Trendnet ac1750 2015 Review
Can be summarized nicely in a single word: throughput. This is an incredibly powerful 802.11ac router; its performance for its relatively modest price point is unsurpassed.
Trendnet AC-1750 TEW-812DRU That’s not to say that the TEW-812DRU is a one-trick pony, though; the feature set is more than satisfactory, and the hardware provides plenty of selling points beyond raw wireless bitrate.
If what you value is throughput above all else, you can stop reading right now – but how does this unit compare to other wireless routers in the bigger picture?
Let’s take a look at that question.
Trendnet AC-1750(TEW-812DRU) – Hardware
With real-world bandwidth in the neighborhood of 300Mbps, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s some pretty heavy-duty hardware on this router’s mainboard.
As a matter of fact, you could probably figure that much at a glance; Trendnet prioritizes function over form, and so the AC-1750’s case is a big, chunky box equipped with large, obvious vents; it’s not exactly stylish, but it does an excellent job dissipating the heat generated by the router’s SoC.
The CPU is a BCM4706 clocked at 600MHz; this is a MIPS32 core that’s not the newest option available, but it still offers solid performance, and using a mature platform like this enables Trendnet to make the software optimizations that permit the router’s performance figures.
The radio and the amplifiers are the standout here, of course; the TEW-812DRU can work with much higher levels of broadcasting power than most of the wireless routers on the market.
Wired performance is as good as the wireless.
Trendnet’s Ethernet switch is robust, and that means consistent, high bandwidth from the four gigabit Ethernet ports.
The single USB port doesn’t provide particularly excellent speeds compared to other routers in the TEW-812DRU’s price range, but it’s not a significant enough bottleneck to invalidate the performance lead that this model has.
Everything is very stable, which isn’t much of a surprise given the tankish case and the huge heatsinks it conceals; you aren’t going to be spending a lot of time rebooting this router.
As mentioned above, the bare-metal level software is definitely very well done; it’s stable and places very little overhead on the unit’s performance.
The big question here is in the user interface and the more optional features, though.
Let’s start with the bad news: the control panel itself is questionable, to put it mildly.
The layout is fine, but the menus themselves are badly implemented and sluggish; it makes even simple administrative tasks more of a chore than they need to be.
Still, while this is definitely a bad point, let’s keep in mind what a small piece of the overall picture it is.
One of the more interesting things…
… here is how granular the wireless settings are. You’re able to control channel width and the data rate per channel manually, for example; these are the sorts of advanced settings that you typically require a third-party firmware to change from the hardcoded defaults.
It makes the menus a little bit more intimidating, but all the same these are nice functions to have available. Just keep one point in mind – if you don’t know what it is, you don’t need to change it.
The QoS features are solid,
and the guest networking features are very impressive.
You can run as many as four SSIDs on each band; that’s a total of eight virtual networks at any one time, which is frankly a little excessive.
Obviously, using these functions too heavily will incur some performance loss, but it’s still nice to have the option in case you need it.
The virtual server functionality is also worth taking note of; it’s a more in-depth take on the standard port forwarding tools.
Of course, you still have your NAS and media server functionality over the USB port; it works about the same way it does on most other routers, but the wireless speed benefits of the TEW-812DRU help to make large HD media files a bit more usable.
In raw networking performance
The TEW-812DRU is absolutely astounding, and its modest retail price makes that look even better.
There are more powerful routers, but Trendnet makes very good use of what they have here.
In terms of software, it’s mostly good, if a little less feature-rich than some of its competitors; the feature set is definitely tailored to more advanced users, for what it’s worth.
All in all, the Trendnet AC-1750(TEW-812DRU isn’t particularly “cool”, but it does the basic job that a wireless router should, and it’s really good at it; it’s definitely worth looking into.