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TP-Link TL-WR1043ND v2 review: excellent follow-up

Good performance for a low price

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Introduction

When we reviewed the first generation TL-WR1043ND back in 2010 we gave it a Silver Award. It would become one of the most popular TP-Link routers, perhaps even the most popular one. It was very affordable and packed a lot of power, including gigabit network ports, and you could install dd-wrt and other open source firmware on it.  It made the TL-WR1043ND very popular among the real router enthusiasts who enjoy managing every single aspect of their home network. With the second iteration of the TL-WR1043ND, TP-Link made sure not to change the formula too much.


TP-Link TL-WR1043ND v2

The design of the new router fits perfectly within the current product line-up. It's very similar to other TP-Link routers of the last 1.5 years, which means a shiny black enclosure with LEDs in front and all of the buttons and connectors in the back. These consist of four LAN ports, one WAN port, one USB 2.0 port, a power button, a WPS button and a WiFi button. The three antennas are light-grey, they can be replaced and can have a gain of 5 dBi.

TP-Link TL-WR1043ND v2

The TL-WR1043ND is a single-band router and doesn't support the 5GHz frequency. It has a theoretical maximum speed of 300 Mbps. With an average price of about £41 / €50 it's not an expensive router. However, for not a lot more you can buy the dual-band TL-WDR3600 and TL-WDR4300 routers. Those therefore would seem to be a wiser choice, unless you don't have any 5 GHz-compatible devices. In that case the TL-WR1043ND is more suitable because of its more powerful 2.4GHz signal. In theory, at least, we'll see later whether that's also true in practice. 

TP-Link TL-WR1043ND v2

Currently there is no support for dd-wrt, that will be added at a later point.


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