The TRENDnet TEW-631BRP Firewall Router
Web Configuration Overview
Once we were able to access the web configuration page for the TRENDnet TEW-631BRP Firewall Router, we were able to access a whole host of basic and advanced features. In fact, we found the pages to be quite substantial with an easy to follow flow, providing access to a plethora of settings and options. There are simply too many items to list individually, but we'll try to break it down in a concise overview.
The menu is broken up into five distinct sections; Basic, Advanced, Tools, Status and Help. The Basic section is divided into three sections itself; Internet, Wireless and Network Settings. The Internet segment provides access to the Internet Connection Wizard or Manual Configure page. Further into the Setup Wizard, an Internet Connection Setup Wizard walks you through setting the password, Time Zone, Internet Settings and saving changes while a Wireless Security Setup Wizard guides the user through naming the network, setting the security features and setting a security password. The Wireless section offers options to set basic wireless settings such as On/Off, Network Name, 802.11 mode (mixed or specific combinations of 802.11b, g and n), Channel Width, Transmission Rate and Visibility. The section ends with the Wireless Security Mode which offers WEP, WPA Personal and WPA Enterprise encryption. When we moved to the Network Settings page, we found more options pertaining to Router Settings, such as IP address and Subnet Mask, and DHCP Server Settings for setting IP ranges, Lease Times and a status of what machines are connected to the network. TRENDnet even offers RIP (Router Information Protocol) management, including options for Operating Modes and other settings.
The Advanced section is the place for further configuration options not covered by basic setup. This area is broken into 12 subsections covering a wide arrange of settings needed to fine tune the router for the user's specific needs. The Virtual Server page provides the ability to host a server on your network, directing certain traffic to the internal IP address of your choosing. The Special Applications page provides control for opening various ports or ranges for port forwarding. By default, the unit allows several IP phone ports and protocols to pass, but many more options can be set by the user. The Gaming section is similar to Special Applications, where a port or range of ports and protocols can be set for a particular PC, providing further control pertaining to inbound traffic rules. The Stream Engine page is interesting. This section allows you to prioritize network traffic from a specified PC to help improve reaction time with respect to online gaming.
There are more sections for configuring static routes in the Routing sections while Access Control, Web Filter and Mac Address Filter all provide control over who can access what on the network. The Firewall page provides detailed control over various areas, such as NAT (Network Address Translation) Endpoint Filtering, DMZ host and Application Level Gateway Configuration which lets you target what the firewall intercepts, for example, PPTP, Windows Messenger, FTP and SIP to name a few. Under the Advanced Wireless page, Transmit Power, Beacon Period and other setting give further control over the wireless signal. Lastly, the Advanced Network page provides control over port speeds (10Mbps, 100Mbps or both), the ability to disable WAN ping response and to turn on UPnP capability.
The Tools page provides access to password settings, Firmware updating, Email Notification when an alert condition occurs and other advanced features too long to list. The Status page provides a one stop look at the unit's status, including Time and Date, WAN, LAN and Wireless LAN settings and what IPs are currently connected to the network. Finally, we have the Help section which breaks down every option we covered and more in clear detail. Each item in the Help is followed by a brief definition of the feature and often includes expected behavior if a certain option is enabled, disabled or changed. As a whole, the Help was useful, which is paramount in a situation like this, where the TEW-631BRP offers so much control and so many options.