Even though the box has changed from green to blue, the TL-WR700N’s interface sports the traditional green. After logging into the admin interface, you’ll be greeted with the Status screen. It includes firmware and hardware versions, LAN info (MAC, IP, subnet), and System Uptime. There is also a Wireless section. This section will drastically change depending which mode you have it in. Also, if you put the TL-WR700N into router mode, there’ll also be a WAN section. Finally, every available option on every screen is thoroughly explained in the help section on the right. It is nice to see that TP-LINK has taken the time to explain even the smallest options in great detail.
Going down the list, under Basic Settings you’ll find Quick Setup, Working Mode, Network, and Wireless.
Quick Setup is a wizard based setup mode that’ll guide you through the configuration for each mode supported by the TL-WR700N. Quick Setup will bring up any necessary forms for the mode you’re applying. However, it does not check if the information is valid or invalid. You can easily input invalid info and complete the wizard. Only to be left with an inoperable configuration, and you may not know why.
Working Mode is similar to Quick Setup, but after you pick the operating mode, the router will reboot without bringing up the related forms. It could be said this mode is for advanced users, but all it offers is less initial steps than Quick Setup. After the router reboots, you have to manually find the appropriate forms and enter the correct values.
Network just allows you to set the TL-WR700N’s IP and subnet mask.
Wireless -> Wireless Settings can change slightly depending on what mode the router is in, but for the most part this will be where you enter the SSID, pick the channel, and choose which wireless clients (b/g/n) the TL-WR700N should accept.
Wireless -> Wireless Security is where you’ll configure security for the TL-WR700N. It supports WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK all WPA/WPA2 modes support TKIP and AES encryption.
Advanced Settings is home to DHCP. For most of the modes on the TL-WR700N, DHCP is not needed and is disabled. But there is a router mode which uses DHCP. TP-LINK has provided all of the options you’d need for DHCP including range, lease time, defaults for gateway, domain, and DNS, along with Address Reservation.
Lastly there is the Maintenance tab. This section contains Diagnostic, Firmware, Factory Defaults, Backup & Restore, Reboot, Password, and System Log.
Diagnostic includes ping and traceroute options. Having these on a router is nice to diagnose connection issues. They make it easy to see if the problem is in your computer’s configuration or the router’s.
Firmware, Factory Defaults, Backup & Restore, Reboot, and Password are exactly what you’d expect. The same goes for System Log, but it really doesn’t log that many things. The only item I’ve ever seen in the log is, “The device initialization succeeded”. So I’m not sure how useful the log really is.
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