Customer Reviews: TRENDnet Wireless N 300 Mbps Travel Router Kit, TEW-654TR
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on November 2, 2009
I travel a lot and spend way too much time in hotels where the only internet connection they have is a short wired connection sitting near some uncomfortable desk. I used to carry around a longer wire and a connector so that I could sit wherever I wanted in the room, but it is just a pain to do so.

A few years ago I found a solution in a small wireless AP sold by Asus (the WL-300 and later the WL-330g) which I used for a number of years with lots of success. However, I finally decided it was time to upgrade to 802.11n.

A bit of searching/comparing brought me to the TrendNet 654TR. Ordered one from Amazon and had it in my hands in a couple of days.

The device is much smaller and sleeker than the Asus model. Setup was easy to follow and configure (though I would enter a small complaint that I had to configure the "router" mode settings and the "AP" mode settings individually -- when I switched from "router" to "AP" it was as if I had gone back to factory defaults -- even the encryption keys & wireless configuration had to be configured again). This is just a minor complaint, easily dealt with and for many people, one they would never run into.

I've used the device at home and in several hotels on the road to great success. Rather than lugging the included AC power adapter, I simply use my iPhone USB charging block along with the included USB power adapter and I can power the unit with my little white apple block.

So now I carry this device with me on all my trips and use it here/there.

Very satisfied. If you're looking for a portable AP to carry around with you, this is it!
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on March 7, 2011
I absolutely could not live without this travel router. I travel a lot for business and spend about 6 months a year in hotel rooms. Even when the hotel offers wifi access I prefer to use my TrendNet router because speed and signal strength is so much better. One thing that I found quite interesting is the three modes that the router can operate in. It can be used as a router, and access point (ethernet extention), or as a client. In client mode it works "backwards", giving wifi to a device that typically wouldn't have it. These are sometimes known as "Ethernet Bridges" and range in price from $75-$200. For $50, you get this functionality plus a travel router.

Compatibility was my big question - previous reviews said they had problems with iPads and phones. I can happily report that it works great with iPads, iPhones, and every other wifi enabled device I have thrown at it. The set up screens for the router don't work very well in Safari or Chrome (missing buttons) so try to configure it using IE.

Over all, I love it and would buy it again.
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on November 7, 2010
I disagree with the person that says that it does not work with ipads (and iphones).
Using it in AP mode, I was able to browse the web in less than 10 minutes, no laptop needed to configure it.
Very good product.
If you need to configure it differently, you need a laptop or desktop, but you can do that at home before you leave.
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on April 17, 2012
I live in the UK but need a travel router sometimes in the US when staying in hotels that have wired-only networks. So, I ordered this from the US Amazon site on a recent visit there - partly because the price is better than in the UK and partly because I'd get a US power cord rather than the much larger UK one, with which I'd then have to use an adapter. Now I'm back in the UK I thought I'd try it out and I have to say it seems to work well (connected to my home network) and is extremely simple to get working with the default settings. The router itself is tiny - even smaller than I imagined, which is important when travelling.

I would have rated it 5-stars but for two things, which others have commented on:

1. The power-supply is 110v only. This is unbelievable, given that it's billed as a "travel router" and most of the rest of the world uses 220v power. I don't know what made me even check before plugging it in - I could easily have fried it, as these days all devices seem to come with dual voltage power supplies. As others have suggested, I used it successfully with an iPad power supply.

2. The main reason I need wireless when travelling is that I no longer take a laptop - relying instead on my Android smartphone and iPad. Although these work fine with the default settings when accessing the web, e-mail, apps etc., they don't work with the device's own configuration panels. Of course, I can just use default settings, or change the settings at home before leaving - e.g. to configure wi-fi security - but I don't like the fact that once I'm away from home I won't be able to change any settings that I might want to, such as the wifi channel. [***Please note: see my update below - Trendnet seem to have fixed this problem with the latest firmware]

My other small criticism concerns the case that comes with it. I like the fact that it comes with a case but it's rather big and heavy compared to the router itself, undoing some of the benefit of the latter's compactness. To put numbers on this, I've just weighed the various components as follows: TEW-654TR: 53g, USB + ethernet cables: 51g, power supply: 78g, case: 110g. It's a nice solid, protective case, but maybe too good.

Overall, it's a great little product, with a couple of issues that may not bother you at all.

Update April 22nd, 2012:

After writing this, I updated the firmware to the latest level (1.10.12), which was also quite easy to do, and I find that I can now log on to the configuration panels from my iPad. So, well done Trendnet for addressing this serious issue. My only serious criticism now is the single-voltage power supply, which I still find astonishing. All the power adapters I own for cameras, laptops, kindle, mp3 players, iPods, iPads, iPhones, work with both voltages - and none of them have "travel" in their actual product names. Strange.

I'd like to update my rating to 4.5 but of course it has to be 4 or 5, so I think I must leave it as 4.
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on April 14, 2011
Top Line: I am really impressed with this WiFi travel router. Feature-packed, easy-to-use, all at a good value. However, device configuration HTML pages do not work in iPhone/iPad Safari browser - configure the router before you go.

The details:
I found out 3 days before departing to a Mexico Club Med that Wifi was limited to the main patio/pool area, and only wired internet was available in the rooms. Quick research told me there was no device (short of a laptop) to hard-wire connect my iPhone and iPad to the Club's internet, so a travel WiFi hotspot was the way to go. I chose the TRENDnet Travel router based on the reviews, size, kit components and price, and it did not disappoint.

I received it the day before we left, and was a bit confused by the many possible modes of operation mentioned briefly in the quick-setup guide. I decided to just plug it into my home network and see if my iPhone could access the internet right out of the box. Sure enough, with no configuration of the TRENDnet at all, my iPhone connected quickly and accessed web pages without a problem.

At Club Med, I plugged the TRENDnet into the hotel room's internet connector. After a few moments of powering up, I turned on my iPhone, made a WiFi connection to the TRENDnet router, and after a few seconds, was prompted with a Club Med web page to enter my passcode (Club Med charges about $10/day for internet access and requires a login procedure.) I logged in and was immediately e-mailing photos back home and making Skype calls.

Why Qualified Success? The TRENDnet router's configuration HTML pages can be accessed using a browser, but it only partially loaded on the iPhone/iPad's Safari browser, and I couldn't get past the device's login page. For most users this is not a problem. My recommendation, though: Before you travel, hook the TRENDnet up to your home network, login into the device's configuration page (needs to use a wireless connection from a computer), and change the default password so that someone in a neighboring hotel room doesn't hack your router. Just run through the Wizard to quickly set this up.

For further security, I suggest configuring a password for the router, to keep others from using it without permission. In the configuration menu, go to Setup -> Wireless and look for "Wireless Security Mode". I use "Enable WPA2 Wireless Security" and selected an appropriate password. (At this point, the device resets, and you will need to reconfigure your computer's WiFi connection to the TrendNet with this password to connect again.) The user manual on the provided disk should give detailed instructions. When you connect with your iPhone or iPad, it will prompt you for this passcode (just the first time - it remembers) and then connect when you enter it. Again, play with this at home before your trip, so there are no surprises.

Bottom line: This device worked well, packed easily, setup simply and was priced well. I highly recommend it!
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on November 10, 2012
There were 2 minor issues I read from previous reviews:

1. You could not configure router via safari browser there was no connect button. You had to configure via explorer browser. I happy to tell you this has been fix with the latest firmware update. Go to trendnet site support and get the latest firmware update and its fixed. :)

2. They also mention this did not come with a dual voltage transformer for travel. This is idiotic not to have this. To my pleasant surprise mine got delivered with a dual voltage. I look at the transformer and it is spec to 110 - 240 volts! So they are shipping with dual voltage transformers!

Work great on my iphone and ipad In summary this router work flawlessly and the minor issues are address. This router will work right out of the box if are not familiar with configuration settings. By default the router is not password protected you just plug in and connect to Ssid trendnet.

There or 3 modes via a slide switch on bottom of router AP,CLIENT, or RT mode. I left the RT mode in default with no password. I configure the AP mode to require password. Now I just flip a switch if I want to security password or not.
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on March 7, 2012
I like the router, it is small and was easy to set up. Three things to note:

1. I use Mac and I could not setup the router using Google Chrome or Safari. But when I tried Firefox, everything worked nicely.

2. The router comes with US charger, which works for 110-120V. This will not work in Europe. However, the router also comes with a USB charging cable, so to use it in Europe you would need a 220V USB charger (the one for your iphone/ipod touch/iPad would work). This is not a big deal since such chargers cost next to nothing these days (if you buy them on eBay in advance).

3. Make sure that during the initial setup you should enable Wireless Security Mode and choose a pasword to protect the wireless network. (The default is "disabled" and there is nothing in the manual or setup wizard to warn you about this).
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on August 5, 2010
My family and I travel alot, and there are still plenty of hotels within the U.S and especially abroad without Wifi in the room or just has a weak signal. The TRENDnet-654TR is just the solution to that problem, it's wireless N is very fast and has excellent range. I travel with a laptop primarily, but my wife and kids use Apple ipads for travel, this is a must have if you travel with an ipad!...Trust me.

The TRENDnet-654TR is tiny, the pictures above are very deceiving (youtube it to find a video). Super simple set up, it works right out of the box after plugging in a an ethernet cable and power (you can even use your iphone or ipad power block for the power source instead of the adapter that it comes with). The only other thing you optionally have to do is set up the security encryption, which is still pretty easy (do it before your trip so that anything you need to access it is already set up).

I wish regular home wireless routers were this easy to set up!
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on March 21, 2012
This works great once you get it up and running. I'm reasonably computer savvy, but spent way too long on the set-up for this. If you don't care about security, you can pretty much use it out of the box, but that's not what I wanted to do, especially while traveling. As others have mentioned, you should get into the Admin menu and enable WPA2 for this device. I found that some advanced default settings were not compatible with some of my other hardware. For example, the unit defaults to working with only other 'N' wifi units, instead of being backwards capable with 'B', 'G', and 'N'. You need to closely read the instructions on the enclosed CD's manual to catch this. The unit shipped with 2009 firmware. Updating that was problematic since even the CD does not give enough information on how to accomplish this. Fortunately, phone tech support was knowledgeable. For example, the unit's mode selector must be in 'AP' during the firmware upgrade. This detail is not in the manual. I also had to get into my PC's Network Connections / IP/TCP protocol menu and enter IP and subnet mask values provided by tech support. Maybe you're well-versed on this type of stuff, but I know I've owned other hardware which accomplished firmware upgrades easier that this. Finally, after upgrading the firmware, tech support said I must go back into the admin menu and select 'restore factory default settings' for the upgrade to take effect. I've got to go back and change some things a second time. Get my drift?
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on July 13, 2011
I got this pocket router to use in hotels when I am in the road and there is only ethernet. As it comes from factory, when you plug it into an ethernet port it automatically creates an open wifi network called "trendnet" something. The iPad immediately connected as well as my macbook.

Problem is: anybody can access your wifi and also by default is very easy to gain administrator's privileges. I suggest the first thing you do is to access the setup of the router (you can do that over wifi) and change the admin password of the device. It is quite easy also to increase the security of the this wifi router.
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