Tenda AC15 AC1900 Dual-Band WiFi Router Review
By Julian Duque
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Tenda.
It used to be a pretty well understood fact that merging to the 802.11ac wireless standard was an expensive task, with just the thought about having to replace both your router and wireless card made anyone’s wallet shudder, but that was back in 2013. Come back, three years in the future, and we encounter devices like the one Benchmark Reviews has in it’s hands today. The Tenda AC15 AC1900 Router is not only AC capable, but it features a Broadcom’s BCM4708 Wi-Fi chipset capable of delivering speeds of up to 1300 Mbps over the 5 Ghz band. Astonishingly, it comes at only $87.99, which is the lowest price tag we have ever encountered on any AC1900 router.
To give you some contrast, let’s talk about something you have probably heard off during the past days relating to wireless connectivity. Google’s OnHub Wireless has become essentially the most talked about router during 2015, featuring things like 13 “high-performance” antennas, seamless control through a mobile app, speakers and ambient lights, a design that resembles a Mac Pro waste basket. and yes, speeds up to 1300 Mbps over the 5 Ghz band which is exactly the same as Tenda’s offering for more than twice of the AC15’s price. But in Google’s defense, the OnHub is targeted to a much difference audience. The Tenda AC15 is probably not going to blend with your furniture if it was set in the middle of your living room, and is probably not going to be configured through a Bluetooth enabled smartphone. Yet, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they both performed equally as well.
AC1900 vs AC1750
Although both of these standards have been out for quite some time, I think it is time to revisit their differences briefly. In a simple sentence we can simply sum up that AC1900 routers using Broadcoms’ BCM4360, BCM4708, and BCM4709 SoCs use a classic 3×3 5G WiFi 802.11ac Gigabit Transceiver for both the 5 Ghz and 2.4 Ghz bands. Meanwhile, all AC1750 routers use an 802.11ac device for the 5 Ghz radio and an older 802.11n for the 2.4 Ghz radio. Broadcom achieved this by tweaking it’s drivers to enable 256-QAM modulation and coding when using both bands, allowing the 2.4 Ghz radio a maximum 40 Mhz bandwidth which allows a maximum 600 Mbps transfer speeds, and labelled it “TurboQAM”. Now, this does not mean that you can upgrade your AC1750 router to AC1900 with a simple firmware update. As noted earlier, this tweak only works because of an upgraded transceiver that has 802.11ac capabilities over both radios.
Features & Specifications
Courtesy of Tendacn.com
|Internet Connection Type||Dynamic IP, Static IP, PPPoE|
|Dynamic IP, Static IP, PPPoE||IEEE 802.11ac/a/n 5GHz, IEEE 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz|
|Interface||1*10/100/1000Mbps WAN, port 3* 10/100/1000Mbps LAN ports, 1* USB3.0 port|
|Antenna||3*3dBi external dual band antennas|
|Frequency||Works over 2.4G and 5G concurrently|
|LED||1*Power, 1*Internet, 3*LAN, 1*5G, 1*2.4G, 1*WPS, 1*USB, 1*SYS|
|Button||1*Power on/off, 1*WiFi on/off, 1* Reset button,1* WPS button|
|Power Input||100-240V—50/60Hz 0.3A|
|Dimension||8.9 x 7.07 x 3.02 in (226 x 179.5 x 76.6mm)|
|Operating Mode||Wireless router mode, WISP mode, Universal repeater mode|
|VPN Pass-through||IPsec pass through, PPTP pass through, L2TP pass through, PPTP server, PPTP client, L2TP client|
|USB Sharing||Samba, FTP Server, Media Server, Printer Server|
|Other Function||Smart WiFi Schedule, Smart Power Saving, Smart LED on/off , Tenda Cloud Tenda App|
|Default Settings||Default Access: tendawifi.com|
|Transmission Rate||1900Mbps(5GHz: Up to 1300Mbps, 2.4GHz: Up to 600Mbps)|
|Security||WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK, WPA/WPA2, Wireless Security: Enable/Disable, WPS fast encryption|
|Certification||CE, FCC, RoHS, BSMI, NCC, EAC, C-tick, IC|
|Package Content||AC1900 Smart Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Router, Stand, Power Adapter, Install Guide, Ethernet Cable|
|Temperature||Operating Environment:0~40 ;Storage Environment:-40?~70?|
|Humidity||Operating Environment:10%~90% RH non-condensing ;Storage Environment:5%~90% RH non-condensing|