Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
- Price, Easy setup using CD-ROM
- Lack of wireless, Confusing Web interface
Although some may be put off by the lack of any wireless functionality, the TD-8840 is fine for those on a budget requiring an ADSL2+ modem and home
Price$ 59.00 (AUD)
If you want a no frills ADSL2+ modem without many -- if any -- bells and whistles, the TP-Link TD-8840 could be just what you're looking for. Also acting as a 4-port router, the 8840 can have you and your home network connected to the Internet in a matter of minutes. By using the provided CD-ROM software, connecting to your service provider can be completed in a few clicks of your mouse, and the entering of your username and password.
Not so good is the Web interface for users wanting to manually set up their connection. In fact, upon logging into the Web administration, a "quick setup" wizard is not even available. To insert your ADSL username and password, one has to navigate through a confusing menu system, drilling down through the Advanced menu and then having to work through the DSL wizard before finally being presented with the required page. On the plus side, the Web interface is fast to load, and rebooting the TD-8840 is a quick process.
TheTD-8840 uses the Broadcom BCM6338 chip, and was easily upgradeable by downloading and installing the available firmware updates. Download speeds averaged around the 12Mbps range -- consistent with other ADSL2+ modems recently tested on our Test Centre connection, apart from The D-Link DSL-2740B that blew all competition away with its results.
The one glaring omission to the TD-8840 is any wireless connectivity. Many home networks these days include at least one notebook or wireless device, and who wouldn't rather be siting in the lounge watching Home and Away whilst surfing the Net instead of the dingy old spare bedroom, aka home office.
The TD-8840 comes equipped with basic security settings, allowing the administrator to set up rudimentary parental controls and IP filtering. Setting up daily Internet access times is a breeze (although timeframes cannot be differed for individual days), but blocking both the incoming and outgoing IP addresses is not for novices -- something that should be easy is made difficult by options that cannot be described as "user-friendly". Although included, these security settings are no replacement for a good security software application on your PC.
Port forwarding, also known as virtual servers, can be configured using either the large list of predefined settings (from a variety of games through to private Web servers) or by manually inserting your own settings.
Also Included with the TD-8840 is a line splitter -- a requirement for anyone that wants to use the home phone and Internet from one phone jack -- RJ45 and CAT5e cables, user manual and software CD-ROM.
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