TP-Link TD-W8961ND Router Review

TP-Link TD-W8961ND Router Review
TP-Link is the largest small/home office networking provider in China (by market share) and a comparatively recent entry to the international scene, having started branching out in 2005. Still, in this time it's managed to establish its name as a provider of budget networking solutions. How does the TD-W8961ND compare?

On the surface, it's a fairly standard package: a router, switch and ADSL modem combined, with wireless functionality - in this case, wireless N. which runs at a maximum of 300Mbps compared to wireless G's 54Mbps. As a home router, it ticks all the boxes, and it's cheaper than NetGear's more expensive, substantially slower competitor. What could be wrong?

Well, for a start, its performance is substantially worse than the specifications suggest With two antennas and wireless N support, you might expect 300Mbps connections to be a lock. In fact, benchmarks show it maxing out just below 150Mbps - although not even consistently, as transfer speeds fluctuated wildly even at short ranges. Worst of all, they were sometimes so bad that the broadband connection was faster, and the last thing you want out of a router is for it to be a bandwidth bottleneck!

That said, the actual ADSL link is fine, as is wired performance. Set up is easily accomplished thanks to a setup wizard that incorporates the basic settings for a selection of ISPs, UK providers included. Unfortunately, the web interface is poorly built, slow to respond and badly laid out, so if you want to change settings without the wizard, prepare for a bit of a headache.

Design-wise it has some attractive features, including a power button, which is useful for performing quick hard-resets. It's nice that it attempts to hold the hands of novices, but none of that matters a great deal, because the performance is inexplicably poor. Novices would be better served by a device that didn’t manifest problems even when they've put the correct information in. Anyone who requires even slightly more advanced features would be better off elsewhere. The price is attractive, but ultimately it's not hard to see where the corners have been cut.

You could call it cheap and cheerful, only it isn't very cheerful

Interface 4 10/100Mbps RJ45 Ports
1 RJ11 Port
Button 1 Power On/Off Switch
1 WPS Button
1 Wi-Fi On/Off Button
External Power Supply 9VDC/0.85A
IEEE Standards IEEE 802.3, 802.3u
ADSL Standards Full-rate ANSI T1.413 Issue 2,
ITU-T G.992.1(G.DMT),
ITU-T G.992.2(G.Lite)
ITU-T G.994.1 (G.hs),
ITU-T G.995.1
ADSL2 Standards ITU-T G.992.3 (G.dmt.bis),
ITU-T G.992.4 (G.lite.bis)
ADSL2+ Standards ITU-T G.992.5
Dimensions ( W x D x H ) 7.7*5.3*1.5 in. (195*135*39mm)
Antenna Type Omni directional, Detachable, Reverse SMA
Antenna Gain 2x3dBi
Wireless Standards IEEE 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b
Frequency 2.400-2.4835GHz
Wireless Security Support 64/128 bit WEP, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK,
Wireless MAC Filtering
Certification CE, FCC, RoHS
Package Contents TD-W8961ND
External Splitter
RJ-11 Telephone Cable
RJ-45 Ethernet Cable
Quick Installation Guide
Resource CD
Power Adapter
System Requirements Microsoft® Windows® 98SE, NT, 2000, XP, Vista™ or Windows 7, MAC® OS, NetWare®, UNIX® or Linux.
Environment Operating Temperature: 0℃~40℃ (32℉~104℉)
Storage Temperature: -40℃~70℃ (-40℉~158℉)
Operating Humidity: 10%~90% non-condensing
Storage Humidity: 5%~90% non-condensing


Click here for comments
Brian Smith
Friday, October 18, 2013 ×

Fast, Simple set up. Quickly ID'd all other home wireless computers and set up. Significant increase of both Download and Up-load speeds compared to Gigaset SE587 wireless router previously used.

Congrats bro Brian Smith you got PERTAMAX...! hehehehe...