TRENDnet’s AC1900 Wireless Router 

TRENDnet’s AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router, model TEW-818DRU is a high-performance router that, as well as providing two concurrent wireless networks to virtually eliminate Wi-Fi bottlenecks even for power users, offers both Gigabit and USB 3.0 connectivity in a versatile package that should meet virtually everyone’s needs.

Trendnet Ac1900 TEW 818DRU
click image to enlarge

The router is 38 x 155 x 180mm in size and is designed to be stood upright. It is light grey in colour with “Trendnet” writ large on its two black faces. It has five Gigabit ports – the yellow one for connection to the WAN and the others for the LAN. In addition there is one each USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports. All of these are on the rear face of the unit together with the socket for the external power brick, the on/off switch and the WPS sync. pushbutton. A paperclip is needed to reach the reset button on the underside of the router.

The nine status LEDs are clearly visible on the front panel and so the unit should be located where it can be easily seen. However, in practice, I found that I had to adjust the position of the router itself in order to get the best signal when connecting to a laptop at the furthest end of the house. As the wireless antennas are internal they cannot be knocked out of position and so effect coverage. A not very scientific test indicated that the areas of best signal strength appeared to be at the sides rather than the front or back of the unit.

When logging into the router’s control panel for the first time, basic setup was straightforward as one is taken directly to the setup wizard. Usefully, although a great many users would change them in due course, unique Wi-Fi key and router password are already setup – and recorded both on the router itself and on a separate label – to remove an obvious source of security breaches.

The Basic tab of the control panel initially shows the network status and then provides access to a range of everyday settings related to Wi-Fi, Guest access and parental control settings for wireless. Having clicked on the Advanced tab one has full access to all the various control and security functions. Here, the 68-page downloadable User’s Guide is most useful and is much more informative than the 10 page Quick Installation Guide supplied on the installation CD and so enables the user to make use of the wide range of features and facilities. There are a number of useful explanatory notes so that users can get a better understanding of what they are doing and are then better able to make appropriate choices.

These include different types of wireless security; allowing “guests” access to the internet without jeopardising network security; parental control; QoS; multiple SSIDs; access control together with a whole range of other network orientated features.  In addition the routers USB ports can be used both for the connection of external storage and, using the print share utility, to connect a USB printer. User name/password and whether the user has full access or just read-only provides a good degree of access control and thus file protection.

This is a versatile and powerful Gigabit Ethernet router offering an aggregate wireless throughput of 1900Mbps and so will provide the facilities and performance needed to enhance a network – both  wired and wireless -- for streaming video, gaming and/or backup by the power user for both today’s and tomorrow’s needs in a convenient package. Available from Amazon for £130.66 it offers a good upgrade path at a reasonable price.

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