Trendnet 54Mbps Wireless G Access Point Tew-430Apb (Blue)
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- Network Interface Fast Ethernet, Ethernet
- Build-in Switch Interface Ethernet
- Build-in Switch Interface Ethernet
- Provides Security with 64/128-Bit WEP,WPA/WPA2 and WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK
- Allow Users to Disable ESSID Broadcast to Increase Wireless Security
TRENDnets TEW-430APB Wireless Access Point is todays link to Wireless Technology. Compliant with the IEEE Wireless Networking Standard 802.11g, it provides Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) operation for transparent bridging and roaming capabilities for wireless nodes. The TEW-430APB also provides WDS bridging functions, allowing users to connect two or more Access Points together, wirelessly. With TRENDnets Wireless Access Point and Wireless Network Adapters, users can connect to Ethernet/Fast Ethernet LAN at home or office to access network resources such as hard drives, CD-ROM/DVD drives, network printers, and Internet connection - with coverage up to 300 meters.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This device seemed to be just what I was looking for: a way to replace a long run of Cat-5 cable with a wireless link. Put the TRENDnet Access Point on the upper floor along with a small hub (the Access Point has only one Ethernet jack), and plug the computer and printer into the hub.
The Access Point offers five modes of operation. The one I expected to use is called "WDS", for Wireless Distribution System. From the user manual, it appears as if this is the mode for just extending a LAN as I wanted to do. I was never able to get this mode of operation to communicate with the Linksys router. The manual is not well written, and the help windows from the Access Point's built in web server are even worse. Using browsers to look at the settings of both the Linksys and the TRENDnet, I verified that everything that I can set was entered correctly: Channel number, SSID, passphrases, MAC addresses, everything. No connection was ever made, in WDS mode.
So I tried "AP + WDS" mode; still nothing worked.
Finally I tried "AP Client" mode, in which (quoting now) "the AP will be a wireless Ethernet adapter transforms any Ethernet-enabled devices to have the wireless function." From the diagram, it would seem that only one device (computer, printer) could be attached. I tried connecting the switch with both computer and printer to the Access Point in this mode, and finally it all works.
Now that it's working, it is doing just what I wanted it to. The new computer can access the internet and share files with the ones downstairs, the downstairs computers can print on the upstairs printer, and so on.
The poor manual and even worse help text really drags this product down. I would have rated it much higher if it hadn't required so much experimentation to get it going.
And here's your tip of the day: ENTER YOUR IP SETTINGS BEFORE CHANGING THE MODE FROM WAP TO AP CLIENT. I ran into a problem where after setting the device as an AP Client, when I muddled around with other settings it outright refused to work. The only cure was to press the reset button and enter my settings from scratch. After I figured this out, I am able to use it as an AP Client using DHCP with zero problems two stories below my wireless router, and on the other side of the building. No problems yet.
Conclusion: It may take some tinkering if you are doing something beyond the default settings, but this device is very capable and a good value.
PS: As another reviewer stated, the product you receive may look nothing like the one pictured. I like the one I received better anyway - no big deal.
To make it a wireless bridge, here are the simple steps:
1. Make sure that IP 192.168.1.100 isn't already being used on your network.
2. Hard wire the device to your network router
3. Connect to the device via 192.168.1.100 in a web browser.
4. Go through the simple four-step wizard to give it a name...etc. (I chose all the defaults.)
5. Go to "Basic Setup"
6. Choose "AP Client"
7. Click the "Site Survey" button and choose your home wireless network. (Make sure your wireless network is broadcasting.)
8. If your home wireless network is secure, enter WEP key or whatever it is secured with.
9. Hit the "Apply" button and you're done...at least I was. It is super simple...once you know how to do it.