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Wireless Reviews

Internal Details

Internally, the TEW-633GR contains the same main components as the DIR-655—namely a Vitesse VSC7385 switch, a Ubicom 5160 processor, and an Atheros 5416 baseband/MAC chip and AR2133 3x3 MIMO 2.4 GHz radio (AR5008 series). Some of these details can be seen in the internal board picture in Figure 3.

The board doesn't use any heatsinks, just the small thermal patch on top of the processor. Most other routers in this class use large metal heatsink plates that are thermally connected to the processor, switch and sometimes radio section.

Since draft 802.11n radios and gigabit switches tend to run hot, reliability and stability could be an issue with the TEW-633GR. So you may want to use the supplied base to stand the router up vertically, which helps cooling airflow, don't stack it with other components and keep it away from heat sources.

Internal view
Click to enlarge image

Figure 3: Internal board view of the TEW-633GR

Check out the slideshow See this slideshow for more construction details.

Figure 4 shows the board found in the 633GR's companion card, the TEW-621PC, which is a rebadged U-Media WCB-370A. The 621PC V1.0R card uses the same Atheros chips found in the router and is Wi-Fi Draft 2.0 802.11n Certified. Note, however, that there is also a V2.0R card in distribution, which uses a Ralink chipset and is not Wi-Fi Certified.

Card internal view
Click to enlarge image

Figure 4: Internal board view of the TEW-621PC

Routing Features

As previously noted, the TEW-633GR's features are similar to the DIR-655 and other D-Link Ubicom-based routers. So in this review, I'll just mention some highlights. To explore the 633GR's options in more detail, check out the configuration emulator at TRENDnet's website.

Figure 5, below, shows the 633GR's Advanced > Firewall menu.

Firewall settings
Click to enlarge image

Figure 5: Advanced Firewall settings menu
  • WAN support—includes static, DHCP, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, and BigPond. All types support MAC cloning and MTU configuration.

  • Advanced > MAC Address Filter—filters wired and/or wireless clients, has an allow/deny option, and has an option to copy your PC's MAC address, as well as an option to copy the address of connected DHCP computers.

  • Advanced > Access Control—includes a nice wizard to guide you though adding and configuring a policy. You can filter by computer, time, IP address, traffic type, or just log access.

  • Advanced > Web Filter—uses an allow-only model, which is not as useful as an allow/deny choice. You must enter all websites allowed, and then configure an access control policy that utilizes web filtering.

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