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TrendNet TEW-657BRM review

Barry de la Rosa
18 Apr 2011
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.

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Specifications

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 typeADSL2+
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
Draft 802.11n supportyes
Draft 802.11n 5GHz supportno
MIMOno
Stated speed150Mbit/s

Security

128-bit WEPyes
WPA2yes
Firewallyes
MAC address filteringyes
DMZyes

Physical

Size26x150x145mm
Antennas1
Internal/external antennasexternal
Upgradeable antennayes
Number of WAN ports1
Ethernet ports4
Ethernet connection speed10/100Mbit/s
Other portsnone
Wall mountableyes
Power consumption on7W

Other Features

Dynamic DNSyes
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
DHCP serveryes
MAC spoofingno
Port forwardingyes
WDS Supportyes
USB device supportno
QoSyes

Buying Information

Price£51
Warrantythree years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.pixmania.co.uk
Detailswww.trendnet.com