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TRENDnet TEW-633GR review

Stylish and simple, if only the set-up was as easy...

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Our Verdict

Once you get past the frustrating installation process, this is a well designed and useful router

For

  • Handy software
  • Stylish design

Against

  • Conufusing installation
  • Annoying extra software installed

TRENDnet has a new look for its router, but things didn't start too promisingly for the router and USB adapter. For starters, the USB adapter didn't install properly with the drivers on the CD, so we had to download revised driver v1.1 from the website.

We were additionally confused as the adapter was identified by Windows Vista as a WN121T v1021, which is the same model code as the USB Netgear adapter we had previously installed on the same laptop. The adapter is 27mm wide, just like the D-Link adapter; however, TRENDnet provides a short USB extension cable that should avoid any installation problems.

Unfortunately, installing the router was also fraught as the CD sleeve for the router has the IP address you need for configuration and a note that the default username and password are 'admin'. Unfortunately, this is incorrect as the password is left blank.

Once installed, things improved as the configuration software for the router is very good. However, it also installs a 14-day free trial of Network Magic software. Annoyingly, there's no way to cancel this.

Simple Design

Once we'd overcome the problems we were pleasantly impressed by the TRENDnet router. It's attractively styled with a shiny black casing, three antennae along the right-hand side, a green power LED, red LEDs for the connections and a WLAN flick switch on the left-hand side.

On the top of the router there's a WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) button to speed the synchronisation of security settings of WPS adapters with the router.

Inside the router there's an Atheros wireless chip and also a Ubicom Stream Engine that prioritises data traffic to ensure that video and games will stream smoothly without any glitches.

Overall, the TRENDnet software was very useful and we would have rated the hardware higher if the installation had been easier.