Trendnet TEW-633GR review
Fast, solid and with a decent range of features, the Trendnet TEW-633GR is a winner.
Review Date: 6 Oct 2008
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £67 (£77 inc VAT)
It's suprising how much difference there can be between one wireless router and the next. Some 802.11 draft-N routers can struggle to maintain a solid connection in the most undemanding of domestic situations, while others are much more reliable.
The Trendnet TEW-633GR is one of the latter, and this makes it ideal for intensive streaming of HD video and other entertainment applications such as gaming. But it's not just its raw performance that impresses, it's also packed with advanced features. It boasts, among other things, StreamEngine technology - an advanced form of QoS (quality of service), which automatically detects different types of network traffic and prioritises it accordingly.
In our domestic file transfer and media streaming tests this router performed flawlessly. We gained solid transfer rates in every room in the test house (a three bedroom Victorian Terrace in London), and the long distance test was just as impressive. In fact, at long range the Trendnet performed faster than the super-fast D-Link DIR-855, when running a single 128MB file transfer. The the collection of 128 1MB files in an average time of just 29 seconds. Performance at close quarters wasn't quite as quick, but still respectable, lagging fractionally behind both the DIR-855 and the Linksys WAG160N.
As routers go it's not bad looking, clad all in fashionable gloss-black, and features are solid, too. You get four Gigabit Ethernet ports, wizards for both wireless security and internet connection setup in the embedded web administration pages, and we were particularly impressed with the list of dynamic DNS services supported, with a total of 11 listed. However, URL filtering is limited to whitelists (only listed URLs allowed) - and there's no support for multiple SSIDs or guest accounts.
Another nice touch here is that the router not only has a button on the outside for quick and easy security setup via WPS (wireless protected setup), but also a hardware switch for turning wireless on and off.
So while the TEW-633GR may not be the cheapest router around, there's very little to moan about elsewhere. Its combination of features, design and reliable speed mean that it's very good choice if you don't need a router with an integrated ADSL modem.
Author: Jonathan Bray
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