Software and Setup
To help make the setup process go as smoothly as possible, TRENDnet utilizes a simple step by step wizard to walk the user through proper installation of the hardware. While advanced users may find this too simplistic, for the average consumer it's the perfect no nonesense approach...when it works. The simplest item to setup was the TEW-621PC Wireless CardBus. We inserted the disk and a followed the onscreen instructions and the card was installed successfully. There was really little to it and, ideally, users should download the latest drivers from the website rather than run the CD installer. The TRENDnet TEW-631BRP Firewall Router was a bit more involved, so we'll focus more attention on this process.
Upon inserting the setup CD, we began the wizard, following each step to the letter. First, you must have your computer connected to your Internet connection which the wizard than polls, collecting key information such as the modem's IP and DNS information. Once the connection has been confirmed, the wizard walks you through configuring your network cables so that the PC connects to the router and the router to your broadband modem. The final step of the wizard attempts to confirm the process completed, which is when our troubles began.
At the end of the installation, rather than seeing a prompt indicating that the installation completed successfully, the wizard threw and error message stating that it did not detect a supported TRENDnet router. After following the suggestions on screen and confirming everything was configured properly, we then tried again and the process ended with the same message. This was frustrating, as one would expect that if we had an improper router installed, we would get this message in the beginning of the process, not toward the end, after we went through the trouble of connecting the wiring as instructed. After several failed attempts, we opted to cancel the wizard and access the web client for manual configuration as outlined in the troubleshooting section of the Quick Installation Guide. But upon loading the page, we found that we could not log in with the default 'admin/admin' credentials outlined in the Quick Installation Guide either. Feeling a bit frustrated, we determined that this was a good time to test TRENDnet's technical support service.
Upon connecting to a representative, we clearly explained the issues and provided the specific error message; "error: 112 incorrect router". At this point we were immediately instructed to open a browser window and to tell the rep if the page had loaded - which it did. At this point he stated to me that he did not see what the problem was, as the router was working. Aside from the fact that he did not address the error message I was seeing, and that a 'working router' in its defaul configuration has its wireless security features disable, we advised the support representative that we were unable to access the web configuration page with the information printed in the manual. It turns out, the default password is <blank>, not "admin" as stated in the Quick Installation Guide. In the end, the support agent ultimately had the right answers, however, we did feel some degree of condescention in his approach. In the end, while we were able to move forward with the use of the TRENDnet TEW-631BRP Firewall Router, we hope TRENDnet revisits this and makes certain steps are taken to avoid this type of error and that their product documentation is updated as well to help avoid unnecessary support calls.