Tenda offers a wide range of affordable and highly functional networking devices for home use. The Tenda AC21 model belongs to the AC2100 class of devices, which automatically implies a maximum total Internet access speed of up to 2033 Mbps. Taking into account the fact that the number of Internet consumers in our apartments is constantly growing and they are downloading more and more traffic, the requirements for both the external channel and the devices providing access to the network are increasing.
♥ BY THEME: Tenda Nova MW6 Mesh System Review: Seamless Wi-Fi Network Up to 500 Sq. meters.
Cheap routers no longer cope with these tasks – while one consumer is watching streaming video, the other gets packet loss and just low speed. This problem can be successfully solved by the Tenda AC21 device. The router offers some really powerful functionality at a fairly reasonable price. Even outwardly, 6 antennas inspire respect. Tenda AC21 supports the second revision of the 802.11ac standard, which allows you to work with 4X4 MU-MIMO technology and simultaneously exchange data with 4 devices. The manufacturer promises a hassle-free experience with 30 connected clients. And Beamforming + technology directs the beam towards the client, which increases the stability of the connection.
Main features of Tenda AC21
|Wireless standards||802.11a / b / g / n / ac (Wi-Fi 5)|
|Supported frequency bands||2.4 and 5 GHz simultaneously|
|Maximum throughput||300 Mbps (2.4 GHz)
1733 Mbps (5 GHz)
|Antennas||6 × external 6dBi|
|External interfaces||1 × RJ45 (10/100/1000 WAN)
3 × RJ45 (10/100/1000 LAN)
|Processor / coprocessor||1 GHz (28 nm) / 0.5 GHz|
|Button||1 Reset / WPS button|
|Wireless Security||WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WPA / WPA2|
|Supported protocols||IPv4, IPv6|
|Indication||Sys, WAN, LAN, WiFi / WPS|
|Internet connection type||PPPoE, Dynamic IP, Static IP
PPPoE (Russia), PPTP (Russia), L2TP (Russia)
|Wireless functions||SSID Broadcast: Enable / Disable
Transmission Power: high, medium, low
DHCP Client List
|Virtual server||Port forwarding
Parental Control (support black list and white list)
Remote Web ManagementForbid UDP flood attack
Forbid TCP flood attack
Forbid flood attack
Forbid WAN PING from internet
|Power Supply||18W (12V @ 1.5A)|
|Dimensions (edit)||231.3 x 150.6 x 39.6 mm|
Packing and delivery of Tenda AC21
The box with Tenda AC21 does not look compact. However, this inspires some confidence that we are being offered a really serious device. The packaging design is traditional for Tenda products in this line – black and orange colors have been chosen. Moreover, if dark colors are given to the background and pictures, then bright ones are the very information to which we are invited to pay attention.
The front side shows the device itself, half-turned to demonstrate all its visual charms. The side edges of the box are given to the specifications, and the back side gives out maximum information about the device. This was done with a clear purpose so that users, while still in the store, at the time of choosing a device, could make a certain impression about it. Here are the main features of the router, its characteristics, as well as a comparison table with competitors. Other, cheaper Tenda models were selected as their quality. Needless to say, compared to them, the model in question is better in several parameters at once. Below, in the form of icons, the main features of the router are shown. There is also a simple picture of the scenario of its use, which will help even uninitiated users understand what the router is capable of and what devices, how can be connected to its ports.
Inside is the router itself, as well as the minimum support for its operation: an 18 W power supply (12V, 1.5 A), one patch cord for connecting to another network device, as well as paper documentation and a warranty card.
Designed by Tenda AC21
The appearance of Tenda routers is noticeably different from the faceless gray regular “bricks”. One can welcome the company’s desire to stand out. And each model is different from the other, having one or another feature. The general thing is easy to notice – black routers with curved edges resembling wings. Tenda AC21 has its own “chip” – a combination of two textures on the upper part of the case. There is a glossy pattern in the center, but this beauty comes at a price with fingerprints. The pattern is formed by gray and black diamonds.
On the same site, the manufacturer’s logo and five LED indicators are located. And the side platforms are already matte. This design is more effective than practical.
The indicators themselves glow with a soft, pleasant bluish light.
Work description LED indicators
|SYS||Lights up constantly||The router is starting up. If the light stays on after the router finishes starting up, it means the router is successfully connected to the Internet.|
|SYS||Flashing||The router is working properly.|
|SYS||Does not burn||The system is defective.|
|WAN||Lights up constantly||The WAN port is connected correctly, but no data is being transferred.|
|WAN||Flashing||Data is transferred over the WAN port.|
|WAN||Does not burn||The WAN port is disabled or not properly connected.|
|LAN||Lights up constantly||At least one LAN port is connected correctly.|
|LAN||Flashing||A new wired device is connected to the router.|
|LAN||Does not burn||No device is properly connected to any LAN port of the router.|
|WiFi||Lights up constantly||At least 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz Wi-Fi is enabled.|
|WiFi||Flashing fast||Data is transmitted wirelessly.|
|Flashing slowly||The router is performing WPS negotiation.|
|WiFi||Does not burn||Wi-Fi 2.4GHz and 5GHz are disabled.|
|T||This LED is reserved|
The router received six non-removable external antennas that can be turned in the desired direction. Each face received a pair of antennas, there are also holes for the removal of warm air from the inside. On the back side there is also a pair of antennas, but between them there are four yellow network connectors, a power connector and a WPS button. It is strange that the WAN interface is not highlighted in a different color. It can be identified by embossing on the body. But there is no USB port in this model.
The bottom panel can be considered a definite functional element – it is all dotted with many ventilation holes. This is reasonable, because dust will rarely get here. There is also a sticker with technical information about the device and for its configuration (name of the wireless network, IP address). On the same side, there are four small plastic feet to provide an air cushion between the holes and the surface, as well as a pair of holes for attaching the Tenda AC21 to the wall.
In general, the case is assembled with high quality, the design is quite modern and memorable.
Setting up and managing Tenda AC21
There is no need to press the power button to connect the device – and there is none. When you plug the router into an outlet, it starts immediately. At the preliminary stage, you should study the location of the ports. Unfortunately, they were not color coded. But the embossing on the case will help to understand. Ports 1, 2 and IPTV / 3 are needed to connect client network devices to the router.
If you configure the router from one of them, then you will need to carry out communication, for example, using the complete patch cord. If you decide to use a laptop or computer to configure Tenda AC21, then the cable is not needed at this stage. The remaining port is labeled WAN. It requires you to plug in your ISP’s cable.
1. First, connect the power supply of the router to the network. From the LED indication on the front panel, you will determine the operability of the device.
2. This step is very important – you need to connect a cable from your Internet provider or from a modem to the WAN port. The success of the action will be confirmed by the corresponding indicator with its constant glow.
3. If the configuration is planned to be carried out by wired connection of the client device, then it should be connected with an Ethernet cable to one of the three LAN ports.
If you connect to the router via Wi-Fi, you will need network parameters. You can see the name for two access points operating at 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies on the sticker at the bottom of the case in the Tenda_XXXXX or Tenda_XXXXX_5G format. The sticker also contains the login and password for accessing the network.
4. Now open your browser to http://192.168.0.1 or go to tendawifi.com. The window for configuring your router will be displayed.
5. The wizard for the initial connection is simple and straightforward. First, you need to specify your type of connection to the provider. Here in the list are all the options that are common with us. If in doubt, it is best to check with your provider. In the second window, you can set the Mac address of the router or clone it from your computer.
6. The next step is dedicated to choosing a name and password for your wireless network. If desired, set a new name for the Wi-Fi network and password.
7. Actually, this completes the setup. After rebooting the router, it will create a new network with the name and password you specified.
8. For further configuration, connect to a wired / wireless network and navigate to http://192.168.0.1 or tendawifi.com in your browser. Login is carried out using the password created earlier (in item 6). If you have not changed these data, then they will remain the same as indicated on the label located on the bottom of the router.
Now you are taken to the main administration window of the Tenda AC21 router. I must say that the web interface is clear and logical. On the left, on an orange background, the names of the main sections are rendered. Their parameters are displayed in the right part of the window. By default, you are taken to the “Internet connection status“. Here is a schematic diagram of the device’s connection to the Internet and clients to it, as well as the external IP address received by Tenda AC21 and the current data transfer rate.
And here’s what the other tabs allow you to customize:
Internet settings. This section allows you to change the operating mode of the router, turning it into an access point or repeater. Also here you can select your type of connection to the provider and configure DNS.
Wi-Fi settings… This tab is dedicated to configuring your wireless network. It is possible to set a name and password for it, work schedule, transmitter power and modes, as well as select a channel and other parameters. The router works in such a way that clients will switch automatically from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz.
Guest network. Here you can create a guest network in addition to the main one. The advantage of this solution is that its customers will be shielded from the main network. Tenda AC21 allows, in addition to the name and password of the guest network, to set the period of its validity and limit the access speed.
Parental control. Thanks to this page, parents can better control their children’s online experience. Here you can see how many devices have been working on the Internet and, if necessary, limit the access time.
VPN. The router can act as a VPN server, which allows you to connect to it from the Internet and access your local network. This section is devoted to just setting up this service and monitoring the available connections.
IPv6. This section is dedicated to the IPv6 WAN and LAN settings.
Advanced settings. With the help of a number of options presented here, you can fine-tune your router. Tenda AC21 allows you to configure bandwidth, IPTV parameters, filter MAC addresses, write static routes, dynamic DNS and much more.
System settings. This section contains the global system settings that determine the operation of the router. In addition to configuring WAN and LAN, here you can update the firmware, set the system time, configure DHCP reservations, view event logs, and reboot the router.
How to work with Tenda AC21 through a mobile application
Connect to the Wi-Fi network created by the Tenda AC21 router. Now launch Tenda WiFi app (download for iOS, download for Android). The program will automatically detect your router and offer to start managing it.
There are three tabs: Devices, Storage and Tools… The first shows the devices currently connected to the router and their current operating speeds. Tab “Storage” out of date for this router model – there is no USB port. Tab “Tools” offers to use several rather useful functions, each of which has a number of settings.
Tenda AC21 against the walls
Tenda AC21 can be considered a powerful device, because a 28-nanometer gigahertz processor is responsible for its work. In addition, there is an additional coprocessor operating at a frequency of 500 MHz. RAM – 64 MB. It is important to note that all Ethernet ports are gigabit, so the router is potentially capable of providing Internet access speeds of up to 1000 Mbps.
Thanks to the support of MU-MIMO and Beamforming technologies, the router provides a stable connection with its customers. Six antennas also help in this – four of them are designed to work in a 5 GHz network.
4 measurement points were selected for testing:
- 1 meter from the Tenda AC21 router, in the same room;
- 5 meters from the Tenda AC21 router through 2 walls;
- 10 meters from the Tenda AC21 router through 2 walls;
- 15 meters from the Tenda AC21 router through 4 walls.
In the first three points, the speed was 866 Mbps, and the latency was 2 ms. Only at the last point, the network access speed dropped to 144 Mbps, while the delay remained – here the router automatically switched to a 2.4 GHz frequency.
Here are the iPerf 3 speed test results for the same points. The test server was connected to the router and the client was using Wi-Fi.
|Sent, Mb||Bandwidth, Mb / s|
The popular Speedtest has also been launched. The external channel was limited to 150 Mbps. In the first three points, the router provided a speed of 146-148 Mbit and only in the most distant corner it dropped to 38 Mbit / s. When testing a wired connection, a speed of 146 Mbps was shown.
Tenda AC21 received a fairly competent positioning relative to its counterparts. This router is a great solution for those looking for an inexpensive device with excellent coverage. And even if there are only 3 LAN ports and no USB port, these ports are gigabit, and 6 powerful antennas for 2.4 and 5 GHz networks in conjunction with an efficient processor provide performance at the level of more expensive models. It is worth noting the interesting design of the device, extensive customization options, including using a mobile application. Tenda AC21 will show itself perfectly in a large apartment or in a small single-family house, covering the entire area without additional receivers.
Buy router Tenda AC21