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Setup Options and Functionality

TEW-692GR Wireless N Router

The router is set up via a web-browser. The setup interface is designed in a classic way with pages grouped by a common topic. The interface elements and the integrated help system (unfortunately, not very helpful in some situations) are available in English only.

If you want to do everything quick and easy, you can choose the Wizard option. It will help you set up your internet connection and establish a secure wireless network.

You can use any of the popular Internet connection methods with this router: static or dynamic IP address, PPPoE, PPTP or L2TP. In every case you can change the MTU size and the external interface’s MAC address. If the router is connected to the internet via an access server, there are three possible operation modes: always connected, connection on demand, and manual connection. The field for entering the server name is only 15 characters long, which may prove to be too short with some providers. IP addresses for VPN tunnels are set up automatically but the WAN port address can be changed.

There is a typical selection of LAN settings here. You can enter internal IP addresses for the LAN ports, enable DHCP or specify fixed MAC-IP pairs. You have to enter them manually rather than export from the already issued addresses.

The router supports QoS but this feature lacks any documentation except for a single screenshot. The traffic management options only refer to outgoing connections. You can prioritize different types of traffic by application, port and packet size. QoS requires quite a lot of processor resources, so it may lower the effective speed of your internet connection.

There are two groups of identical pages for setting up the router’s Wi-Fi interfaces: one for 2.4 GHz and another for 5 GHz. You can disable the radio module or define its operation schedule, choose Wi-Fi mode (b/g, b/g/n or n for 2.4 GHz and a/n for 5 GHz) and specify up to four different SSIDs. Network name broadcasting can be disabled. You can also choose such options as channel number, channel width, guard interval, and MCS. The TEW-692GR supports up to 11 channels in the 2.4GHz band and 9 channels in the 5GHz band. The “virtual” networks work on the same channels and share the common bandwidth. They can only differ in encryption mode and black/white lists of client MAC addresses, making it impossible to organize internet-only guest access. As for security, the access points support open network mode, WEP, WPA and WPA2 (the latter two with a passphrase or via an access control server).

WDS is supported but involves a performance hit, so it is more effective to use special repeaters or additional access points to expand your wireless network coverage. If the router is installed in a hard-to-access location, you can start a WPS connection via its web interface by specifying the frequency band to search for clients in. The advanced options offer a few parameters that can help you fine-tune your wireless bandwidth.

The last page in this group is a table of connected clients with their MAC address, connection standard, speed and signal level.

Local systems can be accessed from the internet is multiple ways. The easiest way to provide such access is to place a PC into the DMZ for the router to direct all incoming requests to it. Another method is to use port forwarding rules on the Virtual Server page. You can have different numbers of public and internal ports but you have to use individual rules for each port. It is impossible to enter a port range. For each rule you can specify an IP address filter and operation schedules with days of the week and time period. Such schedules can also be used for the wireless modules.

You can forward multiple ports or port ranges using the rules of the Gaming sections but you won’t be able to have different public and internal port numbers with them. Schedules and the IP filter work here, too. You can also use semiautomatic port triggering, which may be handy for some applications.

NAT can interfere with some network protocols as it changes addresses in network packets. To solve this problem, there are special ALGs that can identify and correct packets so that they could successfully pass through the router. This feature works for multimedia streaming, voice communication and FTP protocols.

The extra options include adding entries into the routing table, enabling the UPnP protocol and allowing a response to an incoming ping on the WAN port.

The Access Control page provides a few options for blocking websites based on keywords in their URLs or blocking internet access for local systems based on their IP addresses. You can also set up a simple firewall by entering client addresses and application ports into its rules. The firewall can be enabled according to a schedule.

Administrative tools can all be found on a dedicated page. Besides changing the admin password, updating firmware and working with the router configuration, you are offered such options as DDNS client, reboot button, and remote management via the internet. The integrated clock can be synchronized via the internet and is used for the abovementioned schedules. The status page offers a quick overview of the router’s status, listing the current parameters of its network interfaces, firmware version and uptime.

The firmware developers seem to have just modified the previous version. We do not find some obligatory options for a top-class device such as an event log. On the other hand, the router does its main job of providing internet access and Wi-Fi well enough.

 
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