The setup of the TEW-653AP could have been better than it was. Out of the box it has a hard set IP Address of 192.168.10.100 and no detection utility like TRENDnet includes with some of their other products (like their Web Smart switches and IP cameras). This means that unless your LAN already uses 192.168.10.x (with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0) you are not going to be able to view the new device. You will need to setup a system using that IP range and directly connect to the TEW-653AP to begin the setup.
I wish that TRENDnet had of included a product detection software in with the TEW-653AP, but I imagine that since this is marketed towards businesses (or prosumers) they did not feel the need for the more pedestrian tools to be included.
Once you do have your system setup to talk to the TEW-653AP you will simply open up your favourite web browser and enter the default IP address. This will open up the Web Management interface and let you configure your TEW-653AP to your tastes.
When you first get the web management page open you see the status page. This gives you configuration information for the TEW-653AP "at-a-glance". If this is your first time entering the web management then you want to click on the Wizard link to get everything operating properly.
The second page of the Wizard asks you how you want to operate your TEW-653AP. For our purposes we chose AP Mode.
The next page of the setup wizard had me VERY happy. One of my constant complaints is that companies that manufacture networking equipment (especially wireless gear) do not explain or emphasize security properly. To give you a very clear example, one day I drove around my neighbourhood and found over 50 completely open and exposed wireless routers. Most of these were Linksys, but there were D-Link and others present.
This means that either people are VERY lazy, or the setup of these products is not sufficient and leaves the consumer open to attack. Beyond the 50 open access points I found a rather large number still using WEP. This is almost as bad as being open. In fact, it provides a very false sense of security, making it worse. Any "hacker' worth his salt can break open WEP (using the proper tools) in about 10 minutes; even less if there is a large amount of traffic or they are using a GPU based cracking tool.
Thankfully the wizard on the TEW-653AP shows you the level of security visually and allows you to choose the security level using something similar to a slider. This makes for an excellent explanation and tool to get your wireless device secured properly.
After the wizard is complete you are asked to reboot, however you are not done yet. There are still a couple of items you have to do manually. I hope that TRENDnet can include these in future versions of their wizard as it would round out a great start to fixing what is broken with many wireless devices. Come to think on it, it would be nice if a complete wizard (including setting the IP address information and changing the admin password) is the first thing you see when you connect for the first time.
After the reboot you will want to head over to the LAN page. Here you will need to manually configure the IP address information for your TEW-653AP including the DNS servers in use. There is no option to get this from a DHCP server. For the ProSumer or the IT professional this information is probably burned inside their brain already. For the average user you will need to take a look at your existing router or a system already connected to it and find this out. On the LAN page there is also some basic options for setting up the built in DHCP server.
Another item to hit before you are done with the setup is in the tools area. You want to change the Admin Password. To do this you click on the "Admin" link; you will need to type in the default password and then pick a new one.
The last thing you want to do before calling it "done" is to make sure you are getting good time information. The TEW-653AP gets all of its time settings from the internet (although you can sync it with your PC's time). This means that you need to put in the address of an NTP server (Network Time Protocol). You can find a list of primary public time servers here: [http://psp2.ntp.org/bin/view/Servers/StratumOneTimeServers]
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