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This review is from: TRENDnet TEW-827DRU AC2600 StreamBoost MU-MIMO WiFi Router
Pros: Now has OpenWRT support that is rock-solid stable. I changed my review to 5 eggs based on the lede firmware available as of 10/1/2016. I installed and configured lede, and have not rebooted since. Absolutely a good buy now.
Unit is preconfigured with security turned on, and custom configuration is relatively novice-friendly*. On first power-up a browser pops up and displays a web config wizard that is pretty effective at presenting options, and this makes it possible for Uncle Homer to just take it and plug it in and have it securely configured in 15 minutes.
Qualcomm StreamBoost automatically prioritizes streaming clients, and manual configuration can be used to custom-tweak prioritization.
Very decent QOS in factory firmware, with a full set of tools to configure and manage more than an average number of client systems.
5Ghz band is 4-stream, using all 4 of the very large antennae for 2x dedicated rx/tx signal.
Supports OPENVPN out of the box! Finally, a small net router that gives a professional level of functionality without resorting to custom firmware. A wizard -driven config creates certificates and configures OPENVPN for you, and gives you simple instructions for setting up clients. Naturally, with a 'wizard' you are limited in options, but not many average users are willing or capable of setting up a VPN from scratch. I have tested this feature extensively over the last few weeks, and can recommend using the preconfigured .ovpn file with these changes:
persist-key <- add
;persist-tun <- comment out
;auth-nocache <- comment out
I saturated the network with 5 streaming clients, and nobody suffered. 2 Roku showing TWCtv, a local Kodi playing blu-ray rip, a Netflix instance, and an amazing other vendor video instance.
Cons: The stock firmware is carp. That is putting it nicely. It has a significant memory leak that makes it stable only for short periods based on connections and usage. Be prepared to reboot every 5-7 days if you stick with the stock firmware. No updates have been posted by Trendnet to the original firmware.
I did eventually contact Trendnet and requested an RMA, which they were kind enough to issue despite this being a review unit. I had gotten wind of an OpenWRT firmware, so I held off a week and sure enough, the working firmware appeared 10/1, so I flashed that and never returned the unit.
This has to do with the asterisk in the 'Pros' section.
I used the wizard on first run since I expect that the target market is going to need a wizard. After the wizard ran, I had no intranet access. My internal shares and RDP clients simply did not allow connections.
I did what a good consumer should do - I contacted Trendnet support and briefly described the issue. I received a response via email, with an 18-hour lag. Most of the help I received was along the lines of "it can't do that", specifically referring to blocking intranet connections. Of course, I know that "it can't do that" except that it did. After 4 days, I decided to do a full reset and manually configure the router from scratch. It has worked great since.
Edit: Trendnet support did become very responsive and helpful, so the following no longer applies:
I can't really recommend Trendnet support for two reasons - the lag time in response, and the lack of actual assistance.
Other Thoughts: It's good hardware that performs well, and has a great feature set for a reasonable price. I would recommend this for anyone needing a VPN router that is simple and effective.
If you get the lede OpenWRT firmware and work through the installation and configuration, you will have a stellar piece of hardware for a reasonable price.
Pros: Plug and Play, no config needed at all
Helped me find a bad GBE switch that was only passing around 12Mbps
Cons: I used NetStress and Speedof.Me to test internal and external. The maximum throughput I was able to get was 36Mbps down, 17Mbps up. I know that this device depends heavily upon the wiring job done in my house, but my house is 12 years old and does not have any wiring anomalies. At first I only got around 12Mbps, so I removed my bad switch and moved the source device directly to the router, and got higher measurements. I turned of QOS, but found that made no difference. I then swapped out the primary router, but still got the same measurements. On a connected desktop system with GBE, I was able to get as high as 230Mbps down, so we can rule out the router. I have a powerline 300 set from another manufacturer and this typically measures 42 down/16 up, so the problem isn't totally my house wiring.
No firmware updates since release, and monitoring software does not really reflect reality, showing my connection throughput to be as high as 176Mbps, and both up/down to be >50.
Monitoring software requires WinPCap to be installed and running, so it brings in its own overhead to your network connection.
Other Thoughts: I would not recommend this device; there are more stable, higher-performing devices available at the same price from other manufacturers.
I would have only given one egg if I could completely, absolutely rule out my house wiring/placement issues, and I can't do that. So I gave it two eggs, with a huge caveat.
Pros: Enough horsepower to make games playable at 3840x2160.
Works with older architecture PCIE systems - makes it a great bang-for-the-buck upgrade.
Very quiet when idle
Cons: None, with the possible exception of the price being higher than it really should be because demand is so high. This should go away within a few months.
Other Thoughts: In Nov 2015, I bought a 4k Seiki 43" tv with the intent of using it as a monitor. I thought having 4 remote desktop sessions at 1920x1080, all fully visible on the same monitor would be a great way to work. My older 650TI boost could not drive it though, and the user experience was just awful enough that I could only comfortably use the tv at 1920x1080, and the video quality was pretty bad because it wasn't the native resolution. This card solved all of that, and then some. Now I have a very sharp and clear 4-session desktop, and games run at native without judder or tearing.
My setup is a 6-year-old Q9550/P45/DDR2 system that just keeps chugging on, but I did swap out the card into a newer Z170 system to see if I got some huge boost in gameplay performance. I couldn't see any notable differences, so that makes it clear to me that this card is a great value proposition. I may eventually spring for the $450 upgrade cost to go to an i5-6600k, Z170 mainboard, and DDR4, but I already know that the difference in performance that will make is very minor by comparison.
I would recommend this card for anyone with a work/play system and a desire to keep costs reasonable. Note that there is a 3GB model of this card, and you should be very careful to avoid that version if you are intending to do 4k gaming.