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TrendNet TEW-657BRM review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £51
inc VAT

Quick in our tests and has a clear and well-organised user interface, but pricey for an N-Lite router.


802.11n, 4x 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet ports

This ADSL router has a single antenna and supports speeds of up to 150Mb/s using N-lite, unlike certified 802.11n devices that must have two antennas. It’s fairly plain looking, despite a glossy finish. We noticed the top of the case was quite easy to prise open, which doesn’t inspire confidence.

TrendNet TEW-657BRM

Setup help comes in the form of a small booklet rather than a software disc. In one of the first steps, the information you’ll need to get from your ISP is laid out so that you can fill out the blanks and keep a reference. A step-by-step guide describes how to wire the router up to a PC and phone line, followed by instructions for accessing the setup page using a browser, where an on-screen wizard takes over. The guide also covers wireless security but it’s not in the initial setup wizard and so may be missed by those eager to get online. The web interface is clear and well laid-out, with an Advanced section that covers complicated features such as QoS, port-forwarding and Dynamic DNS.

We were surprised to find the option for a second guest wireless network, as well as support for Wireless Distribution System (WDS) and WPS push-button security. There’s also support for QoS, but the ticked check box is greyed out so it seems it’s mandatory rather than optional. Channel bonding is turned off by default, but there’s no automatic channel selection; instead, the guide advises you to try out different channels to find the best signal.

TrendNet TEW-657BRM rear

In our wireless speed tests, the TEW-657BRM managed 48Mbit/s at close range and 34Mbit/s at medium range using our Centrino 2 laptop. In our Very Far test we found the connection was stable, even if speeds dropped down to web-browsing-only levels. Using Trendnet’s own USB dongle (TEW-664UB, £28), speeds were slower, averaging around 30Mbit/s at close-to-medium range.

This isn’t a bad router, but compared to the TP-Link TD-W8961ND it’s more expensive, slower over long distances and lacks a few features.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Modem type ADSL2+
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
Draft 802.11n support yes
Draft 802.11n 5GHz support no
Stated speed 150Mbit/s


128-bit WEP yes
WPA2 yes
Firewall yes
MAC address filtering yes
DMZ yes


Size 26x150x145mm
Antennas 1
Internal/external antennas external
Upgradeable antenna yes
Number of WAN ports 1
Ethernet ports 4
Ethernet connection speed 10/100Mbit/s
Other ports none
Wall mountable yes
Power consumption on 7W

Other Features

Dynamic DNS yes
Universal Plug and Play support yes
DHCP server yes
MAC spoofing no
Port forwarding yes
WDS Support yes
USB device support no
QoS yes

Buying Information

Price £51
Warranty three years RTB