TP-Link WDR4300 Dual Band Wireless Router
802.11n dual band, 4x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports
The TP-Link TL-WDR4300 is a dual band router that provides 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi concurrently. It also has four Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as two USB ports to which USB drives and printers can be attached. It uses external antenna, which makes it stand out in a living room or office.
The TL-WDR4300 has a quick setup wizard that makes configuring it a simple process. Its web interface is quick to navigate and load and has all the options most people need from their router, including Dynamic DNS, port forwarding and parental control.
Its Wi-Fi performance is okay, but not amazing. We first connected to it on the 2.4GHz band using our test laptop’s built-in Wi-Fi adaptor and achieved transfer rates of 38.6Mbit/s at one metre, 41.5Mbit/s at 10 metres and 19.2Mbit/s at 25 metres. These rates are respectable, and the 10 metre and 25 metre rates beat those achieved by the Netgear WNDR4000.
We then connected to it on the 2.4GHz band using TP-Link’s TL-WDN3200 Wi-Fi dongle (£19, www.amazon.co.uk) and achieved the phenomenal transfer rate of 107.8Mbit/s at one metre and the unremarkable rate of 35Mbit/s at 10 metres. It wouldn’t even connect at 25 metres.
When connected to the TL-WDR4300 on the 5GHz band using our laptop’s built-in Wi-Fi adaptor, we achieved data transfer rates of 78.8Mbit/s at one metre, 83.9Mbit/s at 10 metres and 35.5Mbit/s at 25 metres. The first two rates are average scores, but the transfer rate at 25 metres is very good.
When using the TL-WDN3200 Wi-Fi dongle on the 5GHz band, we achieved transfer rates of 139.8Mbit/s at one metre and 126.4Mbit/s at 10 metres. Once again, it failed to connect at 25 metres. The former rates are fast, but the lack of connection at 25 metres isn’t good enough.
The TL-WDR4300 has a built-in media server that makes watching and listening to media on attached USB drives easy. We played 720p video fine at 25 metres with our laptop’s built-in Wi-Fi adaptor on the 2.4GHz band, but 1080p videos were constantly jerky, making them unwatchable.
You must install an included utility to print to attached USB printers and have the printer driver installed on the PC from which you want to print. We had no problem printing to our test printer.
The TL-WDR4300 has lots of features and is a good choice for those on a strict budget, but if you can spend more you should go for the Netgear WNDR4500, which provides better performance and less conspicuous looks. Even so, it provides decent media streaming, Wi-Fi performance and Gigabit Ethernet.