TRENDnet AC1750 Dual-Band Wireless Router

Trendnet-AC1750

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.

New Buffalo wireless networking range

Buffalo Technology, the dons in manufacturing of wired and wireless networking and network, have recently announced that the AirStation 1750 Wireless 802.11n+11ac Gigabit Dual Band Router WZR-D1800H-EU and AirStation 1300 Wireless 802.11n+11ac Gigabit Dual Band Media Bridge WLI-H4-D1300-EU wireless media bridge are now available for purchase from a selection of lucky online retailers. There’s some serious new kit here, people.

d1800h

Based on Broadcom’s 5G WiFi chips (first unveiled on the show floor at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas… someone get me an invite next year, yeah?), WZR-D1800H-EU and WLI-H4-D1300-EU offer speeds up to three times faster than 802.11n and are fully backward compatible with 802.11a, 11b, 11g and 11n to ensure interoperability with legacy devices. Nice!

Operating in the 5 GHz spectrum, 802.11ac offers transfer speeds up to 1300 Mbps, ideal for uninterrupted HD video streaming and concurrent Internet access. We do love uninterrupted streaming here, don’t you know?

Along with gigabit speeds, Buffalo’s 802.11ac products with improved radios feature improved reliability and produce better in-home coverage than at any other time for ultra-portable devices such as tablets and smart phones (for real!) along with traditional Windows/Mac clients. What’s more, as 5G WiFi reproduces into phones and tablets, the WZR-D1800H-EU will enable even better coverage as well as really fast download times, improving the battery life of all clients. Nifty.

“Buffalo is again the forerunner of wireless networking, delivering the world’s first WiFi router leveraging 802.11ac technology in a cost-effective, high performance package,” said Paul Hudson, Sales Director for Northern Europe at Buffalo Technology. “Along with Broadcom, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to innovate by providing a no-compromise, future proof wireless infrastructure for consumers’ digital worlds.”

Perhaps the coolest thing about these models is their dependable nature; it’s all about the high quality signal for syncing between mobile devices, data-heavy streaming of HD movies from online services and everything in between. AirStation WZR-D1800H-EU boasts credible speeds of up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, and it integrates a class leading 2.4 GHz 3×3 802.11n radio providing backward compatibility and offering speeds up to 450 Mbps. With a total aggregate wireless throughput up to 1750 Mbps across the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands, AirStation WZR-D1800H-EU allows customers an extra bit of breathing space away from the conventional networking restrictions of wired Ethernet cables and other radio activity, providing the ultimate in wireless performance.

Oh! Oh! And customers can now connect up to four network-enabled wired devices, such as media players and gaming consoles to their 802.11ac network; can’t forget that, now can we?! Equipped with two wireless radios, WLI-H4-D1300-EU supports 802.11ac and 802.11n, operating in the 5 GHz or 2.4 GHz spectrum. With four gigabit Ethernet ports and backward compatibility with 11a, 11b, 11g and 11n, WLI-H4-D1300-EU offers very good performance for high speed data streaming. We can dig that.

To learn more about 5G WiFi, please visit www.5GWiFi.org. For more information visit the Buffalo Technology website: http://www.buffalo-technology.com/en/

NetGear NeoTV makes your TV smarter

If your TV has an HDMI port, you can make it instantly smarter using NetGear’s NeoTV Streaming Player.Not only that, but Android and iPhone users can use their mobiles to control the telly too (there is a remote control bundled with the device for those who don’t own a smartphone).

NeoTV

So what does the Streaming Player do? Well, it allows you to connect your TV so you can stream all kinds of content, from news and games to TV programmes, films and music from sites such as YouTube, NetFlix and Vudu.

There are two ways to get a connection; either using the built-in high-speed 300Mbsp Wi-Fi, or via an Ethernet cable. And if you keep in touch with friends via Facebook and Twitter, you can do that on your TV too.

The NeoTV Player lets you get fast access thousands of films and TV programmes from Netflix, as well as millions of YouTube clips and hundreds of 1080p HD new movies from Vudu. Other NeoTV Player channels include Picasa, Pandora, Napster, blip.tv, Revision3, Crunchyroll, and so on.

If you’re after more news, you can get it at channels such as The Economist, Make Magazine, TED
and TMZ.

Vudu Apps, which is a companion to Vudu HD movies, also has a number of free channels offering videos, music, news, photo browsing, weather and social networking. If you fancy a game, choose from the likes of Rockswap Adventures, Blackjack Royale, and Texas Hold’em.

The cost of this ‘brain transplant’ for your goggle box? £159.99

For more information, log on to www.netgear.com/ntv.

NetGear has also just announced the launch of a wireless router that offers improved Wi-Fi speed and range.

The N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (model number: WNDR4500), offers up to 900 megabits per second of combined WiFi speed, support for 450 Mbps in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands; and six highly sensitive internal antennas, boosted by ultra-high-power radio amplifiers

Installation is said to be quick and easy, with no CD required, and NETGEAR Genie is a free utility for PCs and Macs that shows a simple dashboard for monitoring, controlling and repairing home networks.

The router is priced at around £175..

Cisco Linksys WAG320N review

Linksys-WAG320

We thought we take a look at the new Linksys WAG320N ADSL2+ modem, which provides easy access to Gigabit Ethernet and functions as a Dual band wireless router. Out of the box, the smooth black pebble that is the WAG320N immediately makes an impression, looking slighty futuristic, in a retro way, but better looking than the vast majority of ugly boxes that tend to define the router market. As you’d expect, all the cables, leads and micro filters you need are included.

Swapping out my default router from my ISP was relatively straightforward, and anyone who has ever set up a network should be right at home. Configuring the modem is done via an installation CD and if you are with a major Internet Service Provider you will have no issues. Simply select your provider and your Internet will be configured automagically. Otherwise you will have to manually configure your router. After 30 mins faffing about with my ISP on the phone for settings, I was good to go.

The router comes with lots of neat little features that required minimum knowledge to set up and basically allows you to play Network Admin (a fun pastime and I’m sure a board game is in the works). You can monitor usage of devices on your network, blocks certain websites or time restrict web access and there is simple yet powerful keyword and URL filtering. Of course technocrati reading this will know how to do all these things and more on a regular router but the WAGE320 puts power into the hands of regular folk. Also with the controversial Digital Economy Bill it’s a little bit more important to be responsible for your network traffic (whether you like it or not). A handy feature was the ability to view everyone on the network and identify free loaders on your network.

The routers performance is solid with no drop-outs on ADSL2+ performance and the MIMO technology reduces dead spots. I ran multiple devices across the network with no problems. There is a USB storage port at the back so it’s pretty easy to share stuff over a network. You can also set up a DLNA server, which is excellent if you have a modern TV or set-top box and want to stream pictures, music or video. 1080p mkv’s stutter a little wirelessly and I’d recommend a wired connection if you are planning on streaming heavily, but 720p content played back over-the-air fine. You can also set up an FTP server so you can remotely access content online or share it.

On the downside you can’t run mixed 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks but it is quite fast if you want one or the other and is cheaper most routers that can support mixed networks.

The WAG320N is about £100. If you move fast you might be able to catch the end of LinkSys’s cash back promotion with PC World, where you if buy any Linksys by Cisco Wireless-N router you can trade in your old one and receive a £20 reward. The promotion lasts until 27 August 2010.