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This review is from: TRENDnet TEW-817DTR AC750 Wireless Travel Router
Pros: The TEW-817DTR travel router is very compact. Dimensionally, it’s the height and width of a credit card, and about 2in thick. There is no external power adapter to drag around, as the router plugs directly into any US, Euro, or UK power receptacle. It’s rated for up to 3.2 Watts of continuous power draw.
This router has a physical switch to toggle from a standard router mode (connected directly to your modem) to AP/WISP mode. This allows you to use the travel router as a simple access point, or even a wireless repeater if you’re just patching dead zones in your home network.
The router supports both 2.4 and 5GHz bands, with multiple SSID’s allowed on each. Security settings are on a per SSID basis, meaning you can have one network set for WPA2-PSK while another is non-password protected but has MAC filtering. There is also a guest network ability for both frequency bands. The combinations are very exhaustive.
The wireless standards include everything from 802.11a through 802.11ac (433Mbps), which makes the router compatible with just about every WiFi device made in the last 10+ years.
The firmware is full-featured. If it wasn’t for the ultra-small form factor and lack of external antennas, I would hardly call this a travel router. There are some very useful settings on this router that you won’t even find on more expensive desktop routers. To name a few:
- DHCP reservation table and MAC filtering
- Parental controls and website whitelist/blacklist filtering
- Application layer gateways (ability to allow or block certain types of content, i.e. streaming media, VPN tunnels, FTP, and SIP/VoIP traffic)
- On/off schedule per SSID or application
- Port forwarding (virtual server), and DMZ for direct Internet pass-through to certain network devices
- Dynamic routing to other local gateways
The user manual is extremely thorough, and gives background information on each and every setting, and not just how to enable or configure them.
Cons: The LAN port is only rated for 10/100 Mbps… so don’t plan on connecting your NAS or media server on this port. You’ll be bottle-necked for sure!
My wireless speed tests of both the 2.4 and 5GHz networks proved to be less than stellar… While on the 2.4GHz band using wireless N, two PC’s in the same room as the router were only able to accomplish about 36Mbps between them. While on the 5GHz band, I was getting much better speeds, but still nowhere near the advertised 433Mbps (802.11AC standard) advertised. Instead, I saw a maximum transfer rate of 88.7Mbps. So, while the speeds are by all means very usable, don’t expect anything near the advertised specs of the device.
With a lack of external antennas, the 5GHz frequency band suffers from degraded signal quality very quickly. I would not recommend attempting to connect devices on this frequency if more than 1 or 2 rooms away (given this is in a home environment and you don’t have steel reinforced walls.)
Considering this is marketed as a “travel router”, why TRENDnet did not include a small protective carry case is beyond me. Seems like a no-brainer!
Other Thoughts: TRENDnet provides a 3 year warranty against defects on the router, and a 1 year warranty on the power supply.
I’m giving this router 3 out of 5 eggs because it is very full featured as far as configurable settings go. However, the lack of wireless and Ethernet bandwidth makes this device impractical for connecting multiple streaming media type devices.
Thanks to Newegg.com and TRENDnet for providing the review sample!
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This review is from: 8-Port Gigabit Click Switch
Pros: This NETGEAR Click Switch works right out of the box. Or, you can access the setup menu via a web browser or the downloadable Netgear Prosafe Plus utility. Both give you the same options and similar easy to use menu layout.
Within the option menu are 3 main tabs as well as a help section; System, VLAN, and QoS. System tab gives you access to basic admin maintenance options, like firmware and passwords, as well as some troubleshooting and monitoring tools. Tools include port traffic statistics, port mirroring from one to another, and a cable tester. The cable tester was about to find a break in my sabotaged 6ft CAT5 cable, although it didn’t tell me which cable pair was cut.
The VLAN tab lets you configure a basic or advanced VLAN. Basic meaning to simply assign each port a VLAN number 1 thru 8, or to all. This is a quick and simple way to segregate all machines from each other by each port. The advanced VLAN option lets you create groups, and even overlap them. Useful if you want a specific port to be all-seeing across VLANs, like a NAS or some other shared device. There are some addition 802.1Q settings under the VLAN tab that let you add VLAN tags to the frames from each port. This is needed if you have a multi-switch network with VLANs on both sides.
The QoS tab has some basic settings for governing bandwidth of each port. You can set traffic priorities for each port (high, medium, normal, low), apply firm rate limits for download and upload in increments that double from the previous starting at 512Kbps up to 512MBps.
On the face of the switch are two USB charging ports. This is super clever and I love it! However, there is no power rating anywhere that I can find, so I’m not sure what the max power of each port is. I am assuming it’s at least a couple amps, as NETGEAR advertises these ports as capable of charging a full size tablet.
Cons: This non-rack mount switch is rather large. I have three 8-port switches, and this is by far the biggest measuring 12” in length.
The QoS rate limiter seems to be a little off. The 512kbps speed limit worked, but all others throttled the bandwidth to speeds slower than it was supposed to by even as much as 50%.
There is no PoE on this switch. This is a shame, since many business customers may be running PoE equipment like VoIP phones and IP cameras on their networks.
While the switch can be mounted in a handful of fashions, it cannot be mounted upside down. This would be irritating if the bracket is mounted to the underside of a surface, like a tabletop or benchtop, where the switch must be attached upside-down. Thus, when looking face on at the ports they are in reverse order, 8 thru 1. By simply notching the switch’s top surface in the same way that the bottom and side are, you’d be able to mount the switch in three different methods instead of two, covering 180 degrees of flavor.
As another reviewer pointed out, there is no LAG support. If you are a customer that has a dual-port device, i.e. a high end NAS, you won’t be able to have redundant connections to your network without having multiple switches and setting up some complicated VLAN rules.
Other Thoughts: While I did have a handful of cons in my review, I don’t believe a switch of this price point ($65 at time of review) should have to include those features. Thus, no eggs lost.
Thanks to Newegg.com and NETGEAR for providing the review sample!
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This review is from: SAMSUNG SM951 M.2 128GB PCI-Express 3.0 Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Pros: Utilizes PCI Express lanes with theoretical maximum bandwidth of 1.0GB/s per lane, whereas SATA3 is around 600MB/s. Obviously, the SSD cannot perform at those speeds, but at least you are not limited by the interface.
Supports extra low power consumption sleep modes, aka DevSleep.
Compact size and frees up a drive bay in your PC tower.
Now for some scores/benchmarks:
Windows 7 Experience Index score 7.9 (maximum)
WinSAT 64K read = 687.86MB/s
WinSAT 64K write = 676.31MB/s
WinSAT random 16K read = 420.53MB/s
HD Tune 64KB read/write min = 413.6MB/s
HD Tune 64KB read/write max = 537.9MB/s
HD Tune 64KB read/write avg = 516.5MB/s
HD Tune 8MB read/write min = 587.2MB/s
HD Tune 8MB read/write max = 704.2MB/s
HD Tune 8MB read/write max = 698.4MB/s
ATTO 16KB read = 78.031MB/s
ATTO 16KB write = 91.876MB/s
ATTO 256KB read= 720.415MB/s
ATTO 256KB write = 648.441MB/s
Passmark PT v8.0 Composite Result = 5240pts
Cons: Standard green PCB (which is the only green anything in my blackout X99 gaming PC)
Price per GB is still high at around $1.0/GB when 2.5" SSD's are well below $0.50/GB now.
Other Thoughts: This is my first M.2 form factor drive. I'm using it as my primary drive running Windows 7 Pro x64. In order to deploy an OS onto the disk (after it's physically installed onto the motherboard), you may need to check for a BIOS setting that allows you to enable the drive.READ FULL REVIEW
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