The TP-Link TL-WR841ND is an economical router suitable for basic networking needs. It offers 802.11n wireless connectivity and comes at a very affordable price. The configuration options are basic, and the router is not suitable for long range. However, if you're looking for a low cost device for connecting wirelessly to the Internet in an apartment or a small home, then this router meets your needs. You must also be willing to give up on ultra-fast Internet speed when connecting via this device.
It has a nice look and is a relatively lightweight router. The connectivity ports are on the rear of the device. The front top side has an array of LED status lights.
The average-sized router hosts four 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports. It also connects to a standalone modem via a WAN port. Two external 3dBi antennas are connected to the router for wireless connections. If you're looking for additional coverage, you can replace the detachable antennas with longer range antenna units or antenna extenders.
The 802.11n standard router is capable of transmitting data at a rate of 300 Mbps. If you're upgrading from 11g standard device, you will find significantly enhanced speed and range on this device. Disconnections at longer range will also be lesser compared to 11g products. At this speed, it is capable of running VoIP applications, online gaming and high definition videos without delay.
It is easy to configure the router via a simple Web interface. It offers a step-by-step procedure that walks you through the setup. There is also the option to manually access standard settings, such as port forwarding and DHCP. A basic firewall is also available that can be turned on or off. Other options include MAC, domain and IP filtering.
With its IP QoS, the TL-WR841N ensures optimum bandwidth consumption and control during heavy data usage. This feature allows users connected to a small network to receive an allocated bandwidth and prevents applications, such as torrent clients to steal excessive bandwidth.
It features WPA, WPA2 and WEP keys as well as TKIP and AES encryption. The router lacks the option to transition between the wireless standards, so users may feel stuck between 802.11g/b/n modes. There are up to 13 different wireless channels to switch from. Users can also choose between 20MHz, 40MHz and automatic mode. With the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) key, users simply have to press the WPS button to establish a WPA2 secure connection that offers enhanced security compared to WEP encryption.
Compared to other routers in this price range, the TL-WR841N delivers superior performance in terms of range as well as data transfer speed. It is capable of delivering an average throughput greater than 6.5 megabytes per second at close range and more than 6 megabytes per second at a range of 10 meters. At longer range though, the data transfer speed falls dramatically and may possibly reduce to half at a distance around 20 meters. If obstacles are placed between the router and the connected device, the speed may even be slower.
Overall, the WR-841N is a decent router suitable for home use. While excellent for usage in an apartment or small home, you may experience troubles upon increasing the range. The router is however, unsuitable for business use where you expect high speed connectivity without any interruption issues.