User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Installation:
Ease of Use:
Pros:Cheap, Easy Setup, Small, Well Designed
Cons:Too Lightweight, Not able to stand on end, Tech support hard to contact.
The Bottom Line: Looking for a cheap router that works & is easy to setup? This might be just what you're looking for!
TrendNet TW1000 S2W1CA Router.
Recommend this product?
After years of struggling with disposable Linksys routers, I finally had enough and went looking for the cheapest (price) router I could find. I figure, if it lasts more than 6 months, Ive got my moneys worth already.
I picked mine up online for $25.00 shipped, less a $10.00 rebate (that will probably take longer to receive than the router will last). Thats about half what Ive been throwing away on Linksys routers every 6 months to 1 year.
Its pretty darn small compared to the Linksys routers Im used to; measuring in at about 6 inches long by 4 ˝ inches deep by 1 ˝ inch tall.
Unlike any of the other brands of routers Ive used, this one has a 5 (yes FIVE) year warranty. Linksys only has a 1 year warranty, D-Link only has a 1 year warranty.
Its not an industrial strength piece of hardware, as its light weight and the case seems to be made of thin plastic.
It does, however provide the same features as more expensive routers; like 4 ports for multiple computer setups, NAT firewall & more techno/geek speak that even I dont totally understand.
Some online retailers have images of this router listed incorrectly. The pictures Ive seen have a differently designed router standing on its end, while the actual router I received looks nothing like the pictures, other than its blue. Not a big deal and I like the design of this one (except for the inability to stand it on its end right out of the box).
The power adapter cable is one of the newer designs that use a modified Wall Wart plug. Most peripherals come with those huge power adapters that take up 3 or 4 spaces on an outlet strip. This one, however, is a slim design that plugs in at the end of the adapter, only requiring one standard outlet space.
I was surprised to find the router came with an Ethernet cable included in the box. Its not the best or fanciest Ive used, but if you dont have an extra (or any) Ethernet cables around, youll find yourself making a trip to the electronics store before you can do anything.
I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the port for the modem is blue while the ports for devices are all yellow. Most other routers have all ports the same color & have a microscopic imprinted text to distinguish ports.
It looks like the TrendNet engineers did their homework on this one.
As with most routers, this one includes a built in NAT firewall that Ive found cannot be disabled. This isnt a bad thing though; it adds an extra layer of security between the internet and your computers.
With 4 ports onboard, I have plenty of ports right at my desk for my 3 PCs as well as the cable running through the house to an Ethernet switch that feeds several other computers.
If you have multiple computers in different locations, such as: 3 PCs upstairs, 2 PCs downstairs & 4 PCs across the hall, you could easily run one cable from the router to each location, then connect an Ethernet switch to each those cables and share internet access with all 9 PCs. Youd basically have 3 zones connected to the router, which could help in troubleshooting later on.
On the front of the router you have a series of 7 LEDs. One is for Power, one is for WAN (connected to your modem), one is for status (this one is red & blinks constantly the other LEDs are green) and 4 for each device connected to the ports on back.
On the back, you have 4 ports for your computers or switches, a port for your modem, a tiny hole for the reset button & lastly, the power cable port.
A complaint I have is that its so light weight that it will get pulled off my desk just by the weight of the Ethernet cables attached to the back of the device.
Also, there are tiny rubber feet on the bottom, meaning you pretty much have to lay it down flat (taking up valuable desktop real estate). I remedied this problem by making a cradle out of MDF that allows me to stand the router on its end and adds weight where it doesnt want to slide around as much.
The initial setup I thought went well.
Plug the Ethernet cable (supplied with router) into the modem & into the router. Plug in the Ethernet cable from my computer(s) into any of the 4 ports. Plug in the power cable & let it boot itself.
To enter the setup page, you enter an IP address assigned to the router into your web browser. No problems entering the setup page & I used the quick setup wizard to make the initial settings, clicked save, router reboots and
.. no internet access.
I searched the skimpy manual for troubleshooting info, but there was limited info included, so I got on the phone for tech support. All tech reps are busy, you may have a wait period of 30 minutes or more
please hold. Great!
While on hold, I began some more troubleshooting on my own to weed out any possible issues.
I tried repairing the connection via windows internet connection tool to no avail. I tried unplugging the Ethernet cables from the router & resetting the connection, no luck.
I unplugged power to the router, let it set a few minutes, plugged in the power, let the router boot, let the PC reconnect with the router, no internet access.
Next, I unplugged my modem & router. I waited a few minutes & plugged in the modem, let it establish connection with my ISP, then powered on the router & let it boot & establish a connection with my PC. Finally, Internet Access!
All the while, Im still on hold for tech support (who never answered).
I have since changed the default password & saved the settings through the setup page & browsed the other advanced setup options. Id STRONGLY suggest changing the password ASAP after youre online. Its remarkably easy to find default passwords online (Im sure the hackers already know them all) making it super easy for a hacker to infiltrate your network & cause a ton of headaches trying to figure out how to fix it.
I did notice the router has a log feature that I havent been able to find out how to disable yet.
There is quite an array of setup options, many of which I have no idea what they do, so I pretty much left everything else alone. You can open certain ports full time if you have a file sharing program or if you run a web server from a home PC or server.
I keep everything locked down unless Im at my desk, so I havent needed to change any of the advanced settings.
So far, Im quite impressed with this router. So much so that Im buying a second one to keep around in case something happens to this one.
I dont know how well their tech support is (I never connected with a human) and Ive yet to need to use the 5 warranty service.
At this price, I can afford to buy a new one every year if thats as long as they last.
Read more product reviews on Trendware TRENDnet TW100-S4W1CA 4-Port Cable/DSL Broadband Router Router
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Amount Paid (US$): 25
Driver Availability: Don''t Know