Trendnet TEW-818DRU Dual Band Wireless Router review: A powerful Wi-Fi router with a friendly price tag

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Design and ease of use: 8.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 9.0
  • Service and support: 8.0

Average User Rating

1.5 stars 1 user review
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The top-tier Trendnet TEW-818DRU AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router is fast, easy to use, and comparatively affordable.

The Bad The router doesn't recognize most portable drives plugged into its USB ports, and there's no wall-mounting option.

The Bottom Line With top performance and friendly pricing, the Trendnet TEW-818DRU is a excellent choice for those wanting a robust home network.

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The TEW-818DRU AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router is Trendnet's first in the increasingly popular crowd of AC1900 Wi-Fi routers. A little late to the game, but it turns out it's worth the wait.

In my testing, the Trendnet was among the three fastest routers on the market, with great range and an excellent Wi-Fi signal. On the downside, the router's USB ports didn't work well with portable drives, and there's no wall-mounting option.

In all, at the current street price of $180, the Trendnet TEW-818 is a formidable contender to the other best home wireless routers on the market, such as the $220 Asus RT-AC68U or the $200 Netgear R7000, thanks to its equally excellent performance and much friendlier pricing. It's still not cheap, and most home users might not need this level of Wi-Fi performance. But if you can afford it, faster speed never hurts. For more good 802.11ac router options, check out the alternatives on this list.

The TEW-818DRU is a straightforward AC1900 router.
The TEW-818DRU is a straight forward AC1900 router. Dong Ngo/CNET

Design and ease of use
The new TEW-818DRU looks exactly the same as its predecessor, the TEW-812DRU, taking the internal antenna route. The new router looks like a thick book standing in its vertical orientation. It's a little light for this position, however, which means it can topple quite easily, and unfortunately you can't mount it to a wall.

But if you can look past that, there's a lot to like about the router's straightforward design. On the front, it has an array of LED indicator lights showing the statuses of the ports on the back, as well as Internet, the power, and the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) option. I like these lights since just by a glance, one can quickly find out what's going on. On the back, the router has one USB 3.0 port and one for 2.0, four Gigabit LAN ports, and one Gigabit WAN port. There's also a tiny WPS button that initiates the two-minute window in which other WPS-enabled clients can connect to the router's Wi-Fi networks. All of these ports and buttons are easily accessible.

To get the router to work, all you have to do is plug it into a power source and connect its WAN port to an Internet source, such as a broadband modem. The router comes with its default information and settings on it printed on its bottom as well as on a label attached to it. This information includes the two networks (one for each frequency band) and their passwords, and that's all you need to use the router immediately.

Should you want to customize the router's settings and features, the label also contains the default information to log in to the router's Web interface. To do this from a connected computer, point a browser to the router's default IP address, which is 192.168.10.1, and access its Web interface. Check out this How To post on setting up a router for more information.

In all, the TEW-812DRU is very easy to use; you can expect to get it up and running in less then 10 minutes after removing it from the box.

The TEW-818DRU comes with a more refined Web interface that's, for the most part, well organized and responsive.
The TEW-818DRU comes with a more refined Web interface that's, for the most part, well organized and responsive. Dong Ngo/CNET

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Weight 13.9 oz
  • Data Transfer Rate 1.3 Gbps
  • Connectivity Technology wired