If you just need to get online at little cost, this budget ADSL modem router is exactly what you need
Priced at around £25, the Tenda W300D is one of the cheapest wireless ADSL modem routers around. It has two non-replaceable antennas and supports MIMO for a theoretical maximum wireless throughput of 300Mbps. It also has four 10/100 Ethernet ports. We were pleased to find that the fourth of these can also be used as an Ethernet WAN port: just switch the router into the right mode in the advanced settings. This adds to the flexibility of the router if you ever switch away from a standard ADSL internet connection, as you can use it with an external cable or fibre modem provided by your ISP, although you will lose a LAN port as a consequence.
Also on the rear of the router is a power button and a button that doubles as both a WPS connection button and, if you press and hold it, a factory reset switch. While this combination invites mishaps, we didn’t encounter any problems during testing. At the front of the router, a bank of lights tells you which ports are connected, whether the router has an internet connection and whether it’s working properly.
The router’s web interface is clearly laid out, but there aren’t a lot features here. If you want to be able to use your router to share USB hard disks with your network or set up a wireless guest network for visitors, you should look elsewhere. However, it was easy to access critical features such as port forwarding and wireless settings.
We were disappointed to find that the router’s Wi-Fi connection is not encrypted by default. This means that, as soon as you connect to its wireless network, you should log into its web interface and set a password to prevent unwanted guests from wandering on to your wireless network. When you connect to it via your set browser, it’ll open on a basic settings page which prompts you to set your location. It’s important to do this accurately, as it determines which wireless frequency bands the router can use – European Wi-Fi bands extend from channels one to 13, while the US is limited to using only channels one through 11.