|TRENDnet TEW-691GR 450Mbps WiFi-N Router|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Joey Peng - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 09 September 2010|
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TRENDnet TEW-691GR Detailed Features
The TRENDnet TEW-691GR's design is nothing we haven't seen before, so there aren't too many complaints in that matter, other than the antennas which cannot be detached. The antennas are flexible in their rotation all except pointing forwards.
There's a WPS button on TRENDnet TEW-691GR's side for easy client setup, very handy for those who use the feature. Vents located on both sides for dissipating heat, very important since this Wireless N router does run pretty hot compared to other models offering less raw performance/speed.
Making LAN work required very little effort, as with most routers. However to setup a wireless network and administrator settings we will need to access TRENDnet's web interface by visiting 192.168.10.1 from any browser. The interface is pretty neat, better than the Linksys interfaces that I'm used to seeing. The great thing is any setting change can be saved without affecting connections, and then you can reboot the device at any time to apply settings. This also means separate setting changes on multiple pages can be done before reboot. The downside is that the reboot takes much longer than other routers, greater than 30 seconds.
For LAN, TRENDnet included all the basic necessary settings and functionality. Things like port-forwarding, QoS and DHCP client tables are all there. For the majority of users TRENDnet's web interface has everything that's needed. The UI was clean and easy to use. Adding different rules like port forwarding was very neat in that each rule can be completely customized then added to the list as opposed to other web interfaces that simply present you with a list of some 30 (mostly blank) text fields to fill in.
One thing that I happened to stumble upon was the lack of a computer name/identity when viewing the client table, TRENDnet's DHCP client table only shows the IP. This means identifying the devices connected to the router is difficult. Instead of seeing "Blah's PC" I see something like 192.168.10.105. This may not be an issue for some but I like to keep a close watch whenever the Internet speed drops.
WAN settings were fairly easy to setup too. Boxes that you need to fill out will automatically appear when you choose certain settings. Getting multiple SSIDs running can be done simply by adjusting the settings for each individually. The most common security modes are there, including WEP (open, shared, auto), WPA (PSK), and WPA2 (PSK, mixed). The TRENDnet TEW-691GR is completely backwards compatible and can be adjusted to operate using wireless modes b/g/n, n only, or b/g.
More advanced options also exist including MCS, beacon intervals, and multicast-to-unicast converter.
Overall the TRENDnet TEW-691GR seems to deliver most of the functionality that's needed. It would've been nice to have a USB port for easy printer sharing or better QoS/monitoring system. Other than speed TRENDnet hasn't included too many "nice-to-haves".