TP-Link TL-WR941ND Wireless N Router review: TP-Link TL-WR941ND Wireless N Router

 

CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.7
  • Design and ease of use: 7.0
  • Features: 6.0
  • Performance: 7.0
  • Service and support: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Simple and responsive Web interface; easy setup; good performance and range; supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup; affordable.

The Bad No N-only mode; mediocre feature set; bulky, dated design; no desktop setup application.

The Bottom Line The TP-Link TL-WR941ND Wireless N router is a simple wireless N router with a friendly price. If all you require is a basic network and you have a mix of 802.11N and b/g clients, it does the job for cheap.

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The TP-Link TL-WR941ND Wireless N Router is a wireless router that supports the Draft N 2.0 specification and not much else. This means no network storage or dual-band support (the router works only in the 2.4GHz frequency), no print-serving capability, and no Gigabit Ethernet. The router doesn't even offer N-mode-only operation, in which Wireless-N routers can show off their N throughput speed without being interfered with by legacy clients. Instead, the TL-WR941ND works in mixed mode, where it supports both Wireless-N and Wireless-b/g clients. The TP-Link does, however, offer Wi-Fi Protected Setup, long-range, above-average throughput performance, and a stable signal. For about $60, the router is one of the most affordable Wireless-N routers on the market. For another $30 or so, though, we'd recommend the Linksys WRT310N, which has a much longer list of features and a better design.


Design and ease of use

The TL-WR941ND has the typical design of a wireless router from a few years ago; it's a squarish box with three antennae on the back--crowding the network ports--and an array of LED blue indicator lights on the front. In its defense, however, the new, true dual-band D-Link DIR-855 has the same design, but with a slightly smaller footprint. Generally, we prefer a more compact design, with the antennae hidden inside the casing (or at least placed on the side), away from the ports, as with the Linksys WRT310N or the dual-band WRT610N.

The TL-WR941ND doesn't come with much. Inside the box you will find the router itself, a power adapter, a little Quick Installation Guide booklet, and a software CD that contains nothing but manuals of virtually every TP-Link router in PDF format. Nonetheless, it's easy to set it up by following the setup guide, and to configure the router using the Web interface. It took us just a few minutes to get the device up and running. Unlike the D-Link DIR-855 or the Linksys WRT310N, the TP-Link TL-WR941ND doesn't have a desktop setup application, so you'll need to stick with the Web interface.


Features

On the front, near the blue LED lights, the TP-Link TL-WR941ND features a Quick Secure Setup (QSS) button, which is essentially the push button for its Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) feature. By pressing this button, you instigate a window of a few minutes where WPS-compliant clients can join the wireless network without you having to enter the encryption key--a simple, yet secure, method for adding clients to your network.

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  • Remote Management Protocol HTTP
  • Connectivity Technology wireless
About The Author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.