Trendnet TEW-655BR3G 150Mbps 3G Router
|Trendnet TEW-655BR3G 150Mbps 3G Router|
|Features and Specifications|
|Setup and General Usage|
Product: Trendnet TEW-655BR3G 150Mbps Mobile Wireless N Router
Provided By: Trendnet
As the world gets even more mobile, people demand internet on the go. This is why 3G USB adapters, MiFi's and tethering smartphones has become so popular in the last 12 months. Still, there are times when you want to connect more than a single device to the web - a limitation of a USB stick or tethering a smartphone. Today we are looking at a device from Trendnet that can take a traditional USB 3G stick and turn it into a wireless access point. Not only are you able to connect multiple machines to your stick - you also gain the comfort, security and convenience of a router in the process. Trendnet manages to sweeten the deal by throwing a battery into the TEW-655BR3G and this gives you completely unplugged connectivity for you and whole bunch of your friends.
If you're on a road-trip with a bunch of nerds, this is a pretty handy device and we'll take a closer look and test out the performance as we continue below.
Even though this is a "Mobile Wireless N Router" it still supports port forwarding, SPI firewall, access control, QoS and all of the other features that you've come to expect from a router. It only has a single port on it however - that and a USB connector for your favorite USB 3G Modem.
Although things were super busy when I received the TEW-655BR3G, I opened it immediately as I was very interested in a router of this sort. In fact, VulcLAN 2010 had to use a similar internet arrangement for non-filter connectivity in March and it worked quite well - albeit on a $300 3G router. The cost of this Trendnet unit is about $200 cheaper so I was very interested to see what you get for a mere $100.
Although this router isn't quite as small as the TEW-654TR Travel Router we looked at a few months ago, it is still a pretty small unit as seen above. When you compare it to the power adapter and realize it's only about twice as big as the little adapter, you realize that it is very small and therefore quite portable. The bundle comes complete with a network cable, quick install guide, CD with manual, power adapter, battery and of course the router itself. It's not often that you see a router with a battery and this sets the router apart.
The top of the router has three LEDs that show power, wireless connectivity as well as USB status and activity. It is fairly basic but still supports WPS by simply pressing a button.
Not only is this router handy when plugged into a wall it is also very handy when unplugged thanks to the 1700mAh NP-120 battery that comes included. This will give you up to 4 hours of usage with minimal activity as well as over 2 hours of full load usage. The battery life isn't incredible, but it would certainly do for a trip between Calgary and Edmonton with a bus full of laptop-packing journalists.
On the next page we'll take a quick peak at features and specifications before we jump into some setup and real world usage.