Forum Thread

Horrible Range on TP-LINK TL-WDR4300

SouthPawNd 2,742 1,157 September 3, 2013 at 12:24 PM
So I bought the TP-LINK TL-WDR4300 dual band router to replace my always reliable Asus RT-N16 Router in order to get dual band performance.

First impression, it has horrible range. I know the 5GHz band isn't supposed to get great coverage but the 2.4GHz range is just horrendous compared to my Asus RT-N16 (which runs Tomato). I followed the wiki to reflash it with OpenWrt (with Luci web interface) and try messing around with the wifi settings (not many options compared with DD-WRT or Tomato). I tried the different transmit power settings (as well switching to the 40MHz step size) and still horrible range; my Sony XBR TV in the living room (maybe 20 feet away through at couple walls) can see it but I can't stream Netflix at all; the status on OpenWrt shows zero to 1 (occasionally) bar reception to the TV and the max rx speed is 1Mps and tx speed is 6.5Mps. Very disappointed; I switched back to my Asus RT-N16 and it runs great again (I get 2-3 bars with the Asus). The coverage on the RT-N16 is not that great but it's hell of a lot better than the TL-WDR4300. I'm planning to reflash the WDR4300 with DD-WRT (or possible stock firmware, which I don't want to use because I need all the custom more advanced settings) to try but it seems it's a hardware limitation than software. Any advice from those who have used this router?

TIA.

7 Comments

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Joined Aug 2005
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#2
It's possible you have a defective router. If your convinced it should have better range I would flash it back to stock and try another. Reviews for it seem mixed so I would think this might be it.
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#3
1.) 40 MHz won't help with range.
2.) Have you done a site survey? Were you using the same channel on the N16 and the 4300?
3.) The antenna radiation pattern is perpendicular to the antenna. How do you have the antennae positioned? If you have it seated on a table and it's the same floor, the antennae should probably all be in the full vertical position or close to it.
4.) Do you have similar transmit power for both boxes? What are they set at, max?

If the above don't improve the situation I would entertain Liquid's notion and try an RMA.
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#4
I have that router and use gargoyle (openwrt) and it seems fine. Granted I don't have a big place but I would give it a try.
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#5
I am on the same boat and now spent many hours to troubleshoot the range issue without much success. My previous $10 tenda router had a better range - wanted to upgrade to better speed. Any help will be appreciated.
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#6
Quote from offers_1001 View Post :
I am on the same boat and now spent many hours to troubleshoot the range issue without much success. My previous $10 tenda router had a better range - wanted to upgrade to better speed. Any help will be appreciated.
Without being there it is difficult to gauge what could be wrong, but it is always possible you have a lemon with a bad antenna connection. Assuming you have upgraded to gargoyle, done a proper site survey etc...

I would remove all antenna and switch them around. If that fails i would contact support ot the seller and get another one as the range was equal to my asus routers.
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#7
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
It's possible you have a defective router. If your convinced it should have better range I would flash it back to stock and try another. Reviews for it seem mixed so I would think this might be it.
^^

Sounds like a defective unit.

I bought a TP Link 3500 [microcenter.com]? Dual Band for $40. It's been great so far running on 5 Months now.

I'm a huge fan of DD-WRT but I'm also a huge fan of don't fix it if it's not broken.

My last router which was a Linksys WRT160n had to be frequently rebooted until I installed DD-WRT on it.

This router I left as is to see how it performed and so far no issues and no reboots required. Not going slap DD-WRT on it if I don't need to.

I'd guess yours is defective.
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#8
Just install stock firmware and be happy there is no issue with this router on stock firmware. Its when you go messing around with third party firmware that things go wrong.

TP-Link is not Linksys which doesn't even try. TP-Link firmware is the best for one to use for their routers,
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Last edited by boltman2007 September 4, 2013 at 08:20 AM
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