You might expect the cheapest product in this Labs to sacrifice a little to its budget. But there's little on the spec sheet to give this cable router's low-cost origins away.
Sure, it isn't dual band, but for your $101 you get a surprisingly full set of features. There's a full-fat 2.4GHz 802.11n connection with support for connection at theoretical throughput speeds of up to 300Mbits/sec.
There are three large, detachable aerials at the rear. Alongside these, and the device's single WAN port, are four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a USB socket for sharing storage devices over your network.
In the device's web pages, a parental controls section lets you restrict access by MAC address to trusted URLs, and a bandwidth control section lets you restrict upload and download speeds of IP and port ranges.
Critically, however, wireless performance wasn't good enough. At close range, speeds were on a par with most of the other 2.4GHz routers. We measured 79Mbits/sec router to laptop and 64Mbits/sec the other way.
Move further away, however, and performance dips dramatically. In our long-range tests, the TL-WR1043ND managed a router to laptop rate of 26Mbits/sec and 37Mbits/sec in reverse.
This wasn't good enough for our laptop to maintain a solid frame rate in our movie-streaming test at distance, and sees the TP-Link bottom of the long range table by quite some distance.
Despite the low price, then, the poor range kills it. Stretch your budget by just $23 and buy the Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH instead.