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This review is from: TRENDnet TEW-714TRU Wireless N 150 Mbps Travel Router
Pros: All in one, don't need a separate power adapter to work.
USB charging port with 2.1A output.
Distinct Router, Repeater, WISP modes with physical hardware switch.
Cons: Must physically unplug and plug back in after changing switch between Router, Repeater, and WISP
The switch to change between Router, Repeater, and WISP is very poorly constructed, hard to physically select Repeater mode.
Other Thoughts: Overall a decent little travel router. Range is decent for a router this size. Setup was pretty easy using the web interface, the hardest part was figuring out the default IP address, they should have put it on the sticker which shows the default WPA2 password and default router login information. After figuring out the IP address, I logged in easily and changed the LAN SSID immediately as well as the login password. I then upgraded to the latest firmware.
I first tried out WISP mode. In order to connect to the Internet when in WISP, you need to configure the WAN SSID information. To do this was a little confusing because you are basically forced to go through the "Wizard" to do so. Most other routers I've used that has a "Wizard" makes the "Wizard" feature optional. No big deal, but it was really the only not-so-intuitive part of the web interface. After that WISP worked as expected, but it takes a little time after the device boots to connect to the Internet via WISP. Just like repeater mode, your wireless bandwidth gets cut in half in this mode, but with a typical 35-45Mbps real world throughput of an N150 connection, I still got close to 20Mbps, which is pretty decent. This was only 10 feet or so from the router. I moved to about 30 feet from the router, and two walls plus a floor above, and the speeds dropped to about 5Mbps. One other cool thing about WISP mode is that the Ethernet port becomes a LAN port in this mode so you can connect a device without WiFi to it.
I then tried Router mode, and that's when I realized turning on and off the device via the On/Off switch does not reboot the router fully. After changing the hardware switch from WISP to Router, I tried turning it off then on via the switch and the router was stuck in a WISP/Router hybrid mode, it was weird. I had to physically unplug it and plug it back in to get it in to Router mode successfully. Once that was done, Router mode worked as expected.
I did not try repeater mode, but I did notice it would be kind of hard to physically get it into repeater mode because it is the middle setting of the three way slide switch that controls Router, Repeater, and WISP selection. The "Clicking" feeling of getting the slide switch to the middle position was almost non existent. This was a pretty bad choice of parts and a warning for the ones wanting to use repeater mode often.
I also did not try USB sharing but I'd assume you'd have to format any USB device with a specific filesystem to make it work.
A few other observations:
1) It does not have an AP mode so you cannot use it to convert a wired router into a wireless router without double NATing, (this is no big deal)
2) It does not have a true wireless client mode, though WISP is kind of like a wireless client mode, but again you're stuck in the double NAT situation.
3) No other fancy router features like DMZ, MAC filterin, QoS, static DHCP addresses, etc... but these are features I'd almost never need to use for a travel router.
4) You need firmware 1.0.3 or later to have VPN passthrough working. This probably only matters to the business travelers.
Overall, this is a great little device for the $5 I paid for it. It happily replaces my old travel router who's wireless connection started getting flaky. I really like the physical switch to change between Router and WISP modes... doing so on my old travel router was a bit confusing through the web interface. It may lack lots of features standard even in the cheapest routers out there (my old travel router had a lot more features), but I don't think I would miss them in a travel router. For bringing on vacations or business trips, I'd highly recommend it, especially with a built in USB charger, one less thing to carry!
Pros: Bluetooth wireless easy to pair.
Voice prompts to tell you when it's on and when it's paired.
Feels heavy sturdy overall.
Sound quality is very decent for small 5" woofers.
Very inexpensive for what you get.
Cons: Ball joint on mount seems a bit weak.
Upon closer inspection, paint finish is already cracking a little.
Other Thoughts: I wanted to mount some speakers on our pergola but wasn't sure to get powered speakers or passive ones and run long speaker wires from my receiver inside my house. Since these are self powered and have Bluetooth built in to boot, it was a no brainer when I saw them on sale for $50.
I played with them a lot indoors before finally mounting them outside. They sounded very good for the smallish 5" woofer and 3/4" tweeters, the highs were especially crisp. considering I only used a Bluetooth connection, which probably compromised the sound quality a little. Good thing is, these also take RCA line inputs (The Bluetooth connection take precedence if both inputs are connected). I did have to turn the BASS knob to about 3/4 max to get the desired lows, which still weren't great, but again, considering the size, more than passable. Volume was plenty loud for my yard. The loudest I would personally play them was about 3/4 max volume. Anything beyond that, I'd be afraid of disturbing the neighbors if they had their windows open. Bluetooth was a breeze to pair, and I could pair with more than one device. However that meant, each time you power on the speakers, it's a race between which device connects. To get around this, I open the Bluetooth menu on the device I want to use and start a connection to the speakers before actually turning on the speakers. This typically causes said device to win the race. And it's really nice that the speaker has voice announcements when a device connects. It also is nice it announces when you turn on the speakers, especially since I have them mounted up high and turn it on with a switched outlet instead of using the on/off switch on the back of the speaker, which I just leave in the on position.
After mounting them outside is when I started noticing a few of the flaws of this set. First of all the ball joint connecting the speakers to the mount, is great for positioning the speakers, but felt a little on the flimsy side. It's completely plastic which makes me worry it will get loose over time. You can tighten the ball joint with a hex wrench, but still, the plastic didn't give me much confidence seeing how these are meant for outdoor use. Second, after getting up close and personal with them during the mounting process, I saw several fine cracks in the paint finish. Again, since these are meant for outdoor use, I can only imagine the cracks getting progressively worse, especially in the dry heat in our area (Northern California). During summer, it's typically between 80-90F, and maybe about half a dozen times each summer it can reach over 100F, so we'll see how these hold up over the years. Good thing is the rear covers protect the connectors and knobs on the back of the speakers very well.
Overall, I'm very pleased with the speakers, especially at only $50 for the pair. The Bluetooth connectivity is what really sold me since I mounted them out of reach. I just hope they last at least 3-5 years.
This review is from: Pioneer SW-8-K 100W Powered Subwoofer Single
Pros: For the price and size, it sounded great... when it worked
Cons: It only worked for slightly less than 2 years
Other Thoughts: Came back from a 2 week business trip put on some music and realized something was wrong, there was no bass at all. At first I thought it was completely dead, but then I put my ear up to it and you could hear muffled low frequencies coming out of the sub. Turning up the gain knob all the way helped, but it still wasn't nearly as loud as it used to be at half the gain. Searching on the internet, I realized I wasn't the first to have this happen. Apparently the amplifier is busted. After writing my previous review, I did notice a humming sound when the sub was in standby mode. I wonder if this contributed to the early failure. Too bad the warranty was only for a year, but then again, I probably would have paid shipping up the wazoo to get it serviced. Since it was so cheap ($70), I guess I shouldn't complain too much, it would probably cost almost as much to get it fixed. But still, less than 2 years before failure is very disappointing, even for a budget sub. I've had subs/amps that were used and abused in heat and cold in my car that lasted over 10 years, and they weren't anything really high end. Anyway, I'm off to find a replacement now... but I probably won't buy another low end Pioneer this time around though. The budget Dayton subs look promising!READ FULL REVIEW