The TP-Link TL-WR941ND Wireless N Router is a wireless router that supports the Draft N 2.0 specification and not much else. This means no network storage or dual-band support (the router works only in the 2.4GHz frequency), no print-serving capability, and no Gigabit Ethernet. The router doesn't even offer N-mode-only operation, in which Wireless-N routers can show off their N throughput speed without being interfered with by legacy clients. Instead, the TL-WR941ND works in mixed mode, where it supports both Wireless-N and Wireless-b/g clients. The TP-Link does, however, offer Wi-Fi Protected Setup, long-range, above-average throughput performance, and a stable signal. For about $60, the router is one of the most affordable Wireless-N routers on the market. For another $30 or so, though, we'd recommend the Linksys WRT310N, which has a much longer list of features and a better design.
Design and ease of use
The TL-WR941ND has the typical design of a wireless router from a few years ago; it's a squarish box with three antennae on the back--crowding the network ports--and an array of LED blue indicator lights on the front. In its defense, however, the new, true dual-band D-Link DIR-855 has the same design, but with a slightly smaller footprint. Generally, we prefer a more compact design, with the antennae hidden inside the casing (or at least placed on the side), away from the ports, as with the Linksys WRT310N or the dual-band WRT610N.
The TL-WR941ND doesn't come with much. Inside the box you will find the router itself, a power adapter, a little Quick Installation Guide booklet, and a software CD that contains nothing but manuals of virtually every TP-Link router in PDF format. Nonetheless, it's easy to set it up by following the setup guide, and to configure the router using the Web interface. It took us just a few minutes to get the device up and running. Unlike the D-Link DIR-855 or the Linksys WRT310N, the TP-Link TL-WR941ND doesn't have a desktop setup application, so you'll need to stick with the Web interface.
On the front, near the blue LED lights, the TP-Link TL-WR941ND features a Quick Secure Setup (QSS) button, which is essentially the push button for its Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) feature. By pressing this button, you instigate a window of a few minutes where WPS-compliant clients can join the wireless network without you having to enter the encryption key--a simple, yet secure, method for adding clients to your network.
The TP-Link TL-WR941ND has four LAN ports and one WAN port. None of these ports are a gigabit port, which is disappointing for a Wireless-N router. It doesn't have a USB port, either. This means there are no USB-related features, such as print serving, attached storage, or Windows Connect Now, which would allow you to transfer the wireless encryption from the router to other clients using a USB thumb drive. Most other Wireless-N routers support at least some of these features, for example the D-Link DIR-655.