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Trendnet 2.4GHz Wi-Fi Detector TEW-T1 review

Wireless worries caused by weak signal areas could soon be a thing of the past

Ooh, look at the pretty lights! Actually they’re LEDs, and we’re afraid their usefulness is limited here

Our Verdict

Good idea, but needs some developing


  • Easy to use
  • Small and lightweight


  • Doesn't feel very sturdy
  • Could do with an LCD screen instead of LEDs
  • Doesn't support Wireless N networks

This device comes in the traditional TRENDnet colour that we're more used to. Which is to say, this is the colour we don't like. Regardless of that, this product deserves to be tested with the same diligence we'd allow a £400 graphics card.

This is a device with manifold uses. In essence, it's a wireless detector. That means it can detect, identify and rate various wireless signals in a given area.

You can then use that information to detect wireless hotspots while on the move, find the sources of interference on your wireless network, or find the best places to put your wireless adapters to give the best signal. It can even detect wireless cameras - although a practical application for this escapes us.

High unmighty

It's a small and light device, which points to good portability. Unfortunately it's a little too tall to be comfortably pocket-sized, and doesn't feel particularly sturdy.
Using the device is simple. You can plump for either manual or automatic modes, and the information is passed on to you via the gift of green LEDs. Yup, that's right, it's a blue plastic box with a few LEDs on it. Doesn't exactly scream "value for money", eh?

There's a further problem in that it doesn't support wireless N networks, so it doesn't even work with the latest technology. That seems a bit of a howler from TRENDnet. Although it picked up our cordless phones, we had to get close to the microwave before that was detected.

There's undoubted potential here, but it remains unfulfilled in this incarnation. An LCD display showing network names and security status would be much more useful for finding hotspots, for example. Detecting sources of interference is a good idea, but the feedback of a flashing light fails to impress. At the moment, this is just a device that replaces trial-and-error with LEDs.