TrendNet TEW-827DRU router: not cheap, very cool

by Kelvin
TrendNet TEW-827DRU router: not cheap, very cool

From the moment I started to deal with networks, several hundreds of routers of various manufacturers passed through my hands. I still remember the old unpretentious US Robotics, consistently high-quality D-Link, absolutely no TP-Link and very expensive products from Cisco. Now the situation has changed dramatically: some old brands have become much better, others have significantly lowered their level, new manufacturers and brands have appeared, and technology has also stepped forward. And although I have been a supporter of Microtik for more than five years (my home router is RB2011), such equipment with very wide capabilities simply does not need a simple user (having installed an auxiliary part in a separate part of the house Dual Band Wavlink AC1200 Router) An ordinary person with a router with the following parameters is enough:

– Simple to configure (without dancing with a tambourine);

  

– so that it does not hang and works around the clock;

– “powerful” so that Wi-Fi catches everywhere;

– with gigabit ports;

– with a USB port, and preferably with two;

– with some additional features.

Just to all these expectations, the TEW-827DRU router of the TrendNet trademark corresponds. Below I will describe its main characteristics, capabilities and all this will be accompanied by screenshots.

So, the first thing is unpacking. A box of thin glossy cardboard with an image of equipment and basic technical specifications.

Inside – another one, made of thicker cardboard, without any frills.

In addition to the router itself, it contains a few different pieces of paper with a guarantee, advertising and quick installation guide in different languages, including and in Russian. In addition, there is a CD with the utility and user manual.

At the bottom there is a power supply for 12V, 3A and a proprietary patch cord 1.5 m long.

And on the side, in the corresponding niche, four standard antennas.

Unpacking is completed, now about the appearance, management and interfaces. On the front panel, from left to right, there are LEDs:

– nutrition;

– WAN port (connection to the Internet);

– four LAN ports (1 … 4);

– Wi-Fi in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands;

– Connect devices to USB ports.

On the rear panel there are two connectors for attaching standard antennas, and between them, from left to right:

–– button for turning on / off the LED indication (in my opinion, a very useful function);

– two USB 3.0 ports;

– WPS button;

– four Lan ports;

– WAN port;

– Wi-Fi disable button;

– recessed reset button to factory settings;

– button to turn on / off the power of the router;

– plug for connecting an external power supply.

For information, the TEW-827DRU router has all gigabit ports: both WAN and LAN /

On the sides there are connectors for connecting standard antennas.

This is how the router looks when assembled.

Below is a small video review of TrendNet's TEW-827DRU unpacking and initial assembly, then we will go on to the setup (the video is purely to music and purely for clarity)

I’ll digress a little from the topic, and talk about why you need as many as four antennas, if one or two were enough on old routers. I’ll clarify that all of the following applies only to Wi-Fi wireless connection.

Firstly, as I mentioned above, technology does not stand still. And if before all the equipment was manufactured with support for SU-MIMO (one user, several threads), i.e. Since the router serviced each connected device in a queue, the TEW-827DRU TrendNet can serve up to four clients at the same time, since it works using MU-MIMO technology (multiple users, multiple threads).

Secondly, the MU-MIMO standard involves the use of Beamforming technology – the formation of such a radiation pattern so that the mobile device is always in the zone of reliable reception. Thus, with a lower total radiation power, the communication quality remains at a high level.

And finally, thirdly. If access points using MU-MIMO technology need several antennas, then for mobile gadgets just one, built-in standard one, is enough.

True, there is one caveat: all these features are available only to those devices that support data transfer in the 5GHz band.

On the lower part of the case there are air vents, as well as a nameplate with the main parameters, SSID name, username and password set by default. For information, it is these data that are set when the router is reset to factory settings.

There are also four rubber feet for desktop installation and two eyelets for a screw for wall mounting.

And now I turn directly to the description of the software features of the TEW-827DRU router from TrendNet. After connecting it to the network, connecting to a laptop (you can also connect it to a stationary computer) using a standard patch cord, I launched a browser in which the login page of the router’s admin panel automatically opened.

I entered the password that was indicated on the nameplate (previous photo). It would be possible to connect to one of the Wi-Fi networks – 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz (the password is there, on the nameplate on the bottom of the case), but I prefer the cable.

After login, the setup wizard starts automatically

Everything is simple, intuitive and does not require any effort. But I almost never use this method, but prefer to configure it myself. Therefore, I refused to use the wizard, after which a window appeared with the settings: basic and advanced

So, the first thing we see is the state of the networks: external (Internet), local, wireless (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), guest, USB devices (if they are connected) and connected wired and wireless clients.

I draw your attention to the fact that the translation into Russian was performed relatively normally, but some clumsiness that hurts the eye is still present. They can be seen on almost every screenshot.

A little lower is the wireless network setup. Here you can programmatically turn Wi-Fi on / off, set the on / off schedule, change the network name, broadcast SSID, frequency, bandwidth, type of protection, encryption, set a password and key update time.

Moreover, for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, you can enter completely different values ​​of SSID, passwords and more.

The same can be done with guest wireless networks.

But here you can still close guests access to the home network and vice versa. What is it for? For safety.

The next item is parental control. If you enable it, then the scheduled restrictions on access to the Internet become active, as well as filtering web resources.

Moreover, the filter can be set as allowing access only to certain resources, and also prohibiting it only for certain sites.

The last item in the basic settings is StreamBoost. This is Qualcomm's proprietary technology, thanks to which the router automatically classifies traffic and provides priority in the first place:

– 4K video;

– voice;

– gaming services and the like.

Here you can enable / disable this option, set the maximum download / upload speed, prioritize device access and plot traffic usage by the volume and time of use by each application (surfing, watching videos on YouTube and other).

Now go to the tab ADVANCED SETTINGS – Administration.

The status of the router gives very detailed information about the network, both wired and wireless, Internet connection, IP and MAC addresses and more.

Since my network runs IPv4, I do not consider IPv6.

The system log, advanced network settings, administration (with the ability to backup and restore from a file, software reset to factory settings) do not raise questions.

Setting the time, time zone, incl. Summer / winter time change rules, automatic clock settings are also intuitive. Standard network diagnostic tools are also available.

It's time to move on to the detailed settings.

Depending on the needs, the TEW-827DRU router can be configured in routing or bridge mode (something like the "last mile", only in a private house / apartment). After changing the settings, a reboot is required.

The following items are the IP, DHCP settings and MAC + IP binding for the internal network, as well as the method of connecting to the Internet (depending on the Internet provider).

Static routes, IPv6, and schedules – these are understandable points.

Updating the firmware of the router is possible only by downloading a pre-downloaded file. Automatic updating via the Internet is not provided.

The system administration item allows you to change the username and password, the name of the router, configure remote access to the router either directly (if you have a real IP), or through the Dyndns or no-ip services.

In addition, access to management can be carried out via the secure https protocol.

The setup wizard is the utility that starts the first time you connect, and the list of DHCP clients is the list of devices connected to the router by wire or by radio.

One of the interesting solutions that can sometimes be useful to an ordinary user is a ready-made VPN server that can be launched at any time.

But there are nuances:

– the maximum number of users is not more than 25;

– It is mandatory that you have a white IP address or use the Dyndns or no-ip services.

Wireless settings allow you to use WDS, change the transmitter power (there are only three levels: maximum, medium and low), launch two more virtual access points in each of the bands (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) with a password and protection mode set on them.

The security clause defines the rules for blocking services for wired and wireless clients of the router, as well as filtering incoming traffic.

Firewall. The main thing that may interest us there is the demilitarized zone (DMZ) and port forwarding (port range).

Another feature – protection against DoS attacks – provides additional security for the internal network.

But the menu item “USB” was not at all pleased.

A file and FTP server, this is certainly cool, but I'm not sure that a regular user will install a USB flash drive into the router each time to give access to files to other users on the local network.

But if you permanently install a hard drive of normal size, run a torrent client, and download / distribute movies, which will also be available on the network – yes. Thus, the load is removed from your personal computer / laptop.

With this, all the functions of the USB ports are exhausted.

Finally, the positive and negative points.

Minuses:

– price – Amazon is not available, it was 99 dollars

– pretty crooked translation into Russian;

– Support for MU-MIMO only for the 5 GHz band;

– lack of print server function;

– lack of support for USB modems.

Pros:

– original design;

– simple setup;

– the ability to turn off the LED-indication;

– Not only software, but also hard-off Wi-Fi;

– gigabit ports;

– use of Beamforming technology;

– support for MU-MIMO;

– guest Wi-Fi network with full isolation from the local;

– the ability to create 2 more virtual access points in each range;

– prioritization of traffic;

– Many additional built-in options.

The overall impression of the TrendNet TEW-827DRU router is positive. Although the price is a bit high (you can buy a full-fledged Mikrotik for that kind of money), but this is atone for the ease of setup without dancing with a tambourine. In addition, support for two bands (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) Wi-Fi allows you to optimize the quality of wireless data transfer for various devices. And thanks to the use of Beamforming technology with the same radiation power, the network coverage becomes larger. An ordinary user who needs high-quality communication between wired and wireless devices within the house / apartment of such a router will be enough, and he will not become obsolete in the next few years.

If you liked my writing style, many reviews of the most varied things from different parts of the Internet can be found in my blog – Overview of purchases from the Internet

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