TRENDnet TEW-691GR 450Mbps Wireless N Gigabit Router Review

Wired Tests
Once again, I used LAN Speed Test for the wired tests. I sent 50MB data chunks 100 times. This process was ran 5 times and data was collected from each run. As with the wireless tests, I put together a bunch of stats from the collected data.

The max read I was able to achieve was 844Mbps (105.5MBps). Max write was 717Mbps (89.625MBps), and averages were 709Mbps (write), 797Mbps (read). However, I believe the median paints a better picture than average in this case. Three of the five tests had read speeds over 800Mbps, because of this, the median read is 823Mbps.

All of these numbers are great, but how well does the router perform under load?

Stress Test
I wanted to see how much I could throw at the router until performance degraded. So I set up a pretty simple test case. I’d have my desktop and laptop send 90MB data chunks back and forth 100 times over Gigabit links, I’d stream 1080p HD content from my server to my Xbox 360, I’d download a movie from the PlayStation Network on my PS3, and I’d stream Shoutcast, Pandora, and YouTube to my iPhone over the wireless – all at the same time! This test put data on each of the router’s Ethernet ports, including WAN and Wi-Fi. So how’d the TEW-691GR do? Exceptionally well! Transfer speeds over the Gigabit links were blazing fast, my 1080p HD streaming movie never buffered or slowed down, and my download on PSN chugged right along. The wireless was a bit slow when streaming a video from YouTube. However, Shoutcast and Pandora worked just fine. If I had to award a grade to the TEW-691GR for the stress test, I’d give it an A-.

TRENDnet TEW-691GR 450Mbps Wireless N Gigabit Router

Things I Didn’t Get To Test

Three Or More Concurrent Connections To Xbox Live
If you’re into Xbox 360 LAN Parties, you may know that every router does not play nice with Xbox Live. Here’s a quick scenario:

Persons A, B & C are all going to connect to the same router with 3 different Xbox’s, and each is expecting to connect to Xbox Live. Persons A & B get setup first, and successfully log in. Person C eventually gets set up, tries to log in and one of two things will happen:

  1. Person C successfully connects to Xbox Live but arbitrarily bumps person A or B off of Xbox Live.
  2. Person C cannot connect to Xbox Live whatsoever.

This is a big issue when all you want to do is play some games. If this situation occurs with your router, you can try to upgrade the firmware. Other than that, there isn’t much you can do. Microsoft has a list of supported routers on the Xbox website, TRENDnet TEW-691GR is not listed. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t work, it just means that the Xbox team hasn’t tested it. And like the Xbox team, I haven’t tested it either. The TEW-691GR might handle up to four concurrent Xbox Live connections without a hitch, or it may not.