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Wireless Reviews

TRENDnet TEW-691GR 450Mbps Wireless N Gigabit RouterThe TRENDnet TEW-691GR 450Mbps Wireless N Gigabit Router has been added to the Wireless Charts.

As promised in the First Test review, I put TRENDnet's TEW-691GR through our six location performance test using our standard 802.11n dual-stream Intel WiFi Link 5300 client.

Tests were run using the 5300 with only the two antennas built into the Dell Mini 12 test netbook, so the results are for a two-stream N client connecting to a three-stream N router. I should note that Intel again updated its drivers for the 5300, so I used the Win XP 13.2.1.5 driver for the tests.

I generated a 2.4 GHz Wireless Performance table for the TEW-691GR, D-Link's three-stream DIR-665 and one of the best-performing dual-stream 802.11n routers, the NETGEAR WNDR3700.

A scan of the 2.4 GHz table below shows the TRENDnet winning one and tying another of the four comparisons. But upon close inspection, you'll see 0 entries for all Location E and F tests, even in 20 MHz mode!

TRENDnet TEW-691GR wireless performance comparison - 2.4 GHz

TRENDnet TEW-691GR wireless performance comparison - 2.4 GHz

The TEW-691GR is the first N router in a long time to fail to complete the Location E and F tests in 20 MHz bandwidth mode. The client was able to see and remain connected to the router in both Locations and even able to ping the router. But the connection was too slow and / or unreliable to pass enough data to complete the IxChariot tests after multiple attempts.

Best case throughput of 97 Mbps, as usual was found running uplink in 40 MHz bandwidth mode. Although the TRENDnet posted the highest best-case throughput out of the three routers compared, this advantage is of little practical use unless you plan to have all your clients in the same room as the router.

Another disadvantage the TEW-691GR has is that running multiple simultaneous traffic did not result in higher aggregate bandwidth. Running simultaneous up and downlink traffic yielded only 77 Mbps in 20 MHz bandwidth mode and 86 Mbps in 20 / 40 mode.

Here are links to the IxChariot wireless test plots if you'd like to explore further:

Given the comparatively poor performance and lack of Wi-Fi N Certification, I can't recommend the TEW-691GR even if you really have to have a single-band three-stream N router. But then again, I don't recommend buying any three-stream N router at this point.

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