TRENDnet Tri-Band AC2200 WiFi Mesh Router System (TEW-830MDR2K) Long-Term Review @ ModSynergy.com
Having a reliable home WiFi setup can be a complex matter. Traditionally, most individuals are accustomed to using a single wireless router system, which generally functions adequately. However, factors such as the size of the home and the materials present within it can impede the wireless signal from effectively covering the entire premises. Many of us have likely experienced WiFi dead spots in our homes, characterized by sluggish speeds or device disconnections due to weak signals.
Over the years, various solutions have been explored to address these issues. One option has been to incorporate separate WiFi extender units, strategically placed between the dead spots and the wireless router, in order to extend the overall range. Although this approach improves speeds in the dead spots, it often falls short of achieving optimal performance. Additionally, each WiFi extender unit typically requires a unique Service Set Identifier (SSID) name, resulting in multiple SSIDs throughout the home that users must manually connect to. Consequently, reusing the SSID name from the main wireless router is not possible.
Another option considered in the past was powerline networking, which involved connecting a device to the wireless router and an available electrical wall outlet via a network cable. This setup essentially utilized the power lines within the home as an extended network cable, obviating the need for physical cabling. A secondary powerline unit could then be plugged in at the desired location, with a network cable running from it to the intended device. However, this method was wired in nature. Powerline networking also offered a wireless extender variant, necessitating the creation of yet another SSID. It is important to note that powerline networking may not function in some homes due to wiring complexities, particularly in older residences. Therefore, its efficacy varies.
Subsequently, wireless networking has evolved to encompass a concept known as "mesh" networking. Mesh networking systems effectively combine the strengths of WiFi extenders and powerline networking, while addressing their respective drawbacks. A WiFi mesh router system consists of multiple router units, referred to as mesh "nodes," which interconnect to provide wireless routing and broadcasting under a unified SSID name, regardless of the placement of secondary nodes throughout the home. In a mesh networking system, all nodes function collaboratively as a unified network, dynamically routing data through the optimal path and offering redundancy in case of node failures. Consequently, as you move within your home, your device seamlessly connects to the nearest mesh WiFi node. The inconvenience of managing multiple SSID names associated with older WiFi range extender units is eliminated.
Today, we will examine the TRENDnet Tri-Band AC2200 WiFi Mesh Router System (TEW-830MDR2K) and evaluate whether it is a worthwhile investment. TRENDnet claims that their system is specifically designed to replace older WiFi routers, extenders, and signal boosters.
TRENDnet's vision is to build innovative, easy to use, and reliable Networks People Trust™. TRENDnet solutions network the countless devices which enable your connected lifestyle and workplace. Building award winning networking solutions since 1990, TRENDnet connects you with what you value most.
Founded in Torrance, California, TRENDnet has grown to become a leading global networking hardware brand. From the network core to the periphery, TRENDnet's expansive product portfolio includes Wireless, Wired, Surveillance, Connectivity, and Peripheral device categories. An emphasis on continual improvement and our ISO 9001:2008 quality management certification is an essential component of TRENDnet’s success. The TRENDnet brand is consistently recognized for exceptional quality, superior performance, and responsive support.
TRENDnet TEW-830MDR2K Product Features
TRENDnet's AC2200 WiFi Mesh Router System is designed to blanket your home or small office in seamless WiFi coverage. The AC2200 WiFi Mesh Router System provides ample coverage for up to a 4,000 square foot home. For larger homes, simply add additional AC2200 WiFi Mesh Routers to thesystem for expanded WiFi coverage.
The WiFi mesh router system uses an intuitive app-based installation process, making setup a breeze using our TRENDnet WiFi Mesh app. In minutes, you'll have your AC2200 WiFi Mesh Router System up and running providing whole home WiFi coverage.
Our WiFi mesh router system also includes cutting-edge content filtering powered by Router Limits™. Router Limits' innovative tools offer an enhanced user experience for device-level scheduling and filtering capabilities. By offering access to these advanced web content filtering and productivity tools, the mesh router system allows you to take control of the Internet, whether it be for your business or your home.
Mesh Made Simple
Mesh Made Simple
Whole Home WiFi Coverage
USB 3.0 Share Port
TRENDnet TEW-830MDR2K Product Specifications
The TRENDnet Tri-Band AC2200 WiFi Mesh Router System (TEW-830MDR2K) arrives in an environmentally friendly packaging, consciously designed to minimize the use of plastic, thereby facilitating recycling processes.
The packaging showcases an eye-catching combination of bright blue and black colors, ensuring its visibility and appeal on store shelves. The front of the box prominently features the dual AC2200 WiFi mesh router system, clearly indicating the model number and highlighting its compatibility with an app for convenient installation. Emphasizing its primary purpose of providing comprehensive WiFi coverage throughout the entire home.
The back and sides of the box provide valuable product information, outlining key features, and presenting essential specifications of the main mesh router. The package contents are also listed, which include 2x TEW-830MDR mesh node units, a quick installation guide, 2x 0.5m (1.6 ft.) network cables, 2x power adapters (12v DC, 1.5A), and wall mount screws and anchors. Notably, the package also includes details about the 24/7 technical support provided and an impressive 3-year warranty, underscoring the manufacturer's commitment to customer satisfaction.
For user convenience, the TRENDnet Mesh app is readily available for download on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of mobile devices.
The TRENDnet TEW-830MDR mesh node units included in this tri-band AC2200 WiFi mesh router system are identical in design. Resembling enlarged hockey pucks, these mesh nodes are crafted in white ABS plastic, exuding a clean and modern aesthetic. Positioned at the top dead center is the TRENDnet logo, adding a subtle branding touch.
The top and sides of the mesh node units feature a glossy plastic finish, providing a sleek appearance, while the bottom has a matte texture for added grip and stability.
At the top front of each unit, there is a single LED indicator that can illuminate in white, orange, or red, indicating various statuses and notifications. Additionally, a pinhole is located on the backside of the unit, serving as a reset button for troubleshooting purposes.
It is worth noting that apart from the hole used for the wall mount system, there are no vent holes present on the unit. During operation, the units can generate noticeable warmth near the connectors. In ambient temperatures of approximately 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), the backside temperature near the connectors was observed to hover around 59 degrees Celsius (138 degrees Fahrenheit), indicating a notable heat output.
The mesh node units are equipped with four connectors. These include the power connector, which requires a 12v DC/1.5A power supply, a Gigabit WAN port for the incoming network connection, a Gigabit LAN port for wired device connections, and a USB 3.0 share port with Samba (Linux) support, facilitating file sharing and peripheral connectivity.
The TEW-830MDR2K mesh router system features a total of six antennas, which are responsible for wireless signal transmission and reception. These antennas are connected to a tri-band Qualcomm WLAN interface, ensuring efficient and reliable wireless communication.
Driving the performance of the mesh router system is a quad-core Qualcomm IPQ4019 CPU, manufactured using a 40nm process. This CPU comprises four ARM Cortex A7 717MHz CPUs, delivering processing power to handle the network operations effectively. Additionally, the system utilizes 2x2 2-stream MIMO technology, further enhancing wireless connectivity performance.
The mesh router system is equipped with 128 MB SLC NAND flash memory, specifically the Spansion S34ML01G200TFV00 model. This storage component facilitates the storage and retrieval of firmware, configuration settings, and other essential data, contributing to the overall functionality of the system.
Setting up the TRENDnet Tri-Band AC2200 WiFi Mesh Router System (TEW-830MDR2K) is a straightforward process that can be easily accomplished using a smartphone or tablet. Here are the steps involved:
By following these steps, you can easily set up and configure the TRENDnet Tri-Band AC2200 WiFi Mesh Router System using the TRENDnet Mesh app, providing seamless WiFi coverage throughout your home.
TRENDnet Mesh App and Router Web Setup Page
Results - How Does It Work?
During my one-month testing period, I found the TRENDnet Tri-Band AC2200 WiFi Mesh Router System (TEW-830MDR2K) to be user-friendly and easy to install using the TRENDnet Mesh App. Most of the configuration and management tasks could be handled through the app, reducing the need to access the web-based router interface for advanced settings.
However, as an entry-level product, it lacked certain features found in other routers, such as the ability to manage bandwidth control for connected devices. I was unable to limit the speed of individual devices, which impacted the overall network experience. Even with the enabled Quality of Service (QoS) function, it was not sufficient for my needs, and I desired more control over bandwidth allocation.
I also noticed some peculiarities in the advanced setup web interface. While the TRENDnet Mesh App offered a WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) option, there was no way to disable it completely in the web interface. Additionally, there was no option to enable or disable explicit or non-explicit beamforming, as it was always enabled by default.
Furthermore, navigating the advanced settings web interface was quite slow, with a delay of approximately 6-7 seconds when switching between tabs and pages.
The TRENDnet Mesh App generally worked well, but I encountered occasional issues where the app would hang, requiring a force close on my Android device, especially when accessing the devices tab. Additionally, when performing a speed test within the app, it would sometimes return to the main menu, necessitating a repeated test to view the results.
When the TEW-830MDR2K mesh router system operated smoothly, it performed admirably. It delivered fast speeds and exhibited excellent performance in close-range scenarios. I noticed significant improvements in reducing lag for my WiFi IP security camera when compared to my previous setup.
The seamless WiFi handoff between different areas of my home was another positive aspect of the mesh system. In WiFi dead spots that were located in the far corners of my 2000 sq. ft. home, I experienced substantial speed increases, with speeds ranging from 50-80 Mbps (out of a possible 150 Mbps), significantly enhancing my browsing experience.
However, I encountered major reliability issues that persisted for several days. During these periods, the TEW-830MDR2K mesh system would slow down significantly, devices would frequently disconnect, and performance would suffer. The mesh system attempted to recover on its own, but I often had to intervene by initiating a total system restart through the app. These problems occurred frequently and impacted various activities, such as streaming videos on YouTube, which would suddenly buffer and interrupt playback.
After extensive troubleshooting and experimentation, I discovered that the mesh nodes were not able to achieve the expected distance between them, despite the TRENDnet Mesh App indicating that they were within the optimum range. Even when placing the nodes 8.2 meters apart (according to a GPS distance meter), the performance remained poor. It was only when I noticed occasional disconnections indicated by a red light in the app that I decided to move the mesh nodes closer together incrementally. Eventually, at a distance of approximately 6.5 meters, most of the reliability issues ceased. I finally had a reasonably reliable mesh system, with speed dips occurring only a few times per week instead of daily.
In my experience, the TRENDnet Tri-Band AC2200 WiFi Mesh Router System (TEW-830MDR2K) exhibited long-distance range issues, unable to achieve the advertised 10-meter distance between mesh nodes, despite what the TRENDnet Mesh App claimed. This limitation may require the addition of a third or fourth node in larger homes. It is possible that TRENDnet could address this through a firmware update, but it remains
to be seen.
Overall, while the TEW-830MDR2K mesh router system showcased some impressive performance, it was marred by reliability issues and limitations in range, particularly in larger homes.
Where Can I Buy One? And For How Much?
The TRENDnet Tri-Band AC2200 WiFi Mesh Router System (TEW-830MDR2K) is readily available for purchase on the Amazon USA platform at a price of $199.99, inclusive of free shipping.
For customers who prefer the convenience and reliability of shopping on Amazon, rest assured that the order will be fulfilled and shipped directly from Amazon's own warehouse, eliminating the involvement of third-party sellers. This not only ensures a safer transaction but also provides the added benefit of Amazon's protection and customer support, offering peace of mind throughout the purchase process.
Why do I like Amazon? They are fast, honest, reliable, and their return policy is great. I actually got money refunded back to my account after Amazon overcharged me on duty costs; talk about being an honest company, most others would keep the money and not say anything!
If you are considering purchasing the TRENDnet Tri-Band AC2200 WiFi Mesh Router System (TEW-830MDR2K) or any other product, we kindly encourage you to utilize the provided Amazon links. Doing so not only supports our website but also contributes to any future contests we may hold through our Facebook page. We greatly appreciate your support, which enables us to continue providing valuable content and services.
Some Amazon Deals That May Interest You!
The performance of the TRENDnet Tri-Band AC2200 WiFi Mesh Router System (TEW-830MDR2K) is commendable when it operates effectively. However, it falls short in terms of reliability, particularly due to its limited long-distance range capabilities. This aspect significantly impacts its overall performance, making it less suitable for larger homes. For customers seeking a mesh router system that offers reliable coverage in spacious residences, exploring alternative options may be more advisable.