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802.11n is the latest version of 802.11 standards which has 14x greater speed and 6x greater range than 802.11g. Although 802.11n is still in draft which will not be finalized until December 2009 but many related networking products are being sold based on draft 2 of the 802.11n proposal. Today we will take a look on TRENDnet TEW-639GR; 300Mbps wireless N Gigabit router.
TRENDnet is a global provider of award winning networking solutions to small and medium size business and home users. Building networking solutions since 1990, TRENDnet enables users to share broadband access, multimedia content and networked peripherals for true anywhere connectivity. TRENDnet's diverse product line includes Wireless, Fiber, Switch, Gigabit, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Keyboard/Video/Mouse (KVM), Internet Camera, Print Server, Powerline, Bluetooth, Storage Server, Power over Ethernet (PoE), and Multimedia Accessories.
Based in Torrance, California, TRENDnet maintains branch offices in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Central America, South America, and Asia. TRENDnet's 250-plus product portfolio is distributed in over 125 countries. The TRENDnet brand is consistently recognized for high quality, exceptional performance and professional support.
- 14x the speed and 6x the range of wireless g
- Seamlessly stream video, download files, talk online & play games
- Features one-touch Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) & manual wireless on/off switch
- Advanced wireless encryption & a firewall provides robust security
- 4 x 10/100/1000Mbps Auto-MDIX LAN ports
- 1 x 10/100/1000Mbps WAN port (Internet)
- Gigabit LAN ports for high speed network connectivity
- Compatible with most popular cable/DSL Internet service providers
- High-speed wireless data rates up to 300Mbps using an IEEE 802.11n draft 2.0 connection
- 3 external antennas provide high-speed performance and expansive wireless coverage
- Advanced Firewall protection with NAT & SPI
- Access restriction with Internet Access Control; time scheduling, URL and MAC filtering
- Built-in pre-configured virtual servers & Application Level Gateway services
- UPnP for auto discovery & support for device configuration of Internet applications
- Enable/disable wireless functionality with the WLAN on/off toggle switch
- Multiple pass-through sessions for popular VPN applications (IPSec, L2TP and PPTP)
- Easy setup via Web browser using the latest versions of IE, FireFox, Safari & Chrome
- One-touch wireless security setup when connecting to a WPS supporting device
- Complete wireless security with WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK, and WEP
- Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista, Linux and Mac OS supported
- 3 year limited warranty
Package & Contents
TRENDnet TEW-639GR is packed with an attractive packaging box and it is sealed for better security purpose. Same with other router makers, TRENDnet has stated some product usage, setup information on the packaging for users to have better understanding about the product to avoid wrong purchase as networking products are much complicated than other computer peripherals.
On the front side of the packaging box, TRENDnet has stated speed and range comparison between 802.11n and 802.11g. These are very important message and strong selling points for this product as 802.11n has greater speed and range than 802.11g. Besides that GREENnet and Energy Star logos are presented as well which are the power consumption reduction qualifications.
The inner packaging of TRENDnet TEW-639GR is very clean and simple. Besides the TEW-639GR router unit, the rest of the accessories are multi-language quick installation guide, User's Guide CD-ROM, 1 x RJ-45 Ethernet Cable and a power adapter (12V DC, 1A).
At first we still couldn't find power adapter and kept on searching for it but finally we found it under the paper foam. It is a bit confusing and we will prefer TRENDnet places this power adapter together with the rest of the items. As you can see that the whole unit of TEW-639GR router unit is pre-applied with a layer of mylar to protect its shinning/glossy surface from being scratches.
A multi-language quick installation guide is included which can be downloaded from TRENDnet website and a User's Guide CD is provided for those prefer softcopy for the user's manual. No driver or software is required for TEW-639GR so users basically can plug and play. A RJ45 network cable; CAT 5e is included which is used for connecting TEW-639GR with the modem.
TRENDnet 300Mbps Wireless N Gigabit Router
TRENDnet has plenty of wireless networking products of their wireless line of business such as Dual Band Wireless N, Wireless N, Wireless Super G, Wireless G and etc. TEW-639GR is a Wireless N router which has 300Mbps wireless throughput and it is much faster than Wireless Super G (108Mbps) and Wireless G (54Mbps). Wireless products are keep on increasing lately due to its greater flexibility and many products are started getting into wireless connectivity business such as gaming, storage, printing, music/video and etc.
TRENDnet TEW-639GR is a combination of wireless and wired router where it can support up to four LAN ports in additional of wireless connectivity. The whole unit of TRENDnet TEW-639GR is in black color; solid black for the base and glossy black for the top surface which look very nice and attractive. The dimension of TRENDnet TEW-639GR is around 150 x 163 x 26 mm (L x W X H) which is quite standard size for a router and its weight is pretty light; only around 350g.
For the front panel of TRENDnet TEW-639GR, there is a row of LED for displaying the connectivity and activity of router power, LAN 1 - 4, WAN, WLAN and WPS. Power and WAN LED should be lighted up for a working router and for the rest of the LED of LAN, WAN and WPS will be lighted up accordingly to its usage. These LEDs are very important during troubleshooting as it works quite similar as a diagnostic tool to identify the root cause without spend much time on it. The Wireless Router logo is featured with amber color LED which looks very cool and you may refer to the testing section later.
At the bottom of TRENDnet TEW-639GR, there is a label which contains information like serial number, MAC address, version of the router (V1.0R) and etc. It is surprisingly seeing that TRENDnet TEW-639GR is made in Taiwan rather than China. There are some rubber feet at the corner of the router for holding it firmly on the surface and two wall mounting holes are included as some of the users would like to hang it on the wall which looks much cleaner and keep the working space as spacious as possible.
On the both sides of the TRENDnet TEW-639GR, there are some ventilation holes for dissipating the heat which helps to ensure longer life span of the device. TEW-639GR has total three antennas which is same with majority of the 802.11n router for better wireless transmission and all of them are prefixed by TRENDnet.
Same with other wireless routers, TRENDnet TEW-639GR can support up to four wired connections (orange ports) besides the wireless connectivity. On the left hand side, there are a power connector, RESET button, WLAN on/off switch and a WAN port for connecting to the modem. The RESET button need to be pressed and hold for 5 seconds in order set back to factory default setting. The WLAN on/off switch is something unique compare with other routers which might be useful for certain people but for us this switch doesn't really serve the purpose.
Installation, Testing & Performance
The "Wireless Router" wording with amber color looks very charming and the rest of the LED lightning are also very bright. For active connections, the LED will be lighted up either in green or amber color. Basically TRENDnet TEW-639GR is ready to be used once it is unpacked and powered up as no hassles driver or software installation is required. However for better security and feature enhancement, it is required to fine tune the setup and at default the wireless connectivity is not protected with any password.
Once TRENDnet TEW-639GR is completely setup for the hardware portion then now we will have a look on the software setup. Users can access the TEW-639GR configuration menu by typing http://192.168.10.1 in a web browser; user name will be "admin" and leave it blank for the password. After that users will able to see there are total five sections in the configuration menu; Network, Wireless, Advanced, Administrator and Help. We'll cover some of the basic configurations that are important in order to get your wireless setup correctly and other security protection.
There are WAN settings, LAN settings and DHCP Client List for the Network section. There are several types of WAN connection; Static IP, DHCP, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, and Russia PPTP (you may get this from your ISP). LAN setting allows users to configure the setting like IP, Subnet, Gateway and etc while the DHCP Client list will show the active systems that are being connected to the router wirelessly.
In the wireless section, there are basic, advanced, security, WPS and station list settings. Wireless Mode allows users to select the appropriate transmission mode but only one operating frequency can be selected at the same time. SSID will be the wireless network name which will be appeared in the list and users can add up to three more SSIDs. There are plenty of frequencies (channels) to be selected in case it interferences with other electronic devices. Next we will discuss the wireless security setting as this is important to avoid your network bandwidth is being stolen by others and slow down your internet speed. Overall the security mode can be categorized into three major modes; WEP, WPA and WPA2. Since TRENDnet TEW-639GR can supports WPA2 so it is good to stick with it as it is the latest and better version compare with WEP and WPA. If you are using this router for personal/home setup then it is advisable to use WPA2-PSK which is a simple version than the enterprise version. A pre-shared key is required for WPA2-PSK and it must be at least eight characters.
For advanced configuration setup, settings that can be fine tuned here are DMZ (Demilitarized zone), virtual server, routing, access control, special applications, gaming, inbound filter and schedule. If the access control is disable then there will be no restriction access to the internet so if you would like to setup certain restriction then here is where you can play around with. Schedule rule allows user to setup various firewall features with the specific time frame.
Administrator is another section which needs to take note as there are some important settings can be adjusted and modified here. Those settings are configuration menu access password, device firmware update, load factory defaults, system reboot, import/export settings, time setting, and lastly will be the status of the wireless router; TRENDnet TEW-639GR.
If you are computer newbie that have no idea how to setup all these configurations in order to get this device working then you may take some time to refer the Help menu. There are plenty of details and complete information to guide users to setup TRENDnet TEW-639GR correctly.
Notebook : Dell Inspiron E1720
Processor : Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo T7500
Memory : Kingston 4GB HyperX 666MHz DDR2
Hard Drive : 120GB 2.5" 5400RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card : Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS
Optical Drive : DVD RW
Operating System : Microsoft Window XP SP2
Benchmark Software : Speedtest.net
Ambient Temperature : 27 Degree Celsius
In order to test out the performance of this router; TRENDnet TEW-639GR, we have compared the download & upload speed for both wireless and wired setup. based on the results above (top one is wired connection while bottom one is wireless connection), both of the download & upload are quite close to each other as the test results may vary from time to time. TRENDnet TEW-639GR has been working very well since the day 1 that we have setup for your wireless and wired connection and so far we didn't encounter any stability issue. Besides that the TRENDnet TEW-639GR doesn't have any overheating problem as the whole router is just a bit warm for 24/7 operation.
(All the tests above were done within the same internet service provider and the download & upload speeds are really dependant on the limitation of the service provider)
Sooner or later wireless connectivity will gradually replace wired connectivity especially when the cost of the wireless product is getting cheaper due to higher demand. Overall TRENDnet TEW-639GR is great router with 802.11n technology which provides faster speed and greater range compare with 802.11g router. The price of TRENDnet TEW-639GR is quite similar with other 802.11n routers but TRENDnet TEW-639GR comes with 3 years warranty which is good enough to serve you as technology is changing too fast. If you are planning to setup your wireless network or upgrading your current 802.11g then TRENDnet TEW-639GR is one of your good choices that you may interest with.
* Stylish design
* Feature with 802.11n draft 2.0; 300Mbps
* 14x speed & 6x range than 802.11g
* 4 10/100/1000Mbps LAN ports (Gigabit)
* Complete wireless security modes
* 3 years warranty
* Modem is not integrated
Thanks to TRENDnet for providing this sample for us to review.
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