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Wireless Reviews

AC3200 Dual Band Wireless Router
At a glance
ProductTRENDnet AC3200 Dual Band Wireless Router (TEW-828DRU)   [Website]
SummaryBroadcom XStream-based AC3200 class "tri-band" router with Gigabit Ethernet ports and USB 2.0/3.0 storage and printer sharing
Pros• USB 3.0 & 2.0 ports
• Strong wired routing throughput
• Port-based VLANs
Cons• Could not complete storage tests
• Not Wi-Fi Certified
• Undistinguished wireless performance

Typical Price: $250  Buy From Amazon

Introduction

Updated 2/25/16 - Router performance retest due to measurement process error
Updated 5/23/15: Corrected 5 GHz amplifier info

With this review, the TRENDnet TEW-828DRU AC3200 Tri Band Wireless router joins the four other AC3200 class routers in our charts, i.e. NETGEAR's Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band WiFi Router (R8000), the D-Link's AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Route (DIR890L/R), Linksys' AC3200 Tri Band Smart Wi-Fi Router (EA9200) and ASUS' Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Router (RT-AC3200). All five products are based on Broadcom's XStream technology which features two 5 GHz 3X3 radios and the ability to steer "slow" and "fast" clients to different radios to maximize total wireless bandwidth utilization.

The physical design of the TEW-828DRU is a significant departure from TRENDnet's other routers, with its move from internal to external antennas. But unlike other AC3200 routers, the TEW-828DRU's antennas are hardwired to the router. There are two antennas on each side of the router and two antennas on the rear. The chart below shows the front panel indicators. Note that there are separate LEDs for each of the 5 GHz networks.

TRENDNET TEW-828DRU Front Panel Callout

TRENDnet TEW-828DRU Front Panel Callout

The rear panel has a color-coded Gigabit Ethernet WAN port along with four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports.

TRENDnet TEW-828DRU Rear Panel Callout

TRENDnet TEW-828DRU Rear Panel Callout

Inside

The TEW-828DRU is powered by the same Broadcom BCM4709A router SoC with three Broadcom BCM43602 dual-band radios found in all of the AC3200 class routers reviewed to date. TRENDnet chose Skyworks' SE2623L for the 2.4 GHz power amps (x3) and Anadigics' AWL5911 (x3) for the 5 GHz power amps (x3). Facing front of router, the 5 GHz-2 hi-band radio is on right. The shared 2.4/5GHz-1 low band radio is on the left. The lone heatsink sits atop the BCM4709A SoC.

TRENDnet TEW-828DRU Component side of the main PCB
TRENDnet TEW-828DRU Component side of the main PCB

Table 1 below summarizes the key components of the TEW-828DRU as well as the components of our currently top-ranked ASUS RT-AC3200. The two are basically the same except for some of the power amplifiers.

Updated 5/23/15: Corrected 5 GHz amplifier info
  TRENDnet TEW-828DRU ASUS RT-AC3200
CPU Broadcom BCM4709A Broadcom BCM4709A
Switch in BCM4709A in BCM4709A
RAM 512 MB 256 MB ESMT M15F2G16128A
Flash 128 MB 128 MB ?
2.4 GHz Radio - Broadcom BCM43602
- Skyworks SE2623L 2.4 GHz power amps (x3)
- Skyworks SKY13377 6 GHz SPDT switch (x3)
- Broadcom BCM43602
- Richwave RTC6649E 2.4 GHz power amp (x3)
5 GHz radio - Broadcom BCM43602
- Anadigics AWL5911 5 GHz Power Amps (x3)
NOTE: There are two 5 GHz radios.
- Broadcom BCM43602
- Skyworks 5003L1 5 GHz Power Amps (x3)
NOTE: There are two 5 GHz radios.
PCIe PLX Technology PEX8603 3-lane, 3-port PCIe switch PLX Technology PEX8603 3-lane, 3-port PCIe switch
Table 1: Component summary

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