TP-LInk's TL-WR1043ND wireless router suffers from poor range, low price and no dual band

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TP-LInk's TL-WR1043ND wireless router suffers from poor range, low price and no dual band

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.

TP-Link TL-WR1043ND
3 6
Verdict
Cheap with plenty of features, but the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND range is poor
Performance
Features & Design
Value for money
Overall
Specs
This review appeared in the June, 2010 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
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