TP-Link TL-WR1043ND £42
20th May 2011 | 08:30
The TP-Link TL-WR1043ND is a great no-frills option for upgraders on a budget
Just £42 for a superfast modem? Seems fishy. That's the price you'd pay for a standard Wireless G router, not a dual-band Wireless N model.
The TP-Link TL-WR1043ND – one heck of a mouthful – isn't actually a dual-band router; it's just a lowly single-band. Surely that means it has no chance against the dual-band devices in this test.
Well, no. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Although the TP-Link doesn't benefit from the 5GHz transmission band, it has a crude way of making up for this, using three antennas to ramp the standard 2.4GHz signal to its maximum. And it works, with the fastest recorded transmission speed of the 1GB test file over wireless.
There wasn't much different between this and the other routers at short range, but at the 10 metre range with two walls separating each laptop, it took just four minutes 20 seconds.
Aside from being the fastest router in the test, the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND doesn't really have all that much to offer – not that it really needs to.
The installation proved to be one of the trickiest of the test, which is probably what you get for paying just over £40 for the privilege. After scouring TP-Link's simple but extensive web interface trying to figure out why it wouldn't connect to the internet, we pinpointed it to a conflicting IP address. A beginner would have given up long before we did.
Other than an additional USB port on the back, which can be used to attach storage devices and access media on them, the TP-Link doesn't really have any other features that help it rise above the others.
But then again, not everyone wants all the gimmicks under the sun – there are plenty that just want a no-frills router that delivers what they're really interested in – fast wireless internet.
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