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Updated: TEW-712BR - N150 Open Source: entry level router/good value
on November 23, 2012
The TEW-712BR - N150 Open Source version is an entry level router with 150mbps single channel wireless N speed. It is also *very* inexpensive.
The LAN and WAN ports are all just 10/100. This isn't for power users. This is a good upgrade for an older wireless G router when you have modest needs for speed and better range.
The unit I got was tried for just that purpose. It replaced an old Linksys 54Mbps Wireless G router to improve range and streaming performance to a smart Sharp Aquios TV. I had used my iPhone 4S and laptop with the old wireless router so I had a basis for comparison. I was a little surprised by the results.
When I set it up I configured it manually. First thing I did is upgrade to the latest firmware. The process was simple and easy. I setup the time zone and to automatically get the time from north-america.pool.ntp.org (the public pool of North American time servers).
I setup the TEW-712BR with the same wireless settings as the old Linksys for encryption (WPA), SSID and wireless key. Everything connected without problem. The laptop got a lot better and more reliable signal at the farther reaches of the house. The TV connected and worked better too!
It appears the DSL provider in Maine has some issues with intermittent pauses of traffic lasting a few seconds that hurts streaming and give occasional choppy web browsing experience. This is exactly the same as with the older router so I doubt this is a TEW-712BR issue.
What caught me by surprise is how poorly the iPhone 4S operated with the wireless. It connected but the signal strength varies from zero (disconnect) to max. This is while it was sitting on the table. I don't know why this happened. I had not had this problem with the iPhone before connecting to wireless. I believe the 4S is wireless G only. I tried forgetting the network in the iPhone and then setting it up again, but no change. FYI.
This is a basic router. No real firewall functions or VPN endpoint support. It has some gaming support, port forwarding, and DMZ. Not a lot else beyond the basic wireless router functions. It's a good choice for basic routing where you don't need the fancier stuff.
I have become a fan of Trendnet professional products. Switches, wireless access point, power over Ethernet products. Except for the weird experience with the iPhone wireless I'd give this 5 stars. I think it does everything it's supposed to do. It's simple and seems reliable and a good value proposition.
Since the latest firmware update for the iPhone the previous issue with strange connection behavior is gone. I have Solid iPhone connections now. This has been an excellent entry router for a very very low price.