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Wireless Reviews

AC1200 Dual Band Wireless Router
At a glance
ProductTRENDnet AC1200 Dual Band Wireless Router (TEW-811DRU)   [Website]
SummaryAC1200 class router with USB 2.0 storage & printer sharing port.
Pros• Relatively inexpensive for an AC router
Cons• Poor 2.4 GHz range
• USB 2.0 port yields slower file sharing
• WPS didn't work

Typical Price: $42  Buy From Amazon

Overview

Back in June, we took a look at TRENDnet's top-of-line TEW-812DRU AC1750 class router. While it had a few highlights, overall it had unimpressive performance and a few other problems. Today we're going to look at a slightly less expensive and lower performance draft 11ac alternative, the AC 1200 class TEW-811DRU.

The TEW-811DRU looks a lot like the TEW-812DRU, with the same upright format and many of the same front LEDs.

TRENDnet TEW-811DRU indicators and buttons

TRENDnet TEW-811DRU indicators and buttons

The front of the TEW-811DRU has lots of LEDs for those who like blinking lights. There are LEDs for USB, 2.4Ghz, 5GHz, each LAN port, the WAN port and Power. The rear panel diagram below shows a sole USB 2.0 port and identifies the single Gigabit WAN and four switched Gigabit LAN Ethernet ports. Note that US consumers do not get a power button.

Inside

Unlike the NETGEAR R6100, the TEW-811DRU has two dual-band antennas; which are shared between both radios. The large heatsink covers the Broadcom BCM47081A0KFEBG CPU. This is a lower-performance member of Broadcom's second-generation router SoC.

TRENDnet TEW-811DRU inside

TRENDnet TEW-811DRU inside

The heatsinks came off with a couple of screws each, rewarding us with our view of the TEW-811DRU's naked chipsets.

TRENDnet TEW-811DRU board naked

TRENDnet TEW-811DRU board naked

The largest chip is a Broadcom BCM47081A0 SoC that handles the main CPU, Ethernet and USB functions.

The slightly smaller device to the left of the photo is the 5 GHz radio in the form of a Broadcom BCM4352 with two Skyworks SE5003L 5 GHz power amplifiers.

At the top left of the photo is the BCM43217 that supplies the 2.4 GHz radio. This radio does not have outboard power amps. 64 MB of RAM and 8 MB flash finish up the design. Table 1 includes the NETGEAR R6100's key components for comparison.

TEW-811DRU NETGEAR R6100
CPU Broadcom BCM47081A0KFEBG Atheros AR9344
Switch In CPU In CPU
RAM 64 MB Winbond
W9751G6KB (x1)
128 MB Nanya
NT5TU32M16DG-AC (x2)
Flash 8 MB Macronix MXIC 25L6406E 128 MB Micron 29F1G08ABADA
2.4 GHz Radio - Broadcom BCM43217KMLG
- No amplifiers
- In Atheros AR9344
- Possible power amps (x2)
5 GHz radio - Broadcom BCM4352KMLG
- Skyworks SE5003L 5 GHz, 23dBm Power Amplifier with Power Detector (x2)
- QCA9882 2x2 802.11ac/a/b/g/n radio
- Skyworks SE5003L 5 GHz power amp (x2)
Table 1: TRENDnet TEW-811DRU key components

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