Articles: Networking

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Exterior Design

Each device has a black glossy plastic case which will have to be cleaned often. The router measures 16.3 x 15 x 2.9 centimeters but needs some space for antennas and cables. Rather oddly for such a top-end product, its three external 5GHz antennas are not detachable.

There are multicolored system status, LAN and WLAN indicators on the router’s front. A WPS button can be found on the top panel and a Reset one on the left panel. There is also a vent grid in the router’s left side. At the back you can see four LAN ports, one WAN port for internet connection, and a power connector. The TEW-692GR is supposed to be positioned flat or, with the included stand, upright. Wall mounting is not supported. So, the router’s exterior design is simple enough, but the glossy surfaces make it somewhat unpractical.

The TEW-680MB adapter seems to be no different from its predecessor except that it has more ports for PCs and more indicators. Its size is 6 x 11.5 x 13.5 centimeters. There is a WPS button on its top for connecting to a Wi-Fi access point.

There is a line of indicators on the front panel: Wi-Fi connection, wired connections, and power. The color of the LEDs is indicative of the connection speed and frequency band. There is a reset button on the adapter's bottom panel.

Hardware Configuration

Like the pair of devices from the previous Trendnet kit, the TEW-692GR and TEW-680MB are based on the Ralink RT3883F processor which is a versatile SoC solution with MIPS architecture and an integrated dual-band radio module. The latter can only work in one band at any given moment: 2.4 or 5 GHz. Therefore, there is an additional Ralink RT3593 chip in the router so that it could support both frequency bands concurrently. The RT3593 is connected to the three external 5GHz antennas. Both devices use internal antennas for the 2.4 GHz band. There are microconnectors on their PCBs so you can improve the antennas if necessary. The radio module can work in 3T3R mode, delivering a data-transfer speed of 450 Mbps.

Each device has 64 megabytes of system memory. The amount of flash memory differs: 8 megabytes in the router and 4 megabytes in the adapter. The Gigabit Ethernet switch is based on an Atheros AR8327 chip. Although technically available, Jumbo Frames technology is not utilized in these products.

The Reset and WPS buttons are yet another common detail. Each device has a place for a console port. Each is ventilated passively. No heatsinks are installed on the processor and switch.

We used firmware version for the router and for the adapter.

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