The Trendnet TEW-812DRU is an 802.11ac-equipped wireless router that's praised by reviewers for its excellent performance, solid array of features and relatively affordable price tag. It delivers throughput that rivals the most premium-priced wireless-AC routers. However, slow USB storage performance means users looking to set up network media streaming will be better served by other routers.
Responsive web interface. Experts say the Trendnet TEW-812DRU is very easy to set up, although you must connect the router to your computer via an Ethernet cable. The included DVD loads an installation guide that sets up the router through the Internet.
CNET's Dong Ngo says the TEW-812DRU's web interface is "responsive" and works in any browser. Samara Lynn at PCMag.com notes "a little sluggishness" with the interface, but says the router is well designed overall. Its single USB port sits on top of its network ports, and the TEW-812DRU may get wobbly if a device like an external hard drive is connected to that. Wall mounting is not an option.
Respectable throughput, range. The Trendnet TEW-812DRU is an 802.11ac-equipped, simultaneous dual-band router that offers great performance in most experts' tests. "Not only did the TEW-812DRU deliver great speed, but it sustained throughput as I moved further away from the device," says Lynn, who calls the TEW-812DRU the fastest 802.11ac router she has tested.
Ngo says the router has very good range, but notes it's most effective when clients are within 150 feet or less. He adds that it worked for 48 hours without interruption. However, when Tim Higgins tests the router at SmallNetBuilder.com, he describes range and throughput as "unimpressive" and ranks it among the lowest 11ac routers in his listing.
You can attach an external hard drive via the USB port to share content across the network, but performance is too slow to support much more than light data sharing, CNET reports.
Impressive array. The Trendnet TEW-812DRU wireless router lets you set up as many as 16 Wi-Fi networks at a time -- four main networks plus four guest networks on each band -- which is more than what most consumer-class routers offer. It supports some advanced features like wireless distribution system, which lets you wirelessly interconnect multiple access points, as well as granular control over wireless settings. The router has four Gigabit LAN ports, one WAN port and a sole USB 2.0 port on the back.
Ngo gives the Trendnet TEW-812DRU 4 stars out of 5, calling it "the most affordable 802.11ac-enabled router on the market." He says Wi-Fi performance and ease of use is excellent, but drawbacks include the lack of a wall-mount option and slow USB storage performance.
Review: Trendnet TEW-812DRU AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Router Review: Affordable Cutting-Edge Wi-Fi, Dong Ngo, April 9, 2013
The Trendnet TEW-812DRU earns an Editors' Choice award and 4.5 stars out of 5 at PCMag.com. Lynn says the router offers "amazing wireless throughput and range," and praises its ease of use and array of features.
Review: Trendnet AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Router (TEW-812DRU), Samara Lynn, April 11, 2013
3. Small Net Builder.com
Higgins puts the Trendnet TEW-812DRU through in-depth benchmark tests and is unimpressed with its performance, among other issues. "There are just too many negatives to recommend this router, in spite of its aggressive pricing," he says.
Review: TRENDnet TEW-812DRU AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Router Reviewed, Tim Higgins, June 17, 2013
More than 70 owners give the Trendnet TEW-812DRU an overall score of 4 eggs out of 5. Complaints are a mixed bag, but include limited range and lost connections. Trendnet representatives reply to many customer complaints here.
Review: TRENDnet TEW-812DRU AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Router - 4 Gigabit Port, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (draft 2.0), Contributors to Newegg.com, As of July 2013
The Trendnet TEW-812DRU gets 4 stars out of 5 from more than 40 Amazon.com users. While this isn't the largest collection of consumer reviews we found, it's still helpful for gauging owner satisfaction. Like at Newegg.com, the manufacturer often responds to unsatisfied posters.
Review: TRENDnet AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Router (TEW-812DRU), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2013