TRENDnet TEW-631BRP Router and TEW-621PC PC Card

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At this point in time, it's probably safe to assume that the majority wireless network users are outfitted with some type of 54Mbps solution.  First introduced in 2003, 802.11g has proven its worth as a solid wireless technology for both home and business users alike.  However, as technology advances and the demands for more bandwidth and improved range increase, a new solution is needed as 802.11g has essentially reached its peak in terms of features and capabilities.

To help address the need for better security, longer range and more bandwidth, the powers that be have come up with 802.11n (draft) technology.  "Draft" indicates the technology is proven but has not completed the standardization process, which is slated to occur within the next year or so.  Nonetheless, the design is in place and the proposed standards are clear, allowing manufacturers to start designing and marketing products that offer many of the benefits of the future 802.11n standard.

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So what makes 802.11n (draft) so much better than the popular 802.11g and older 802.11b technology?  In a nutshell, 802.11n brings significantly higher bandwidth (300Mbps peak vs 802.11g's 54Mbps and 802.11b's 11Mbps).  Additonally, the potential range of 802.11n (draft) is nearly double that of 802.11g, helping to increase coverage and maintain a stronger signal through solid objects.

Today, we are going to take a look at two 802.11n (draft) hardware components.  The main focus of our review will be on the TRENDnet TEW-631BRP Firewall Router which brings future 802.11n features to the table as well as backwards compatibility with 802.11b and g.  Second, we have the TEW-621PC Wireless CardBus which is a PCMCIA add-on that helps laptops enjoy full 300Mbps capabilities when used in conjunction with a router like the TEW-631BRP.  By combining the two in our test environment, we'll be able to demonstrate the advantages of 300Mbps over 54Mbps WiFi as well as spotlight the features each product brings to the table.

TRENDnet TEW-631BRP Firewall Router & TEW-621PC Wireless CardBus
Wireless 300Mbps Capable

TRENDnet TEW-631BRP Firewall Router
Standards Wired:
IEEE 802.3 (10Base-T)
IEEE 802.3u (100Base-TX)
Wireless:
IEEE 802.11b
IEEE 802.11g
IEEE 802.11n (draft) 
 WAN:
1 x 10/100Mbps Auto-MDIX Port (Internet)
LAN:
4 x 10/100Mbps Auto-MDIX Port
Slide Switch:
Turn On/Off Wireless LAN
Config Button:
Reserved for WPS function use
Connection Type:
Dynamic IP, Static (Fixed) IP, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP
NAT Firewall:
4K ~ 16K Configurable NAT entries; Restricted NAPT
IP Ranges, Port Ranges & Schedule
Pre-Defined Game Hosting Configurations
Port Triggering for 64 Special Applications
ALG Support – RTP/RTSP, AOL, FTP, ICMP, WMP/MMS, NetMeeting, SIP
ALG Enable/Disable
SPI Firewall:
Up to 64 Rules
Cyber Attack Protection – Verified Against Over 2000 Attacks
Multicast Stream:
Enable/Disable control support
UPnP:
UPnP IGD Compliant
DMZ:
DMZ Host, 64 Configurable Virtual Servers & Game Servers
DNS:
Static or WAN assigned DNS Servers8 Verified Services for DDNS
Internet Access Control:
Policy Based Parental Controls
Time Based Internet Access
Port Range/Service Filtering
URL Filtering
Inbound Filter
20 User Defined Schedules
20 MAC Address Filter Entries
LED Indicator Power:
LAN1~LAN4, WAN, WLAN
Power Adapter:
12V DC, 1A External Power Adapter
Power Consumption:
6W @ 12VDC
Dimension:
(L x W x H)
180 x 122 x 30 mm
6.8 x 4.6 x 1.1 inches
Weight:
350g (0.8 lb)
Temperature Operation:
0°~ 40°C (32°F~ 104°F)    
Storage:
-20°~ 60°C (-4°F~140 °F) 
 Humidity:
Max. 90% (Non-Condensing)
Certifications:
CE, FCC
Wireless:
Frequency 2.412 ~ 2.462 GHz (FCC)
2.412 ~ 2.472 GHz (ETSI)
Antenna:
3 x 4dBi Fixed Dipole Antenna
Data Rate:
802.11b: 11Mbps, 5.5Mbps, 2Mbps, and 1Mbps
802.11g: 54Mbps, 48Mbps, 36Mbps, 24Mbps, 18Mbps, 12Mbps, 9Mbps and 6Mbps
802.11n (draft): up to 300Mbps

 Media Access Protocol:
CSMA/CA with ACK
Security Encryption:
Hardware AES/TKIP, 64/128-bit WEP (Hex/Passphrase)
WPA: WPA/WPA2(EAP/802.1x), WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK
SSID Broadcast Control 
 Output Power:
802.11b: 18dBm (typical)
802.11g: 15dBm (typical)
802.11n (draft): 14dBm (typical) with HT20 & HT40
Receiving Sensitivity:
802.11b: -84dBm (typical) @ 11mpbs
802.11g: -72dBm (typical) @ 54Mbps
802.11n (draft) : -70dBm (typical) with HT40
Channels:
1~ 11 (US), 1~13 (EU)

TEW-621PC Wireless CardBus
Interface:
32-Bit
3.3V
CardBus Type II Card
Standards:
IEEE 802.11b
IEEE 802.11g
IEEE 802.11n (draft) 
LED:
Indicator Power, Link
Power Consumption:
Receive Mode: 600mA(max)
Transmit Mode: 690mA(max)
Supported OS
Windows 2000/XP
Dimensions:
(LxWxH)
114 x  54 x 3mm
 4.3 x 2.1 x 0.13 inches
Weight:
40g (1.3oz)
Temperature Operating:
0° ~ 40° C
32° ~ 104° F
Storage:
-25° ~ 70° C
-13° ~ 158° F
Humidity:
10% ~ 90%max (Non-condensing)
Emissions:
FCC, CE 
 Wireless Module Technique:
802.11b: CCK (11 and 5.5Mbps), DQPSK (2Mbps), DBPSK (1Mbps)
802.11g: OFDM with BPSK, QPSK and 16/64-QAM sub-Carrier modulations
Antenna:
Built-in 3 PCB Antennas
Frequency:
2.412 ~ 2.484 GHz  
Media Access Protocol:
CSMA/CA
Data Rate (auto fallback)
802.11b: 11Mbps, 5.5Mbps, 2Mbps, and 1Mbps
802.11g: 54Mbps, 48Mbps, 36Mbps, 24Mbps, 18Mbps, 12Mbps, 9Mbps and 6Mbps
802.11n (draft) : up to 300Mbps*
Output Power:
802.11b: 18dBm (typical)
802.11g: 15dBm (typical)
802.11n (draft) : 14dBm (typical) with HT20 & HT40
Receiving Sensitivity:
802.11b: -84dBm (typical) @ 11mpbs
802.11g: -72dBm (typical) @ 54Mbps
802.11n (draft) : -70dBm (typical) with HT40 
 Encryption:
64/128-bit WEP (Hex & ASCII), WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK
Channels:
1~11 (US), 1~13 (EU)


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