If you have broadband you probably didn’t buy your own router. It’s a rare ISP these days that doesn’t chuck in a router for free when you sign up to a new contract. The trouble is that these free routers are often pretty basic models. Now that we have PCs, games consoles, tablets, ebook readers and smartphones all competing for bandwidth and we’re streaming audio and video in ever greater amounts, having a low-spec router means you may not be exploiting your Wi-Fi to its full potential.
Step forward TRENDnet with an answer to this problem in the form of its TEW-812DRU AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Router (catchy name, guys!). The AC1750 in the title refers to the fact that this router works in the conventional 450Mbps Wireless-N band and the latest 1,300Mbps Wireless-AC standard. Add the two together and you get 1,750 – clever, huh? Wireless-AC is still very new and not many devices support it but is expected to be widespread by 2015 so you’re buying a bit of future proofing.
What all this means in practice is that the TEW-812DRU can handle two wireless networks at the same time. Thus offering high speed streaming for devices that can it and a more conventional connection for older kit – it’s backward compatible with G, B and A standards.
That’s not all though, it comes packed with other clever technology too. Amplified wireless signals give extended range so you’ll no longer suffer signal loss in the east wing of your mansion. It also has something called ‘beamforming’ which directs the strongest signal to connected devices rather than broadcasting it out evenly. There’s a USB port to which you can attach a hard drive to create shared network storage or a printer to share across the LAN.
The TEW-812DU has all of the on-board security you need. It’s encrypted straight out of the box, has one-touch WPS connection, a built-in firewall, parental controls to limit access to selected sites or content types and the ability to create a secure, isolated guest connection.
At a penny under £150 this isn’t a cheap piece of kit and if you’re on an ADSL connection you’ll need a separate modem – cable and fibre users will have one already. But if you want fast Wi-Fi across multiple devices then there aren’t many alternatives with a similarly comprehensive feature set.
The TEW-812DRU costs £149.99 and is available now from Amazon, ebuyer.com and other retailers. For more information visit TRENDnet.