We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Wireless routers Reviews
15,670 Reviews PC Advisor Recommended

TP-Link TL-WR1043ND review

£42 inc VAT

Manufacturer: TP-Link

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

The TP-Link TL-WR1043ND is a no-frills and inexpensive 300Mbps Ultimate Wireless N Gigabit cable router with plenty of additions.

Although TP-Link has been around for a while, the company isn't as well-known in the UK as some other networking brands. This could explain its aggressive pricing strategy, as the TL-WR1043ND wireless router costs just £42. Often, routers that cost so little offer no more than a basic feature set, but in this 300Mbps router, TP-Link has included nearly everything its more expensive rivals do.

The TP-Link TL-WR1043ND has 802.11n wireless, capable of 300Mbps, which supports something called Signal Sustain Technology (SST) which TP-Link says provides a stronger signal, as all three antennae are used for both receiving and transmitting data. It also has four gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB port for sharing printers or external USB storage over the network. It doesn't have dual band wireless though, which is a nice way to avoid interference from the congested 2.4GHz wireless band, but arguably this is an unnecessary addition.

See also: Group test: what's the best wireless router?

The included setup CD guides you through the process of connecting your TP-Link TL-WR1043ND cable modem and setting up a wireless network. After rebooting the modem it connected to the internet almost immediately, and every PC on our network was back online almost immediately.

The on-board administration software is well designed and simple to use. Often the settings that users will typically want to adjust on a router are buried within multiple menus with non-descript names such as ‘Advanced' or ‘Setup'. With the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND, all the relevant options are listed on the left and are easy to reach. Loading administration pages on some routers can be painfully slow, but the TL-WR1043ND was quick to load each section and rebooting took seconds rather than minutes.

The main options most people might need are listed here, such as binding MAC addresses to static IPs, built-in support for Dynamic DNS services, QOS, parental control, port forwarding and a list of settings, to configure the security of your wireless network, including multiple types of security, including WPA2.

We tested the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND router's wireless capability by transferring a 10GB file at a range of 2m, and then again at 10m. Its performance was excellent at short range, managing an impressive 10.6MB/sec. At long range this dropped to 6.9MB/sec, which isn't bad considering there were two solid walls between the router and our laptop. For fun, we then tried it in another building 25m away, where the wireless signal of many other routers is unreliable. Here, it still managed a solid 1MB/sec transfer speed.

TP-Link TL-WR1043ND Expert Verdict »


TPLink TLWR1043ND wireless router reviews verified by Reevoo

TPLink TLWR1043ND wireless routerScores 8.4 out of 10 based on 47 reviews
Cable wireless router
single-band 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n up to 300Mbps
WEP/WPA/WPA2/WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK encryption
4 x 10/100/1000Mbps ethernet ports
1 x 10/100/1000Mbps WAN Port
3 detachable antennae (3x3) configuration
1x USB 2.0 port (for NAS facility)
WPS mode (labelled as QSS)
UPnP
SPI-based firewall
VPN (PPTP, L2TP, IPsec protocols)
dynamic DNS support (Dyndns, No-IP, Comexe)
dimensions: 200mm x 140mm x 28mm
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 10 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 9 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

We were extremely impressed by the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND. It performed well, it has most things we'd need from a wireless router, and it's excellent value for money too. Aside from the lack of dual-band wireless, the only other criticism we have is its boring appearance, as it only comes in a standard white shell, with a few green LEDs indicating network activity. These aren't major issues though, and we think this router deserves an award for its performance and value for money.

  • TP-Link TL-WR741ND

    TP-Link's TL-WR741ND Wi-Fi router offers better than 802.11g but not quite 802.11n performance.

  • TP-Link W8961ND review

    TP-Link W8961ND

    A no-frills router with surprisingly good wireless performance.

  • D-Link DIR-657 HD Media Router 1000 review

    D-Link DIR-657 HD Media Router 1000

    The D-Link DIR-657 HD Media Router 1000 is a slim 802.11n wireless cable router.

  • TP-Link TL-WN8200ND review: dongle that boosts your Wi-Fi performance

    TP-Link TL-WN8200ND: dongle that boosts your Wi-Fi performance

    The TP-Link TL-WN8200ND is a good gizmo to have if your laptop suffers from Wi-Fi signal issues. Read our TP-Link TL-WN8200ND review to find out more – UPDATED 25 June 2013, with revised wireless performance results.

  • TP-Link TL-MR3020 review

    TP-Link TL-MR3020

    The TP-Link TL-MR3020 is a portable 3G/3.75G wireless N router. And we like it: read our TP-Link TL-MR3020 review to find out why.


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

LED vs Halogen: Why now could be the right time to invest in LED bulbs

IDG UK Sites

Christmas' best ads: See great festive spots studios have created to promote themselves and clients

IDG UK Sites

Why Apple shouldn't be blamed for exploitation in China and Indonesia