- Simultaneous Dual Band, 300+450Mbps
- USB Storage, Printer, Media Server
- IP based bandwidth control
- Wireless On/Off Switch
- 3 External antennas
- Windows 8 compatible
Tough to recommend 08/13/2013
• 2.4 GHZ download speeds on par with a wired connection when you are in the same room with the router. I usually pull about 7MB per/sec on a wired connection when downloading game content from Steam – very similar numbers with both wireless bands
• Simple setup within a browser window
• After two weeks of constant use – never lost an established connection with any wireless device on my network (laptops, phones, desktop w/Wi-Fi card, smart TV, and Wi-Fi blue ray players)
• No power cycles (plug/unplug) in that two weeks of use
• Very lightweight design had me concerned about it running too hot – especially while pounding both bands simultaneously. Ran slightly warm, but I attribute that to the warmth of the room that it was operating in.
• Printer and file sharing worked flawlessly (just need to install a small application on each machine)
• On/off switch for wireless is a cool feature – haven’t seen that on my other routers
• Cost after rebate is excellent for a dual-band router that has so many features
• Maintained a VPN connection to my place of employment (working from home) for three consecutive days – and never lost the connection, despite me pounding it with downloads and multiple device connections
• Bright yellow sticker covering the Ethernet ports (a deterrent for the novice user who doesn't read installation directions first – great idea
• Solid explanations of each and every setting within the firmware
• All of the security settings that you want to see (usual variety of encryption options, guest network, WPS)
• TP-Link website (particularly the download area) is easy to navigate, and find what you need
• Firmware update as easy as flashing the bios on a standard motherboard
• TP-Link responds with helpful comments to users reviews – very rare to see, and also very cool
• Based off my comments above, I would say that this router can be counted on to be reliable for maintaining your connections
• Setup disk would not run to completion on a Win8 64-bit Pro desktop, nor would it complete on a Win7 64-bit Pro machine. Setup would run part way through, then error out saying that there was no network connection – please verify if you are connected to your network. I figured it was a Win8 issue, so I went to TP-Links website, and downloaded the latest installer. While this worked just fine, your average user would probably have spent wasted time on their hands and knees tracing network cables. I tried the setup on a Win7 desktop – same negative results. Same negative results when attempting to install the printer sharing software, as well
• Very large in size (about 6” x 10”) and can’t be mounted vertically. While lightweight, it’s definitely a big boy – one of the largest routers I’ve ever used
• Wireless speeds on both bands (especially the 2.4GHZ band) suffered in a huge way as soon as you put one wall between your device and the router
• Despite the very large size of the three included antennas, the wireless range was not acceptable. My standard router (Asus N750) is half the size of the WDR4300 + has internal antennas – and tested twice as fast with everything else being equal
• LED indicator lights look fine up close, but end up looking like distracting blue blurs once you get a few feet from the router
• While the WDR4300 refused to drop a connection from any reasonable spot in our home, connecting from distance was the complete opposite. With the router upstairs in our bonus room, we all took turns sitting downstairs on our living room sofa, trying to connect laptops, phones, blue ray players, and our smart TV. There is one wall between that sofa and room, with about 60 feet of distance. Connection attempt success from that distance with a half-wall in between, was about 75%. Moving another twenty feet to the far corner of the room (where our TV is mounted on the wall), and you could drop that percentage below 50%.
• We were only able to connect our smart TV to the network when I walked the router outside the room (with no wall in between devices). Connection was no problem at that point, but as soon as I moved the router back to its normal location (with the wall in between) the speed dropped below 1MB per/sec, and I wasn't able to stream YouTube content without freezing or buffering.
I was a little jaded going into this experience, as I had previously used a TP-Link WR940N, and had constant problems with it needing to be power cycled every other day on the average (put up with that for a few weeks before it was replaced). I never ran into any problems like that with the WDR4300, but it’s range and speed, while maybe adequate for the money spent, would never make the average home user happy enough to continue wanting to use it.
All testing was done with a CAT 6 cable from the modem to the router. I ran my initial tests with the stock firmware, and leaving the channel on auto. I was hopeful that current firmware would make a big difference, as well as trying all of the channels – but it was all pretty much the same in terms of range and speed.
I would run bandwidth tests from sites like speedtest.net, and while the laptop was in the same room (regardless of the distance from the router) I would pull results on par with my wired connection (usually around 60MB per/sec on a Comcast Blast package). If I moved to the staircase (with the wall between the devices) – speeds would drop to the 16MB per/sec range.
Wireless downloads from Steam would drop to 3MB per/sec once I put the wall between the devices, and would drop fluctuate between 1-2MB per/sec at the farther corners of our downstairs living space. We have a very open floor plan in our home, and while I got the expected speed results when I went out into our garage/back patio/bedrooms, I was definitely expecting better range in such an open environment.
Frankly speaking, your average user isn't going to care about how fast something is within one room. They’ll want range throughout the house. You buy a wireless router hoping for a good blend of speed and range, and that wasn't happening with this particular unit.
While I understand that the router I used for a comparison (Asus N750) usually ranges in price from $117-$149, the WDR4300 is normally priced around $100 – and I consistently saw twice the download speed when making comparisons. The only time they were comparable was when I had 4+ devices downloading a variety of small/large file sizes from the internet, or from a portable hard drive that I had connected to the USB 2.0 port on the back of the router. I think the average consumer would pay a few more dollars for these much better results.
Thank you for the detailed review!
We're happy to hear you like the features on the router and the router works very stable so far.
For the setup utility issue, I think the reason is not rebooting the cable modem before you run the utility.
We usually suggest the customer reboot the cable modem and then configure the router via device management page or utility on the CD.
For the wireless range issue, may I suggest you change the wireless channel to 6 for a try? It should improve the wireless range.
We keep on improving the router to provide better experience to the customers.
Your review opens another opportunity.
My email is: email@example.com
If you need further info, please feel free to let me know.
TP-LINK Support Team
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