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TP-Link showcases 450Mbit/s wireless router

David Ludlow
7 Jan 2011
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150Mbit/s faster than standard 802.11n

TP-Link has lifted the lid on what could be the fastest wireless routers ever, with two 802.11n models that have a theoretical maximum speed of 450Mbit/s - 150Mbit/s faster than standard 802.11n.

TL-WR2843ND

The TL-WR2843ND (bright red) is capable of running simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, while the TL-WR2543ND can run at 2.4GHz or 5GHz. Both use three MIMO streams to get this headline speed, which TP-Link says will also improve range by up to 20 per cent.

TP-Link TL-WR2543ND

Getting to 450Mbit/s requires using channel bonding, which uses two wireless channels. As the routers are WiFi certified, this is turned off by default as channel bonding causes more interference with other networks and can actually degrade performance. Using a single channel, the routers should have a throughput of around 225Mbit/s, which is still around 75Mbit/s faster than 802.11n running on a single channel. Of course, as we know, theoretical performance differs massively from actual performance, so we'll reserve judgement on speed until we've got the routers in for review.

Both routers have a four-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, plus a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port. There's also a USB port that you can use to share external storage over the network. All of this technology comes at a price: the routers are massive and way big than a standard 802.11n router.

TP-Link TL-WN2581ND

The dual-band TL-WR2543ND will be available in April, the simultaneous dual-band TL-WR2843ND will be available in August. Oddly, the necessary PCI 450Mbit/s wireless adaptor (TL-WN2581ND) will not be available until May, one month after the first router is released. Hopefully, the USB adaptor will be out at the same time, but TP-Link was unable to confirm this at the time of writing. Pricing was only available for the TL-WR2843ND, which will cost $189 (around £122).

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