|At a glance|
Typical Price: $
We've looked at a lot of VPN routers here at SmallNetBuilder, each with a different combination of features and with a downward trend for pricing. In this review, we're looking at the TRENDnet TW100-BRV214, which, at around $70, establishes a new low in VPN router pricing.
TRENDnet advertises the TW100 as a “GREENnet” power-saving device. TRENDnet claims the TW100 can provide up to 40% power savings and rates the TW100's power draw at 4 W. Other VPN routers we've reviewed don't advertise maximum wattage, so it's difficult to validate or compare TRENDnet's claim of a 40% power savings. However, the concept of power saving is a good one, and I commend TRENDnet for moving in this direction.
The TW100 is a wired-only router with four 10/100 LAN ports and a single 10/100 WAN port. I prefer Gigabit LAN ports on my routers. But adding a basic 10/100/1000 switch is always a possibility. Figures 1 and 2 show the front and back of the unit, with features called out.
Figure 1: TRENDnet TW100-BRV214 front panel callouts
The TW100 measures 7.4” long by 4.6” deep by 1.3” in height. The case is black plastic, with indicator lights on the front, WAN and LAN ports on the back, as well as the power connector and an on/off button. It has an external power brick at the end of the power cable. The TW100 is passively cooled, thus silent in operation.
Figure 2: TRENDnet TW100-BRV214 rear panel callouts
The main board photo, shown in Figure 3, reveals a Realtek RTL8196 AP/router SoC along with 64 MB DRAM. The Realtek chip combines a 32 bit RISC processor and five port 10/100 switch.