IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

TP-Link TL-WR1043ND review

A wireless-n router with Gigabit Ethernet that costs less than £40, the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND is tempting indeed

Network cable connector
Price
£40 (At time of review)

You might expect a low cost router to sacrifice features to hit its budget. But there's little on the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND's specifications sheet to give this cable router's low-cost origins away.

Sure, it isn't a dual-band model, but for your £34 you get a surprisingly full set of features. There's a full-fat 2.4GHz 802.11n connection with support for wireless networking at theoretical throughput speeds of up to 300Mbits/sec. There are three large, detachable aerials at the rear, to give it the best chance at receiving and sending signals at long range.

On the router's rear panel, alongside the antennae and the device's single WAN port, are four Gigabit Ethernet ports (a very surprising inclusion at this price), and a USB socket for sharing storage devices over your network.

Meanwhile, in the device's web-based administration 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 specified 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 single-band 2.4GHz routers we've seen recently. We measured 79Mbits/sec from the router to laptop and 64Mbits/sec the other way. (Our test laptop uses the excellent Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300 chipset to ensure the highest possible throughput.)

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 HD movie-streaming test at distance. It's one of the slowest 802.11n 2.4GHz routers we've come across in this respect.

Despite the low price, then, the poor range kills its appeal. If you're after a cable router on a budget, we'd advise you spend a few pounds more and buy the Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH instead.

Featured Resources

Activation playbook: Deliver data that powers impactful, game-changing campaigns

Bringing together data and technology to drive better business outcomes

Free Download

In unpredictable times, a data strategy is key

Data processes are crucial to guide decisions and drive business growth

Free Download

Achieving resiliency with Everything-as-a-Service (XAAS)

Transforming the enterprise IT landscape

Free Download

What is contextual analytics?

Creating more customer value in HR software applications

Free Download

Recommended

Google unveils new Assured Open Source Software service
open source

Google unveils new Assured Open Source Software service

18 May 2022
Malwarebytes hires new channel chief to lead MSP and partner network
Managed service provider (MSP)

Malwarebytes hires new channel chief to lead MSP and partner network

18 May 2022
Palo Alto and Deloitte to deliver managed security services in the US
Managed service provider (MSP)

Palo Alto and Deloitte to deliver managed security services in the US

17 May 2022
US and EU thrash out plans to avert chip production “subsidy race”
Hardware

US and EU thrash out plans to avert chip production “subsidy race”

17 May 2022

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

13 May 2022
Preparing for the 3G sunset
Network & Internet

Preparing for the 3G sunset

18 May 2022
(ISC)2 launches free scheme to get 100,000 UK citizens into cyber security
Careers & training

(ISC)2 launches free scheme to get 100,000 UK citizens into cyber security

17 May 2022