Top positive review
44 people found this helpful
Ugly, cheap, does the job well
on 12 February 2012
I bought one of these to install in my parents' house as the old wireless router had conked out. As soon as I had selected the ISP (PlusNet - useless shower) from a dropdown list and entered the username and password in the right place it got itself online immediately with no bother. I note the problems one reviewer had trying to get the mini-cd to work in their mac. I never bothered using the CD, except when I need to check some stuff in the manual - AFAIK nobody actually needs it.
Admittedly the packaging is misleading because there's a big sticker blocking the LAN ports with a label urging you to 'run the CD first'. I've installed these things often enough to know you don't need to run any CD at all, you just login to 192.168.1.1 (usually) with your browser. If you do run the CD, you often get the bloated monster that is Internet Explorer blundering its way onto your desktop demanding to be made your default browser and asking you all sort of dumb questions about your surfing preferences... sorry, bit of a rant there. Bottom line - ignore the sticker over the ports.
Secondly, I was amazed to find that the firmware needed updating. I needed to use a fixed-IP address on the network and although I went through all the router's rather obscure and acronym-riddled menus I could not find the routine for fixing an IP address to one MAC address anywhere. Either TP had called it something else or it simply didn't exist, but as soon as I had updated the firmware the option appeared on Page One of the setup. Clearly I am not the only user who got lost in the menus looking for the blasted thing. Amazing that they ever issued a model that did not have that vital function from firmware v1.0.
Once up and running I found the router fairly powerful - though with two aerials I frankly expected a rather stronger signal - but very quick to respond and reboot, which was a pleasant change. I was surprised to find the wireless signal switched on with no security by default. That is not good practice.
It's fantastic value for money though. I would have liked a USB port, with the potential to plug a printer into it making it effectively a networked printer spooler, but for £32 you can't really complain.
I'd give it five stars, but minus one star for (a) forcing me to waste forty minutes looking though the interface for a function that did not exist in that version of the firmware (b) filling the menus with acronyms I'd never heard of (wth is ACL?) and (c) putting a sticker over the ports telling me I needed to run the CD when I didn't.