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TP-Link WR-1043ND Review

in Reviews, Tech Stuff / 11 Comments

I bought the TP-Link WR-1043ND Ultimate Wireless N Gigabit Router since my supercharged buffalo suffered from a heart attack and died.

Guess why TP-Link calls it the Ultimate model?

Exterior wise, the TP-Link resembles the look of all its other wireless devices in the family.  It looks pretty good to me but I don’t really care because I don’t stare at the router at all.

The front panel has green/yellow LED lights to show the status of its POWER, SYSTEM, WLAN, ETH 1, 2, 3, 4 WAN, USB and QSS status. It goes *blink blink blink* till you get seizures. haha.

A side view of the router. Did you notice that there are NO vents at all on the top? The vents were situated at the sides and the bottom of the router. I don’t get why it was done like this but wouldn’t it cause the hot air to get trapped longer in the case? I’m using this router the other way round where the top faces the floor and the vents are at the top. You could easily drill a 12cm 90cfm fan on the top of the case and solve the problem too. [fan mod]

At the back of the TP-Link WR-1043ND .

RP-SMA antennas – The router comes with 3 antennas to enable MIMO wireless N connections

Power jack – Common sense

Reset button – Common sense again

USB port – This enables the router to function as a NAS (Network Attached Storage). You can plug in any flash drive or hard disk drive into it. This port also allows the 3G modem to be plugged in and it will pull the WAN connection off the USB port.

WAN port – Your internet connection goes here.

Gigabit ports – These ports runs at 1Gbps

The router comes with a TP-Link firmware but there is a DD-WRT build for it. I did not do any testing on the original firmware as I flashed it to DD-WRT the moment I started using it. However as this is a fairly new router, the firmware for this router is said to be unstable but currently I’ve been running it for 5days ++ without any hiccups.

Lots of things to play with as it has a 8MB Flash Mem and 32MB ram.

You might be slightly disappointed on the wireless performance as it is no where near the performance of the Buffalo WHR-HP-54G (built in amplifier). Wireless performance is still good on this router, but if you are planning to do long range connections ( 2-3km links) with stock antennas, I wouldn’t recommend this router. Nevertheless, all the other hardware specifications pawn’s the Buffalo and costs cheaper than it! It really depends on the purpose of getting the router. Another good choice is the Asus RT N-16 but the cost doubles.

Wireless “Repeater” mode is not available on routers which run on Atheros processors so you would have to do this to get the repeating function working in DD-WRT. (This should work on all Atheros based routers). “Repeater” modes are only available on Broadcom devices.

1. Set the ath0 as Client mode

2. Create a Virtual AP

3. You’re done!

The TP-Link WR-1043ND is a really awesome device considering its low price tag . I bought mine for RM160 and you can’t even get anything near these specifications from other brands with this price. Good job TP-Link.

So how well does this router perform? I’d give it a 4.3 out of 5 star rating.

An Information Technology graduate who blogs about simply anything which he stumbles upon daily.

  1. DeVaL!aN

    whats the difference between Repeater and Client?

    i read about it and it said that Repeater suppose to get routing/NAT services from WAN AP, but thats is for repeater bridge isnt it?

    repeater mode is still isolated.

    while client mode do the same as well?

  2. youliang

    if you want that you have to use repeater bridge

    for client mode yeah its isolated as well. If u want then u have to use client bridge

    client is client.
    repeater is client then vomits back. LOL

    client with VAP = another method of repeater

  3. kaiserreich

    RM160 is indeed cheap. Where did you source your unit?

    DD-WRT does not play well with wireless N on atheros hardware IIRC. Wonder if you would want to test the gigabit connection with and without jumbo frames, as well as the WLAN file copying throughput with original firmware?


  4. youliang

    you can get it from gigaleon (lyn). I can’t confirm with you about the wireless N because currently I do not have any wireless N devices. haha! I can do a test on the gigabit connection though. =)

  5. youliang

    getting back to you about the wireless N. Apparently it does work at 300Mbps on the latest ddwrt build on AP mode. Read on some forum =)

  6. Bill

    How’s your TP-Link WR-1043ND so far?
    Mind providing an updated review? Thanks!

    • You Liang Tan

      I would say it’s pretty darn good. It’s been running 24/7/365 on DD-WRT no problems or whatsoever.
      Don’t feel the need to upgrade at the moment.

  7. Bill

    I read it’s suffering from lots of wifi issues ie drop outs or gui login problem. Did you get that?

    You’re using cable or wifi with this router?

    Which DD-WRT firmware version you’re on?

    • You Liang Tan

      Hey Bill, I’m using as a repeater. But on my terminal im using cable. So far still running fine but I do restart the router occasionally probably once a week just for fun.

      Currently running on build 18777.
      DD-WRT v24-sp2 (03/19/12) std
      (SVN revision 18777)

  8. James

    This is just a heads up,

    “You might be slightly disappointed on the wireless performance…”

    I can tell you right away that I have used DD-WRT, Open-WRT, and the factory firmware on this device for testing. DD-WRT is considerably slower than both Open-WRT and factory firmware on this device; and, Open-WRT is questionably similar in performance on the wireless side to the factory firmware. That said, the additional features provided by Open-WRT over the factory firmware is well worth the possible slight loss in wireless performance. The features available through DD-WRT are not worth the considerable loss in wireless performance.

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