Published on June 1st, 2013 | by Greg0
TRENDnet AC1750 Router And AC1200 Adapter: Speedier Home Networking
You probably are reading this article thanks to a home or small business router of some kind. Most every router today is wireless, and most newer models offer fairly similar specs that make it fairly hard to choose easily. Even Apple’s routers are decent, if a bit expensive. But if it’s been a few years since you last upgraded your home network, it’s definitely time to do it again- and we’re happy to say that the offerings from today’s company have improved by leaps and bounds, making this pair an excellent option for those in need of a home networking solution.
We’ve long been fans of TRENDnet gear- but it’s often been a bit clunky, with awkward interfaces and fairly run-of-the-mill design. The routers ran well and were priced aggressively, and often were the first-to-market with every small jump in generation. This meant that often we’d find some small bugs, but usually firmware improvements smoothed things over in time, and it took a bit of work to set things up optimally. This time around, we’re happy to see the firm take things a bit more slowly- and were impressed by the solid, stable, well-designed and top-performing new TRENDnet AC1750 router.
This router is the current king of the hill (May 2013) for sheer speed in consumer routers in default settings. We tested using their provided AC1200 Dual Band USB 3.0 adapter, and also tried using a variety of other typical devices in a fairly crowded environment standard in urban Manhattan. Despite missing the three adjustable, external antennas of the predecessor model, the internal antennas were more than capable, and we found our Macbook Air, iPads, and iPhone models 4s and 5 to gain quite a bit of extra range and stay connected farther, with faster throughput despite not doing very little with the configuration. The body is a little thicker than previous incarnations, but easier to place in some ways as the antenna are no longer sprouting every which way.
We also used the previously-reviewed Dual Band Wireless-N Media Bridge, which we connect to our home theater system, and noticed some marked improvement as well. We saw peak throughput with their adapter reach 280 Mbps- blazing fast, and competitive with wired installations. As we mentioned, setup was surprisingly simple; we normally have to do a fair bit of modification to get routers running smoothly, thanks to Airplay hiccups or similar issues. You’ll see improvements on range even with 802.11g or 802.11n devices (most everything on the market today), but for the greatest improvement and for true top-speed performance, you’ll need to purchase and install gear that supports the new draft 802.11ac standard.
TRENDnet’s AC1750 doesn’t offer quite the depth of options we’ve seen in some open source firmwares, but does offer most of the usual options (IPv6 compatibility, UPnP and QoS support, a separate guest network, one touch WPS setup). There’s a built-in USB port for sharing files as well, or for connecting a printer. One important note- it does not appear to be DLNA certified, which is a bit unusual, but shouldn’t cause you any major issues.
Available now for around $150, it’s a great deal on a router, if you’re ready to get behind the new 802.11ac standard. Their excellent USB 3.0 adapter apparently had some issues with some versions of Windows 8, but has worked well for us in Windows 7 and they have new drivers that appear to have addressed the issue. It’s available online and in stores as well, for about $50.