Event Coverage

HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2012: Editor's Choice - Part 2

By Team HardwareZone - 2 Mar 2012

Best 802.11n Dual-band Wireless Router

Best 802.11n Dual-band Wireless Router

Router manufacturers were engaged in heated race back in 2011, not the Nascar kind, but to be the first to deliver 450Mbps speeds on dual wireless bands. Some managed to deliver theoretical speeds of 450Mbps exclusively on the 5GHz spectrum like Belkin's N750DB, while others like Trendnet managed to gain an edge with 450Mbps ratings on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. ASUS didn't make it in time for our award qualifications this year, for their RT-N66U was released in March 2012 after our qualifying period was over. So before the next-generation 802.11ac routers rolls around, here are a selection of true dual-band 802.11n routers which made it to our Editor's Choice nomination round. 


  • Belkin N750 DB
  • Buffalo AirStation AG300H
  • Cisco Linksys E4200
  • Edimax BR-6475nD
  • Trendnet TEW-692GR

And The Winner Is...

Trendnet TEW-692GR - Fiber users or those looking for a media router would appreciate the 692GR's awesome and stable performance on the 5GHz band. Long range results on its 2.4GHz downlink band didn't impress us, although its uplink throughput produced more practical numbers even at the 25m mark.

Trendnet's TEW-692GR is observably the dark horse in this race with credit to its 450Mbps ratings on both bands. This is also a marked improvement over its 691GR predecessor. Design wise, Trendnet has relocated its three external antennas to the top, probably to remove clutter on its back panel. The 692GR features Gigabit ports and a WPS button, but like the Edimax 6475nD, it does not offer any USB features. In other words, printer and data sharing via USB are a no-go. We don't see it as a major shortcoming however. There are no text labels for its 2.4GHz and 5GHz LEDs although they are highlighted in green and blue respectively.

It isn't easy to strike a perfect balance when it comes to a router's web interface, but Trendnet has managed to design a user-friendly and yet comprehensive UI to pander to both novices and enthusiasts. Apart from its web browser interface, the 692GR also comes with two wizards - Internet Connection Setup Wizard and Wireless Security Setup Wizard - which you may use at your own convenience. As for Internet connection types, the 692GR supports five modes: Static IP Address Connection, DHCP Connection (for Dynamic IP Addresses), PPPoE, L2TP and PPTP clients. Other perks of the 692GR includes an Application Level Gateway, Virtual Server (enables you to define a single public port for redirections), Access Control (prohibits specific clients from accessing certain web services), UPnp support, Port Triggering, and an Inbound Filter. Besides offering up to four discrete SSIDs, the 2.4GHz band also supports up to thirteen selectable channels while the 5GHz band supports four.

In terms of transfer speeds, this router is notably the fastest among the five contenders. On the 5GHz band, it only required 1 minute and 39 seconds (99 seconds) to push a 1GB file across a range of 2 meters. Its performance on the 2.4GHz band was equally impressive with a timing of 2 minutes and 26 seconds (146 seconds). Apart from its less desirable throughput at 25 meters, the 692GR was pretty deadly at close range. On the 5GHz band, it managed to clock an average downstream throughput of 109Mbps at 2 meters, and 82Mbps at 10 meters. Another asset of the 692GR is its lossless streaming performance at all test points. All things considered, we believe that S$179 is a reasonable price to pay for a reliable and efficient router. And it certainly deserves a top spot on our Tech Awards' list.

Scoring Breakdown
 Criteria/Model Belkin N750 DB Buffalo AirStation AG300H Cisco Linksys E4200 Edimax BR-6475nD Trendnet TEW-692GR
Physique 9.0 8.5 9.0 8.0 8.5
Features 8.5 8.5 8.5 8.5 8.5
Performance 8.0 7.5 8.5 8.5 9.0
User-Friendliness 8.5 8.0 8.5 8.5 9.0
Value 7.5 8.5 7.5 8.5 9.0
Overall 8.0 8.0 8.5 8.5 9.0
Price S$229 S$169 S$269 S$155 S$179

For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.

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