interesting and well written article!

    Would just like to ask, would it be possible to construct a home network system with an EAP225v3 and a EAP245v3 without any active running controllers? What I mean by active running controllers are like an omada controller or a raspberry pi with controller software running 24/7. Can I just use my computer to set it up and then achieve a stable network with good speeds and roaming? Sorry for the questions, im new to prosumer networking.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Yes, you totally can. Generally once set up things should work and you only need the controller when you want to change something. As for roaming that’s always hit or miss even in a true mesh system.

      Reply
  6. Thanks! I’ve been keeping a look out for a used 86u as a slight upgrade as well. I’m definitely seeing buffer bloat on my upload, so was tempted to go enterprise. My download so large, it seems fine .

    Reply
  7. I enjoy your site. I decided to go with this over the usual Ubuiquiti setups I see. Currently kept my ASUS RT-AC68U as a router only with the Omada free cloud controller docker container running on my Synology NAS. Runs perfect! I’m super excited about their upcoming two WiFi6 APs and routers coming out around July. They were delayed from March due to this pandemic. While I don’t need WiFi6 yet, I am itching to upgrade my router. Any scoop on their upcoming TP-Link Omada SafeStream Gateway TL-ERN6220(UN)? Otherwise, what’s the best router that can handle gigabit throughput bandwidth with SQM cake (or similar) running on the Upload side only? Seems I don’t get bufferbloat on my fast download, just on my much slower upload side. Seems I’d have to build my own pfSense solution? I figure my next upgrade, no rush, will be a nice router connected via SFP to a nice (managed or smart switch) with some PoE ports perhaps…..

    Reply
    • I think your setup is great right now. Going full enterprise can be a headache, especially when you don’t have a need for it. So enjoy it as it is for a while and if need be upgrade to a better Asus router.

      Reply
  8. Sorry my question was do you know if for either method you must user cloud services or are both managed locally. I do not particularly want my router to have to be managed via cloud services.

    Reply
  9. Quick question on this setup. Does either the OC200 cloud controller or the software controller that handless seamless roaming require a tp-link cloud account or is it all controlled via local accounts.

    Would rather not be in a position where vendor has issue it leaves my setup unmanageable.

    Reply
  10. Hi Dong, I’m glad you’re still doing tech reviews. Been a big fan of yours since the 90’s. Would you recommend buying the EAP245 v1? I like the old aesthetic looks more. Cheers.

    Reply
    • I think it’s very similar to the v3, Chanh. The thing is it might not get more firmware updates going forward. But if you just need an access point, it should work out fine.

      And thanks for the support! 🙂

      Reply
    • Yes, it can work wirelessly in a mesh setup. However, it’s best to use network cables to link the APs together, considering these are PoP devices — you’ll need to power them via network cables anyway. You can read more about mesh here.

      Reply
    • Owner of EAP245 V3 here. As of the current firmware revision 2.2.0, there is no support for wifi mesh. ie. one EAP245 connected to LAN, other EAP245’s connected only on wifi. Searching the TP-Link support pages, there is no ETA on a firmware release which will support mesh, only a single post by a TP-Link employee that they are working on it. If you search TP-Link’s product page for the EAP datasheet, the EAP245 V3 does not have a bullet for mesh, but a small note states that EAP245 V3 will support mesh “soon”. Still waiting, but loosing patience. Ironically, the lower end EAP225 V3 supports mesh.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the input, David. Yes, since these are PoE APs, I don’t see why one would want to use them in a wireless mesh setup.

        Reply
  11. Dong, really appreciate all that you’re doing, review wise. As OpenMesh will be unsupported (pretty much already have become so) in a couple of years unless you go the Datto subscription route, I’m looking for solutions for my SMB and restaurant friends. I bought a couple of EAP245v3 and the OC200 controller and am impressed so far. Great potential for a single sheet of glass a la Cloudtrax from Open Mesh. Upfront cost is much more appealing to me, especially with the crazy reasonable price of these v3 devices. Have an Orbi Mesh in a rental and I’m probably going to replace it too.

    The big question I have of you is have you seen any specs or reviews on how many simultaneous devices can function with decent performance on these APs? I have about 15 OpenMesh devices across 4 networks out there and these look like the closest thing I can find to replace them. I will say that the EAP245v3 is much more powerful than the OM A60 and OM A62 in my testing so far. I just don’t want to replace a production network (a busy brewery) until I have a better idea on total users per AP. My clients are resistant to Meraki pricing or I’d be pushing them there for APs. I do have them using Meraki routers though! 🙂

    Thanks in advance for any insight you might have.

    Reply
    • Sure, Aaron. I haven’t had a chance to test the max number of clients but I’ve installed an EAP245v3 for a restaurant and it regularly deals with some 60 devices or more simultaneously no problem. If you have a few units, I’d say they can work even more devices, just make sure your Internet is fast enough.

      Reply
  12. To just pass on some experience with Time Machine .. the Asus always gives issues.. but this is after 8 weeks or so.. I ran it for over a year.. so about once every two months it would corrupt itself. The Asus was fine and never showed issues until the day Time Machine would give the horrible corrupt message. NOTE that Time Machine is not that reliable now anyway and I use Carbon Copy Cloner for my backup. Any testing on Time Machine is purely for interest. CCC may well work fine to the Asus. Speed to a USB 3 drive was much of a muchness with Time Capsule internal disk.

    I also tested the Synology router which uses a modified version of their DSM firmware from the NAS. Synology have put a lot more effort into their firmware from Apple point of view and it works well.. I have used Synology NAS long term.. would happily recommend it for Time Machine. The router I have tested only briefly but it worked better than Asus.. overall I like the Asus as a router.. particularly IPv6 on the Synology was poorly done…

    Thanks for the review on EAP245 which is what I was looking for and the comparison with other mesh units.
    I trialled the ubiquiti UAP lite and AC pro which also worked very well but IMHO is too complicated for home setup. I like the EAP225 which I got because they have full setup built in.. and makes it easier than ubiquiti which are more suited to larger installs. Ubiquiti do keep their firmware up to date though.. TP-Link are pretty slack.. once it works they are done.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your input. The Time Machine issue is most likely because of Apple. It wants to have full control of its technology and makes it hard for other vendors to support it.

      Reply
  13. Where did you get the information EAP225v3 does not have a lot?
    Multiple SSIDs (Up to 16 SSIDs, 8 for each band)
    Enable / Disable Wireless Radio
    Automatic Channel Assignment
    Transmit Power Control (Transmit Power Adjustment in dBm)
    QoS (WMM)
    MU-MIMO
    Airtime Fairness
    Beamforming
    Band steering
    Load balance
    Rate Limit
    Restart Schedule
    Wireless Scheduling
    Wireless SSID / AP / Client based statistics

    Reply
  14. Curious about your comment regarding tri-band (“little beneficial difference”) – especially in a large environment where only 1/4-1/3 of the access points can take advantage of ethernet backhaul. Wouldn’t a dedicated wireless backhaul band be preferable to a dual-band?

    Considering options for a church building that looks like a squared “C”. Only 3 ethernet connections available and 2 of those are one room away from each other. Considering the distances – Linksys Velop Tri-Band (6-8 nodes, probably) has been the leading contender.

    Reply
    • For a church like that, running a network cable is a must, Doug. It’s not about the signal bars on the phone, it’s the actual connection speed. Multiple wireless nodes (more than 3) is always a terrible choice, tri-band or not. For more, check out this post.

      Reply
  15. What do you suggest for getting signal outdoors to some nest cams (while keeping hardware indoors)? Asus rtac86u X2 with aimesh? Or tplink access points?

    Not looking for setup or cost comparisons. Just your opinion on performance.

    Reply
    • Considering you’ll use a network cable to connect the hardware, AiMesh is definitely better, Max. But either will work.

      Reply
  16. You seem to have some errors on your specs in the table and the written description below it. Firstly, according to the product boxes, both devices are 450 on the 2.4GHz band. Also the 225 has MU MIMO as well.

    Reply
  17. The V3 is mesh supported correct? I cannot get the controller to create a mesh network, it never recognizes the AP to wireless adopt.

    Reply
  18. Thanks, its been a bit mind numbing trying to decide. Both are dual band, do you think that matters? Someone suggested that highly congested areas might benefit from tri band? Looks like the Asus is quite a bit faster, so I might do that if it can do time machine.

    Reply
    • That someone probably just wanted to be on the safe side — and failed :). For your situation, a tri-band router will make little beneficial difference, if at all. One thing is for sure: It’ll make the situation worse since there’d be more signals to create even more interferences.

      Reply
  19. Thanks for these incredibly insightful reviews, really appreciate it.

    What direction would you point me in if I’m looking to upgrade to a new router from a mid 2013 Apple Time Capsule. I’m in a densely populated urban area with lots of competing wifi in a ~1200sq ft apartment that has 17-20 devices connected at any time.

    Reply

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