What We Think
If you’re after a decent budget router we would certainly suggest this 300Mbps Wireless N Gigabit router.
You might expect a low cost wireless router to sacrifice top notch features. However, there is little on the specification sheet that gives away the low-cost origins of this wireless router.
The wireless router might not be a dual-band model but for around £30-£40 you get a rather surprisingly good set of features.
Full 2.4GHz 802.11n
The router is a full 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 rear there is a single WAN port, four Gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB socket for sharing storage devices over your network.
On the web-based administration pages, a parental controls section allows 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. In short it allows you to restrict and control your internet connection.
Even though the specification sheet is astonishing for a moderately cheap wireless router, not much is compromised. When it comes to performance, we weren’t quite getting 300Mbps, but we weren’t too far off.
At close range, speeds were on a par with most of the other single-band 2.4GHz routers we’ve seen recently.
If you move too far away however, the performance dips drastically.
In long range tests the wireless router manage a rate of 21Mbits/sec and 27Mbits in reverse, not good by any standards. In essence these speeds were not good enough for our laptop to maintain a solid frame rate in HD movie streaming.
The router comes with a whopping 3 antennas, so you’d expect it to be able to transmit through wallks.
Overall, the low price does come with a good range. What’s more, the specification sheet is huge for such a cheap model – sub £50. If you’re after a decent budget router this is one that will certainly feature in your top 10.
The TP-Link WR1043ND is a 300Mbps router that provides fast speeds for a respectable price. TP-Link have produced a great router for a home or student setup.
The router comes with BullGuard anti-virus protection, too – perfect for protecting your computer from viruses.