Trendnet has been making networking products for a while now, so when I had the opportunity to test drive some of their gear, I was excited. The company sent over several items to check out. Although the AC2600 MU-MIMO WiFi Router is already three years old, it’s still widely considered one of the best WiFi routers out there, especially for gaming and esports.
We set everything up and put it to the test to see if this powerhouse WiFi router still has what it takes to shine in today’s market.
Trendnet AC2600 Specs and Design
At only $100, AC2600 is a steal in today’s market – putting it at the high range of low-end pricing, but it’s still lightning fast. It supports all 802.11ac wireless technologies, including Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO), which is a godsend to anyone who regularly streams, games, or otherwise uses multiple devices at one time.
Four high-gain antennas ensure you get a great signal anywhere in the house, and beamforcing, combined with Qualcomm’s StreamBoost bandwidth management creates a powerful device. Each antenna is detachable if you don’t need them.
AC2600 is relatively standard in size, at 7.1 x 9.8 x 1.8 inches, but it still has connections for four wired Ethernet and one USB 3.0 device.
Trendnet AC2600 Usability
While the GUI is a bit clunky, there’s a lot of personalization available in the AC2600. Security settings can be adjusted for both wireless and wired connections, guest network set up, and VPN programmed directly in to the router. There are options for FTP file sharing and both iTunes and DNLA media server capabilities.
Combined with my NAS, I found it easy enough to set everything up, secure the network, and get a few smarthome and other network-enabled devices connected. While external internet speeds were certainly admirable, in-house intranet speeds were the real star of the show. I could imagine hosting quite the LAN party with this bad boy.
At 108Mbps in the same room on 2.4GHz and 590Mbps at 5GHz, Trendnet’s AC2600 router outperforms most routers in its class, and at a much lower price. It still leads the pack at longer distances, leaving equitable routers from D-Link, Linksys, and others in the dust.
MU-MIMO support meant that I was able to connect a full range of laptops, desktops, mobile devices, and smart home devices with bare minimal signal interruption, despite me using some online games and torrent programs to really test it out. So long as you have a decent enough data plan with your ISP, the AC2600 can handle anything.
Final Thoughts on Trendnet AC2600
Trendnet’s AC2600 is several years old, but its future-proof MU-MIMO technology pulled it through into 2020 as one of the best esports, streaming, and gaming routers on the market. WiFi 6 is looming ahead in the 2020s, and the device will surely be uprooted by the end of the next decade. Until then, it’s a solid router with surprisingly fast performance at a very reasonable $100 price point.
If you’re looking for a faster internet, unleashing the power of MU-MIMO and Trendnet’s AC2600 is the way to do it.