capsule review

TrendNet TEW-633GR 300Mbps Wireless N Gigabit Router

At a Glance
  • TRENDnet TEW-633GR Wireless N Gigabit Router (802.11b/g, draft 802.11n, 300 Mbps, 128 Bit WEP, WPA2)

    PCWorld Rating

    This router has very good overall performance and simple setup, but lacks the extra features like USB drive or printer sharing we expect in this price class.

This TrendNet router closely resembles the SMC Barricade N ProMax Draft 11n Gigabit Broadband Router SMCWGBR14-N, right down to their user manuals and Web configuration interfaces. Both of these Wi-Fi routers are based on the same U-Media reference design; they're just clothed in different paint colors.

Despite their similarities, the TEW-633GR was a far better performer than the SMC Barricade, and it also has a far lower list price ($100 versus $120; both prices as of April 20, 2009). Even though it lacks the USB printer port found in the SMC model, it's a much better choice.

The TrendNet router's performance was similar to that of the D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router, whose chipset it shares, with very good throughput overall, especially at short range.

Like the SMC's chassis, the TrendNet's case can be mounted horizontally, vertically, or on a wall, so you have flexibility in positioning it for best reception.

Though the TrendNet is certainly a capable router, it lacks some useful extra features (such as a USB port and a guest access mode) that we looked for, and because of that it doesn't seem as good a value as some competing $100 models, such as the Belkin N+ Wireless Router F5D8235-4 and the D-Link DIR-655.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This router has very good overall performance and simple setup, but lacks the extra features like USB drive or printer sharing we expect in this price class.

    Pros

    • Very good short-range throughput
    • Comprehensive features and Web utility

    Cons

    • Below-par long-range performance
    • No USB port for drive or printer sharing
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