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TRENDnet Hive Cloud-based Management Relaunched: Much Simplified, Extended Trial, Still No Free Tier

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If you have a couple of TRENDnet networking devices, such as the TEW-921DAP access point, and want to manage them conveniently at one location, the TRENDnet Hive online portal has been a good option. And that option gets slightly better today.

The networking vendor just announced the relaunch of its cloud network management service. The update includes more straightforward registration and renewal processes. Additionally, the trial period has been extended to one year instead of 30 days.

Out of the box, the TRENDnet TEW-921DAP includes wall/ceiling mounting accessories and a network cable but no power adapter or PoE injector.
The TRENDnet TEW-921DAP access point is one of the devices that can benefit from the new TRENDnet Hive approach.

TRENDnet Hive Cloud-based Management: A premium option for advanced or business users

Previously, the company offered two versions of Hive: one for consumers and one for integrators/installers. Each version had an annual fee per device. Additionally, integrator/installer accounts were only available through authorized distribution partners.

With the relaunch, there's now only one version of TRENDnet Hive that costs $9.99 per year per device. A Pro Add-On is available at the account level for another $24.99/year (currently at $4.99 during the promo period). The Pro level adds multiuser, multi-sub-user (such as tenants within a building), and location tracking features. All user types can sign up and manage their licenses in real-time without contacting a third party.

Per TRENDnet, the registration process has also been simplified and automated for all users. There are no longer different account types, or different pricing levels for devices. Purchasing and adding licenses has also been automated. All users can now access these features at any time online through the TRENDnet Hive portal at their convenience.

Here are the quick bullet points of what the new TRENDnet Hive has to offer:

  • Overview of devices, clients, and system logs
  • View user and traffic statistics and device lists
  • Real-time network diagnosis and testing tools
  • Set notifications and e-mail alerts
  • Manage system settings, documentation, logs, and debugging
  • Detailed reporting tools
  • Device analysis, such as memory, CPU, PoE usage
  • Set and manage device configurations
  • Centralized firmware management
  • Free iOS and Android mobile apps
  • Multi-tenancy creation (with Pro add-on)
  • Multiuser roles and permissions (with Pro add-on)
  • Google Maps location tracking (with Pro add-on)

Still no free tier

TRENDnet says its Hive free trial program has also been expanded from 30 days to a full year with the purchase of every new TRENDnet Hive-compatible device. Unfortunately, there's no free option to use the device unless you want to manage it individually via the built-in local web user interface.

The new and straightforward approach is a welcome change. However, the lack of the free tier will make TRENDnet Hive have a hard time competing against similar cloud-based management options, such as UniFi of Ubiquiti, Omada of TP-Link, or FIT of EnGenius, or the newly announced ExpertWiFi of Asus.

While it never hurts to have all the advanced management options, most networks, including those of small businesses, don't need all the bells and whistles. In many cases, they just need a simple centralized option to manage their connected devices.

Availability

TRENDnet says the new Hive approach is available today. Existing users can convert to it. Overall, the new TRENDnet Hive is a good option if you intend to replace your hardware every year to avoid the monthly cost.

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