Forum Thread

TP-Link TL-WR1043ND or TP-Link TL-WDR3600?

iBoo 6,537 461 March 15, 2014 at 07:14 PM
I have two pending orders for the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND or TP-Link TL-WDR3600, both for $30.00 thanks to the Staples $30 off $60 promotional code that was applied to my shopping cart.

My question is which router is more stable, reliable, and offer good range and have hardly less signal drops.

I compared the differences between the two routers and only found that one was dual band and the other is single band 2.4ghz.

I am unable to look up the reviews on both routers because Amazon and Newegg combined all the reviews together making it harder to decide which review is for what router.

Thank you and I hope to see your responses.

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#2
I bought tp link for some one the distance was not great
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No comparison, the WDR3600 is better since it's dual band and it even retails for $20 more. I suspect that performance on the 2.4Ghz spectrum should be similar between the two though. And yes, the range probably isn't as good as the Asus devices at $100 more, but if range is an issue upgrading your router isn't the way to solve it.
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Quote from brbubba View Post :
No comparison, the WDR3600 is better since it's dual band and it even retails for $20 more. I suspect that performance on the 2.4Ghz spectrum should be similar between the two though. And yes, the range probably isn't as good as the Asus devices at $100 more, but if range is an issue upgrading your router isn't the way to solve it.
This is my first router.

I don't quite understand why the WDR3600 has only 2 antennas and the 1043ND has 3 antennas?

WDR3600 doesn't specifically say what the dBi are for the two antennas. I also read where the 1043nd is also dd-wrt able.

For both routers priced at $30 ea, I can probably flip them both for $70-80 for a combo.
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Quote from iBoo View Post :
This is my first router.

I don't quite understand why the WDR3600 has only 2 antennas and the 1043ND has 3 antennas?

WDR3600 doesn't specifically say what the dBi are for the two antennas. I also read where the 1043nd is also dd-wrt able.

For both routers priced at $30 ea, I can probably flip them both for $70-80 for a combo.
WDR3600 is ddwrt and openwrt compatible (I run openWRT on my 3600), no clue about the 1043ND.

The third antenna on the 1043ND is for 450Mbps mode on 2.4Ghz. The 3600 is only 300 Mbps capable on 2.4Ghz, but dual band as I mentioned. IMO, 450Mbps is a useless feature because so few cards take advantage of it and you have to live in the boonies with no signal interference to get anywhere near full speeds.
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#6
I agree with Brbubba, buy the dual band model. Dualband will be more useful to the average person than single band.
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Quote from brbubba View Post :
WDR3600 is ddwrt and openwrt compatible (I run openWRT on my 3600), no clue about the 1043ND.

The third antenna on the 1043ND is for 450Mbps mode on 2.4Ghz. The 3600 is only 300 Mbps capable on 2.4Ghz, but dual band as I mentioned. IMO, 450Mbps is a useless feature because so few cards take advantage of it and you have to live in the boonies with no signal interference to get anywhere near full speeds.
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I agree with Brbubba, buy the dual band model. Dualband will be more useful to the average person than single band.
After doing some research on both models, the WR1043ND V2 is a newer version, a recent release, and somewhat better reviews than the WDR3600. I've never actually owned these routers before but the WDR3600 was released in 07/2012.

Brubba, do you have any problems with 5GHz on your dual band router at all?

I really want the dual band but all our devices ( laptops, computers, smart phones ) don't have AC 5GHz capability yet. Stick Out Tongue
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Last edited by iBoo March 17, 2014 at 10:02 AM
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Quote from iBoo View Post :
After doing some research on both models, the WR1043ND V2 is a newer version, a recent release, and somewhat better reviews than the WDR3600. I've never actually owned these routers before but the WDR3600 was released in 07/2012.

Brubba, do you have any problems with 5GHz on your dual band router at all?

I really want the dual band but all our devices ( laptops, computers, smart phones ) don't have AC 5GHz capability yet. Stick Out Tongue
Dual band doesn't always have to be 5ghz. You can also use it to run an N network and a G network both on 2.4ghz at the same time. If you were to do this on a single band router it would slow down the N side to G speeds. For only a $10 difference the dual band makes sense.
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Quote from iBoo View Post :
After doing some research on both models, the WR1043ND V2 is a newer version, a recent release, and somewhat better reviews than the WDR3600. I've never actually owned these routers before but the WDR3600 was released in 07/2012.

Brubba, do you have any problems with 5GHz on your dual band router at all?

I really want the dual band but all our devices ( laptops, computers, smart phones ) don't have AC 5GHz capability yet. Stick Out Tongue
I have no problems with anything on my WDR3600, haven't rebooted once in a year although I did move. Big Grin Only shortcoming is the 5Ghz range, but this will be an issue with ANY 5 Ghz device since 5Ghz will not penetrate walls as well as 2.4Ghz.

V2 of the WR1043ND is newer, V1 is obviously not.
Here are the spec sheets for both
WR1043ND [openwrt.org]
WDR3600 [openwrt.org]

The main thing to note here is the faster CPU of the WR1043ND, almost 200Mhz faster. Yes, this is a good thing, however, newer means less support. I did not see a DDWRT page for this device, while there is one for the 3600. Also there is no openWRT support for the 1043ND in the stable release, it looks like there might be a compatible beta branch, but you're on your own there.

Based on what I'm seeing here we might expect a refresh of the WDR3600/4300 devices with upgraded CPUs in the near future. But, like the 1043ND, we will have to wait for stable third party firmware, assuming it even gets third party firmware. Meanwhile the 3600 has two different compatible firmware variants that are very stable and have been thoroughly tested. So it's up to you, do you want the bleeding edge with a faster CPU or do you want a slower CPU with stable third party firmware and a larger feature set.
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#10
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Dual band doesn't always have to be 5ghz. You can also use it to run an N network and a G network both on 2.4ghz at the same time. If you were to do this on a single band router it would slow down the N side to G speeds. For only a $10 difference the dual band makes sense.
Quote from brbubba View Post :
I have no problems with anything on my WDR3600, haven't rebooted once in a year although I did move. Big Grin Only shortcoming is the 5Ghz range, but this will be an issue with ANY 5 Ghz device since 5Ghz will not penetrate walls as well as 2.4Ghz.

V2 of the WR1043ND is newer, V1 is obviously not.
Here are the spec sheets for both
WR1043ND [openwrt.org]
WDR3600 [openwrt.org]

The main thing to note here is the faster CPU of the WR1043ND, almost 200Mhz faster. Yes, this is a good thing, however, newer means less support. I did not see a DDWRT page for this device, while there is one for the 3600. Also there is no openWRT support for the 1043ND in the stable release, it looks like there might be a compatible beta branch, but you're on your own there.

Based on what I'm seeing here we might expect a refresh of the WDR3600/4300 devices with upgraded CPUs in the near future. But, like the 1043ND, we will have to wait for stable third party firmware, assuming it even gets third party firmware. Meanwhile the 3600 has two different compatible firmware variants that are very stable and have been thoroughly tested. So it's up to you, do you want the bleeding edge with a faster CPU or do you want a slower CPU with stable third party firmware and a larger feature set.
If I were to just use the router without flashing it to a 3rd party firmware, which would you recommend?

What does a router with a faster CPU do anyways?

I might have to just keep the dual band router, however seeing that the 5Ghz doesn't really penetrate through walls well than the 2.4Ghz, it would only be good if you were near or in the same room with the router?

I'm thinking about just keeping the
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Quote from iBoo View Post :
If I were to just use the router without flashing it to a 3rd party firmware, which would you recommend?

What does a router with a faster CPU do anyways?

I might have to just keep the dual band router, however seeing that the 5Ghz doesn't really penetrate through walls well than the 2.4Ghz, it would only be good if you were near or in the same room with the router?

I'm thinking about just keeping the
In my experience CPU is good for WAN to LAN routing speeds. A 200Mhz to 500Mhz jump may produce tangible results, as in speed up your Internet, but a 560Mhz to 720Mhz might be less spectacular or negligible. Will clearly also depend on simultaneous users and features enabled such as QoS, etc.

5 Ghz for me has been usable up to one floor up and one room over, but it's slow, although no slower than 2.4Ghz at that range. In the same room my 5Ghz beats my 2.4Ghz just due to interference from neighbors on 2.4Ghz. Doing a site survey can help determine how valuable 5 Ghz will be for you.

I would still choose the WDR3600 since the stock firmware has been developed to the point where it is now reported as being stable by users. There are some rather horrible reviews on the 1043ND, but it's unclear whether they are referring to the old version or the new version which is different enough where I would say it's an entirely new product.
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Quote from brbubba View Post :
In my experience CPU is good for WAN to LAN routing speeds. A 200Mhz to 500Mhz jump may produce tangible results, as in speed up your Internet, but a 560Mhz to 720Mhz might be less spectacular or negligible. Will clearly also depend on simultaneous users and features enabled such as QoS, etc.

5 Ghz for me has been usable up to one floor up and one room over, but it's slow, although no slower than 2.4Ghz at that range. In the same room my 5Ghz beats my 2.4Ghz just due to interference from neighbors on 2.4Ghz. Doing a site survey can help determine how valuable 5 Ghz will be for you.

I would still choose the WDR3600 since the stock firmware has been developed to the point where it is now reported as being stable by users. There are some rather horrible reviews on the 1043ND, but it's unclear whether they are referring to the old version or the new version which is different enough where I would say it's an entirely new product.

Ok thanks !

I'll go ahead with the WDR3600!

What stable third party firmware should I install on the WDR3600?
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Quote from iBoo View Post :
Ok thanks !

I'll go ahead with the WDR3600!

What stable third party firmware should I install on the WDR3600?
It's up to you! OpenWRT might be for the more technically inclined, but there is Gargoyle which might make things easier. For the simplest and easiest to manage solution DDWRT is always a good choice. Just be careful and read all instructions thoroughly before flashing and if you want to jump from one to the other or back to stock tread VERY carefully!

BTW, you may want to give the stock firmware a shot and see how it works for you, just upgrade the firmware to the latest stock release.
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Quote from brbubba View Post :
It's up to you! OpenWRT might be for the more technically inclined, but there is Gargoyle which might make things easier. For the simplest and easiest to manage solution DDWRT is always a good choice. Just be careful and read all instructions thoroughly before flashing and if you want to jump from one to the other or back to stock tread VERY carefully!

BTW, you may want to give the stock firmware a shot and see how it works for you, just upgrade the firmware to the latest stock release.
May I ask what you're currently using on your router? Smilie
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op go with the dual band wdr2600 and dd-wrt.
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