We recently looked at the Tenda W300D ADSL2+ wireless router, which offered little more than the basics for an 802.11n wireless network, but at a price low enough to tempt anyone. It was sadly let down by poor performance and a terrible administration interface. So here's the Tenda W307R, and we're hoping for better.

The specifications and size of the Tenda W307R look very similar to the older router, except its intended for cable connections rather than ADSL. We're interested to see how its performance compares, since at just £18, it's incredibly affordable for a router offering 802.11n wireless networking.??Unfortunately many of the problems with the W300D have carried over to the W307R.

For instance the web-based administration interface remains badly constructed, with some poor design choices. It uses ugly compressed images, confusing labelling and looks more like an amateur attempt at web design than a professional product. ??Tenda still doesn't have much presence in Europe, and the company relies on its English-language Chinese website. On the side of the box the only support number is Chinese, and the company address is listed in Shenzhen.

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Two black external antennas are attached to the router. It lacks gigabit ethernet, bu features four 100Mbps LAN ports at the back, and a single WAN port. There are no extras such as USB 2.0, although there is a Wireless Protected Setup (WPS) button.

Once you find the correct heading, most of the usual settings can be found, albeit without some of the more advanced options. The W307R lists basic QoS, port forwarding, a virtual server, and WPA2 wireless encryption. This covers most features many users will need from a router.

Despite the W307R's software and external appearance being the same as its poorly performing sibling, the W300D, in testing we noticed significantly better transfer speeds from the W307R.

At a distance of 1m it achieved a transfer rate of 78Mbps, and at 10m, through two thick walls, it managed 35Mbps. This is much better than the 57Mbps and 22Mbps we recorded under identical conditions with the W300D. Since this is one of the cheapest routers around, that's impressive, considering others costmore cannot match these speeds.

Tenda W307R: Specs

  • 802.11b/g/n wireless
  • 2.4GHz SSID frequency
  • 4 x 10/100Mbps LAN port
  • 1 x 10/100 WAN port
  • WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK wireless security
  • 172 x 110 x 31mm
  • 900g
  • 802.11b/g/n wireless
  • 2.4GHz SSID frequency
  • 4 x 10/100Mbps LAN port
  • 1 x 10/100 WAN port
  • WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK wireless security
  • 172 x 110 x 31mm
  • 900g

OUR VERDICT

There's only so much you can ask from a product that costs this little. While Tenda doesn't offer all the extras of its competitors, the Tenda W307R is an excellent cable router for anyone who just wants a basic wireless network setup.

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