Now we come to the cheapest (and best?) wireless router reviewed on this site. Let’s see if cheap always means worse.
Setup & Software
Okay, I used this one myself a few years ago. While my memories are a bit hazy I’ll try to tell you everything important. The setup is actually pretty standard and easy. With the TP-LINK TL-WR841N comes a CD that guides you step-by-step through the installation progress. Even my father who’s not really savvy in this area manages to install it just fine without asking me for help. So that should say all you need to know.
Hardware & Wireless Connection
This router comes without any USB ports but has the standard 4 LAN ports. Most of the other wireless routers on this site have three (most of the time detachable) antennas but the TP-LINK TL-WR841N only has two fixed ones. You should also note that this is not a dual band router. Instead it only works on 2.4GHz with a maximum speed of 300Mbps.
The performance of this router is kinda stable. As long as you only browse the internet you’ll be fine most of the time. Watching high quality videos can lead to problems if there is more than one active device in your network which may lead to your stream not loading as fast as you’d like it to be. Gaming is a whole different thing though. It gets the job done over long periods of time but sometimes (usually once every hour or so) I experienced heavy lag spikes when playing online. If you ever experienced the same you know exactly how frustrating this can be.
Regarding range the TP-LINK TL-WR841N can’t keep up with the other wireless routers. This was to be expected though since it’s that much cheaper. If the router is in the same room with you and your device (or one room next to it) you’ll have a great connection. In my experience this goes down pretty fast though. So if you’re living in a big house or apartment don’t expect to be able to use this one with full or nearly full signal from just about anywhere.
Let me say this straight: the price/performance ratio is absolutely okay. I used the TP-LINK TL-WR841N for quite a long time (back when I was the only one actively using the network and didn’t spend so much time online) but as soon as you connect many devices or just want a fast and stable connection you will run into trouble. If you know that you’ll sooner or later need something more powerful you should just skip this wireless router and invest a bit more. 99% of the time it’s worth it.