A Closer Look
I really like the look of this router. It’s simple, the colors contrast nicely, there’s detachable antennas, and even though I don’t really need it, the ethernet ports on the back are nicely colored. Size wise, it is very similar to the TRENDnet TEW-691GR which we reviewed a while back. The front of the TL-WR1043ND is home to all of the status LEDs. Most of the LEDs are pretty standard, power, WLAN, 1 – 4 LAN ports, WAN, USB, and QSS. One LED that I haven’t seen on other routers is SYS. The SYS LED will constantly flash as long as the router is operating properly. If the router is having issues, the LED will either be off or steady on. I’m not too sure why this is included, besides giving users the ability to quickly check if there’s a problem with the router.
The QSS (WPS) button on the front is easy to access. Sometimes WPS buttons can be in obscure locations on a router, or be difficult to press. Neither are true for the TL-WR1043ND. If we check out the bottom, we’ll see the normal sticker which displays the default info for the router, serial number, and MAC address. Although, one thing that might be overlooked are the mounting brackets. There is one on either side, and the antennas can lay flat, or stand straight up, so the TL-WR1043ND is perfect for wall mounting. The only minor complaint I have at this point is you have to make sure to really screw the antennas on tight. Otherwise when you move them to the right, they may slightly loosen. A lock mechanism might be a better choice for future versions of this router.