Trendnet 1750Mbps Wireless Router & AC Networking

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Product(s): Trendnet TEW-812DRU AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Router
Product(s): Trendnet TEW-805UB AC1200 Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter
Provided By: Trendnet
Price: Find Lowest Price on Trendnet Products Here

Introduction:

A few years ago networking was pretty stale.  Gigabit wired networking was the pinnacle of achievement for consumers and small offices and 802.11n had reached a maximum capacity of 300-450Mbps theoretical throughput.  There was nothing exciting going on so companies decided to once again try powerline networking.  This filled a gap that allowed better ranges and still decent throughput using the wiring in your building.  Still, it was nothing all that groundbreaking.  Recently the introduction of 802.11ac networking has prompted some excitement however.  This new networking standard uses the 5GHz band and is backwards compatible with the 802.11n 2.4GHz band.  This means that a 802.11ac network should work with all of your older 2.4GHz equipment, but at the same time offer you a lot more performance if you have compatible hardware.

The specifications show that we could see wireless speeds of over 1Gb per second (in a multi-station environment) but we should be able to see single-link speeds of up to 500Mbps.  Of course this is all still theoretical speeds, but we are seeing some claims that certainly exceed the boring 450Mbps speed on a dual-band 802.11n network.

Boxes

Trendnet is one of the companies that are on this bandwagon early and today we are looking at the TEW-812DRU AC1750 Wireless router and are pairing it up with the TEW-805UB AC1200 Dual-Band Wireless USB Adapter.  The router claims speeds of up to 1300MHz on the 5GHz "ac" band while still providing 450Mbps on the 802.11n 2.4GHz band.  The USB Adapter doesn't match up perfectly as it only has a maximum expected throughput of 867Mbps on the 5GHz band with 300Mbps available on the 2.GHz band.  We will be taking a brief look at these pieces of hardware and then testing them out to see how this first 802.11ac networking gear holds up to our expectations and to its claims.

 

First Impressions - TEW-812DRU:

The TEW-812DRU is a dramatic change in appearance from other Trendnet networking products.  This little box is designed to stand up where all of their previous products were built to lay flat.  This should help with antennae and signal strength for starters and help the plastic housing to remain cooler as 802.11ac routers can get a little toasty.  The finish of the router is pretty classy.  Although it is plastic, it has a nice appearance on the sides of the unit for sure.  The chrome logo makes it pretty awesome - but the multi-colored ports on the back do take away from the overall appearance.  That being said, it won't be often that anyone sees the back of the router, but still - some solid white, black or even brown - something consistent would look better.

Side
Side Profile

Front & back
Front & Back

 

The bundle included with the TEW-812DRU is pretty basic - but adequate.  The router comes with the standard network cable, CD with guide and then a power plug as well as the quick install guide.  It's enough to get you going and it will help explain how the USB port on the rear of the router can work as a storage server port as well.  This is a nice addition to a fast router and will help turn a flash drive - or any other USB-connected external drive into a storage solution.

Bundle

Bundle

 

On the next page we'll quickly take a look at the features and specifications of the router before we jump into the TEW-805UB USB Adapter.


TEW-812DRU Overview:

The information below has been taken from the Trendnet product page for the TEW-812DRU.  If you want all the latest information, make sure you check out their page.  We've just included some of the information to get you going and up to speed.

TRENDnet’s AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Router, model TEW-812DRU, produces the ultimate wireless experience with gigabit wireless speeds. Manage two wireless networks—the 1300 Mbps Wireless AC band for the fastest wireless available and the 450 Mbps Wireless N band to connect common wireless devices. The TEW-812DRU can easily handle the demands of multiple HD streams in a busy connected home.
 
Plug in a USB flash or NAS drive to share HD videos and music across the network. Gigabit ports on the back of the router maintain high speed wired connections. Create a secure isolated guest network for guest internet access. Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) connects other WPS supported wireless adapters at the touch of a button. Manage access to websites and file types with advanced access controls.
 
Gigabit Wireless: Next generation Gigabit Wireless AC
Simultaneous Dual Band: Gigabit Wireless AC band + Wireless N band for every day devices
One Touch Connection: Connect to the router at the touch of the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button 
Guest Network Access: Create an isolated network for guest internet access 
USB Share Port: Plug in a USB flash or NAS drive to share HD videos and music
Parental Controls: Control access to specific websites or types of content
Gigabit Wired: Gigabit Ethernet port maintains high performance network connections

Features:

  • 4 x 10/100/1000 Mbps Auto-MDIX LAN ports
  • 1 x 10/100/1000 Mbps WAN port (Internet)
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port for USB share (storage and printing)
  • 1 x Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button
  • On / off power switch (EU version)
  • Simultaneously transmit both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless networks
  • Compliant with the latest draft 802.11ac wireless technology
  • Backwards compatible with IEEE 802.11n/b/g/a wireless standards
  • High-speed data rates of up to 1.3 Gbps with 802.11ac and 450 Mbps with 802.11n on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band
  • IPv6 (Internet Protocol v6) support
  • FTP and Samba USB storage support
  • Share USB peripheral devices over the network including; flash drives, external hard drives and printers
  • Printer Control Center utility supports Windows 8 (32/64-bit), 7 (32/64-bit), Vista (32/64-bit), Windows XP (32/64-bit), and
  • Mac OS X 10.6/10.7/10.8 operating systems
  • Compatible with most popular cable / DSL Internet Service Providers using Dynamic / Static IP, PPPoE, L2TP, and PPTP connection
  • Firewall protection with Network Address Translation (NAT)
  • Wireless Distribution System (WDS) support for wireless network bridging
  • Advance wireless security of up to WPA2-RADIUS
  • Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) and configurable WAN Quality of Service (QoS) support
  • Guest network support (3x per wireless band) with Internet access restriction
  • Internet Access Control with MAC, URL, Service Type, and IP Range filtering
  • Internet Access Control Rule Scheduling: schedule access to websites, online video games, Internet cameras and more for specific times throughout the week
  • One touch wireless connection using the WPS button
  • Easy setup via Web browser using the latest versions of Internet Explorer, FireFox, Safari, and Chrome
  • Virtual server and Application Level Gateway (ALG) services for special Internet applications
  • Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) for auto discovery and support for device configuration of Internet applications
  • 3-year limited warranty

Specifications:

Specs

Specs

As we continue on through this review we'll take a look at the TEW-805UB.


TEW-805UB First Impressions:

The Trendnet TEW-805UB is the companion of the TEW-812DRU 802.11ac router.  While the TEW-805UB doesn't support the full 1300Mbps bandwidth capability of the router it does support dual-band networks and 5GHz speeds of up to 867Mbps.  The TEW-805UB is a rather large device, but thankfully it does support USB 3.0 speeds that will help us reach more than standard speeds.  This adapter will take up a fair bit of space as it certainly isn't that small.  

Front & Back
TEW-805UB

The cap covers the large end of the flash drive and protects it for storing.  Even though this is large, it still fits into the side USB 3.0 ports on my ThinkPad T430.  It does, however crowd out the adjoining USB port.  This is not a great thing for sure and that's where other devices such as the Linksys AE6000 is a bit handier - although it doesn't offer the same performance.

Bundle
Bundle

Profile

Profile

 

The TEW-805UB doesn't have much of a bundle - but a USB adapter doesn't need much of a bundle.  It comes with a quick install guide as well as a CD with drivers.  Oddly enough the drivers didn't work on my installation of Windows 8 so I had to go get fresh drivers from the Trendnet site.  This is not a big deal - but Windows 8 came out long before this adapter so I'd expect the included drivers to work.

TEW-805UB Overview:

TRENDnet’s AC1200 Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter, model TEW-805UB, connects a laptop or desktop computer to a revolutionary Wireless AC network. Connect to a Wireless AC network at an amazing 867 Mbps or to a Wireless N network at up to 300 Mbps. A SuperSpeed 5 Gbps USB 3.0 port maintains a high speed connection to your computer.  Quickly connect to a Wireless AC or N network at the touch of a button with the convenience of one-touch Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). An LED on the front of the adapter conveys device status. Upgrade your computer’s wireless connection to experience the speed of revolutionary Wireless AC.
 
Wireless AC: Next generation Wireless AC
Dual Band: Up to 867 Mbps Wireless AC or 300 Mbps Wireless N
Compatible: Connects to standard Wireless N networks
USB 3.0: SuperSpeed 5 Gbps USB 3.0 connection to computer
Coverage: Expanded coverage with MIMO technology
One Touch Connection: Connect to a router at the touch of the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button

 

Features:

  • Wi-Fi compliant with IEEE 802.11ac and 802.11n standards
  • High-speed data rates up to 867 Mbps with 802.11ac technology and 300 Mbps with 802.11n technology
  • USB 3.0 connector
  • LED indicator
  • Backwards compatible with IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b, and IEEE 802.11a networks
  • Compatible with Windows 8 (32/64-bit), 7 (32/64-bit), Vista (32/64-bit), and XP(32/64-bit) operating systems
  • One-touch network connection with Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button
  • Dynamic Data Rate Scaling from 867 Mbps to 1 Mbps
  • Supports advanced wireless encryption up to WPA2-RADIUS
  • Easy user setup and diagnostic utilities
  • Coverage of up to 100 meters indoor (330 feet) and 300 meters outdoor (980 feet)
  • 3-year limited warranty

Specifications:

Specs

Specs

 

Now that we know what we are getting into, let's get into the router interface on the next page.


Web Interface and Setup:

Most of the interface of the Trendent TEW-812DRU is pretty straightforward and there really isn't a lot of crazy things to talk about.  There is no point in me stating the obvious for the next few pages, so we'll keep things interesting here and let you browse through the web interface images in the gallery.  We have all of them over here if you're interested.  The network setup for the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands are almost the same - the only difference is the channel numbers differ greatly on 2.4GHz versus the 5GHz bands.  There are also four different SSIDs available for each band - meaning you can show up to eight different wireless networks.  These different networks give you capabilities to specify guest networks, public networks, private networks and you can restrict services differently for each network.

WAN Setup

As with pretty much every wireless router these days, you can choose manual setup with a custom pass-phrase or use WPS.  It's also nice to see that you can specify up to four separate SSIDs and security features for both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks.  You could have a lot of fun with these SSIDs.  Both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands worked very well and I was able to connect to the network using either the pass-phrase or the WPS button.

Wireless 5GHz - Basic
Wireless 5GHz - Basic

Wireless 5GHz - Security
Wireless 5GHz - Security

   

Wireless 5GHz - Guest
Wireless 5GHz - Guest

Wireless 5GHz - WPS
Wireless 5GHz - WPS

 

The wireless setup is exactly the same for both bands - other than the channel choices for the wireless signal.  Other than, SSID, Security, WPS and more are all the same.  The interface on the router isn't flashy as you can see, but it is more than adequate and actually is very snappy to work with.  Trendnet hasn't changed much of the interface over the years, and while it is functional - it could use a bit of an update.  When you apply settings from most sections, the router does a fairly speedy restart of that section and this takes 15 seconds - as opposed to a full router reboot that takes 45-60 seconds.

For big things - such as changing subnets, internet access and so on, a router reboot is required, but overall it is pretty quick and allows you to keep working in the router setup during a lot of this process.  Years ago, I had a Netgear router that required a 90 second reboot after ever change - this took a long time to do a "quick setup".  Thankfully, Trendnet has this pretty well in hand.

Advanced Setup:

There are a few interesting things under the hood in the "Advanced" area that we'll mention.  As with most routers, there is some sort of virtual server that can open ports and funnel traffic to the PC of your choice.  This is extremely useful for things such as Teamspeak, running custom servers or even allowing access to your network devices outside of your local network.  Trendnet steps this up a notch with their "ALG" (Application Level Gateway).  Here you can block or allow services such as email, VoIP, SIP, FTP, Telnet, MSN and more.  In some situations, this would be extremely handy and a quick way to stop these from running on your network.  Also included in this section is the Gaming settings that open ports - similar to Virtual Server settings.

Advanced - ALG
Advanced - ALG

Advanced - Gaming
Advanced - Gaming

 

There are more images of the interface that we didn't include in the review to save pages of information that is pretty basic.  Make sure to check out the gallery here.  On the last page we'll take a look at the performance of the TEW-812DRU router and see how it performs.  Just before we do that, we'll take a very quick peek at the software for the TEW-805UB.


TEW-805UB Adapter:

The speedy 1750Mbps network is only as good as things that can connect to it, so Trendnet sent along their 1200Mbps adapter.  This adapter is dual-band capable and can operate on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.  The adapter is capable of 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz 802.11n system and an additional 867Mbps on the 5GHz 802.11ac system.  It comes with a driver CD that worked under Windows 7 - and even though it stated Windows 8 support on the disk, it didn't work under Windows 8 until I stopped by Trendnet's site to download the latest drivers.  Once we installed those drivers, we were off to the races.

WiFi General

As you can see above, the speed of the network here is scaled down to 650Mbps - even though the signal strength is very good.  It was hard to get it to consistently connect at 867Mbps, but we managed to at close range for maximum speed testing this product.  In order to connect to any network, you'll need to create a profile.  This is done very simply on the next tab and pictured below.

Profiles

Finally we take a look at the status page and see all the relevant information that will keep you trouble-shooters happy.  

Status

 

On the last page, we'll take a quick look at the performance of the TEW-812DRU and TEW-805UB setup as well as throw in some other gear for comparison.


Testing:

As far as performance goes, we fired up iperf to do a little benchmarking on this router.  Iperf results show bandwidth that the network is actually capable of.  In the real world, you don't often see wired transfer rates approaching 1000mpbs because hard drives are barely fast enough to read and write at this speed.  Also, CPU overhead becomes an issue when transferring this much data.  We use iperf with confidence as it shows how good the network hardware actually is and if it can perform anywhere close to its rated specs.  We will be testing wired performance, then wireless performance compared with a bunch of routers.  Lastly, we'll show how well the TEW-812DRU works with different wireless devices.

Wired Performance Wireless Performance

For reference we compared this router to the Rosewill T600N, as well as the Trendnet TEW-691GR, TEW-672GT and the Linksys WRT610N, E4200 and the D-Link DGL-4500 and DIR-655.  Many of the wireless adapters have changed over the years but we have always been using the current equivalents throughout these tests to keep everything as close to realistic as possible.  We will now compare specific wireless devices connected to the TEW-812DRU router.

Wireless Adapter Performance

 

We ran through several instances of iperf and each instance transferred data for 5 minutes.  The results were averaged are displayed above.  When it comes to wired performance, it ranks right up there with the best of them.  On the wireless front, the TEW-812DRU decimates the competition.  The closest wireless performance we've seen was from the Rosewill T600N, and the TEW-812DRU doubles the performance of that router.  This of course is with an 867Mbps link, so it's not quite doing half of what it's rated for, but it still does pretty well for itself.

As far as individual adapters go, the TEW-805UB outruns the Intel Centrino in my T430 - but not my much.  It does dominate the Linksys AE6000 that is rated at 430Mbps on the 5GHz band.

Final Thoughts:

Overall the TEW-812DRU and TEW-805UB are decent products and continue on where 802.11n left off.  This router is currently the flagship router from Trendnet and as we've seen, it certainly is feature-rich and performance friendly.  At the end of day this product offers a lot of performance and features for a decent price.  I've seen the router available for as little as $150 and for an AC1750 802.11ac product, this is very affordable.  The TEW-812DRU gets the job done and gets it done very quickly.  I didn't expect to see 1000Mbps wireless performance and in that regard I wasn't let down.  We did see the fastest wireless network that has graced BCCHQ South, but it wasn't all that much faster than my T430 with Centrino abgn wireless.

So in terms of performance, it's a bit of a mixed bag.  The wireless performance is top notch and breaks new ground for us here at the shop.  I'm sure that we'll be seeing other products pushing even faster as the standard matures.  In the meantime, it's still the fastest - but it does have some room for improvement.  Wired performance was also excellent with this product.

The Trendnet TEW-812DRU and TEW-805UB don't come with a lot of extras, but then again - they are simply networking products.  There are a few other routers on the market that have this new standard and we see this product is priced very well compared to many others.  Setup is simple and there are enough wireless and integrated features to keep your network secure and separated from other users.  The interface is quick and responsive - although I don't think it would hurt Trendnet to spend some money on a graphics guy to spruce up the interface a bit.  Not much has changed on their products in the past 5 years and it's about time for something a little fresher.

The best part about this router is that it is powerful, fast and pretty affordable.  At ~$150, it's one of the most affordable 802.11ac routers on the market - and it comes in at this price point without sacrificing features.  That is always a good thing.

Pros:

  • Quick and speedy software interface
  • Fastest Wireless we've seen
  • Dual-Band wireless with separate configuration
  • Four SSIDs per band
  • Good price

 

Cons:

  • Less than 50% of rated wireless performance

BCCRating

Gold

 

I'd like to thank Trendnet for sending us the TEW-812DRU and TEW-805UB to review.  If you have questions, comments or general feedback, please leave it in the forum at the link below.