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Networking

Hardware

Tenda W300D review

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Chinese networking manufacturer Tenda has only recently begun selling its products in the UK, and doesn’t even have a dedicated UK website. At £30, the W300D ADSL 2+ modem/wireless router is one of its least expensive models.

It lacks the bells and whistles of many routers, such as gigabit Ethernet, dual-band wireless or a USB port. However the essentials are all there, including 802.11n wireless, and it works surprisingly well.

An area where corners have obviously been cut is the onboard web interface, which lacks attention to detail. The images are of terrible quality, and many of the translations are inaccurate. However, most functions you’ll need are in the menus, such as QOS, a firewall and all the necessary wireless security settings. However, most of the labelling is not particularly descriptive.

The W300D only comes with two antennas, while the 802.11n specification allows for more, to allow for increased transfer speeds and range. This is one reason its wireless performance wasn’t as good as some of the other routers we tested, although not by much. While at short range, the W300D only managed 57Mbps, the long range transfer averaged 22Mbps, which was not the slowest speed we saw. Considering the router’s incredibly low price, those speeds aren’t bad.

It was also quite easy to set up, although we had to go through some trial and error to understand which options were right for our DSL line. Once we found them though, we entered all the details of our static IP connection, it connected first time and remained stable.

Although the W300D offers nothing more than the basics, its low price makes it a worth considering for anyone who wants an upgrade from an existing 802.11g wireless router. That said, TP-Link’s W8961ND is superior in every way, and it comes with more extras including gigabit Ethernet, better transfer speeds and range. Since it’s only slightly more expensive we would choose it over the W300D.



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