TP-Link TD-W8950ND wireless modem/router
An all-in-one ADSL2+ modem and wireless router that represents great value for money
- Good wireless performance, cheap
- No keyword filtering, takes some know-how to set it up
If you're looking for a cheap, all-in-one ADSL2+ modem/router, the TP-Link TD-W8950ND is probably the best you'll find. It was fast and reliable during our test period, and it also looks quite nice. However, you do need to know what you're doing when you set it up.
Price$ 70.00 (AUD)
Good value for money is often the first term that comes to mind when starting a TP-Link review. While that might be because we lack the imagination to come up with anything better than cliches for opening lines, it's also because it's true. The TP-Link TD-W8950ND is an all-in-one networking solution that features an ADLS2+ modem, a router, a 4-port 10/100 Ethernet switch and an 802.11n Lite wireless access point. The best part is that you can buy it for $60-$70 if you shop around.
The TP-Link TD-W8950ND should appeal to anyone who just wants a basic all-in-one modem/router in order to share a fast ADSL2+ connection and to transfer files wirelessly between computers. It looks nice, it doesn't have blindingly bright LEDs, its power adapter is small, and it has one relatively big external, removable antenna. However, it does require a little bit of know-how to set it up properly.
The modem can't detect ADSL2+ connection settings automatically, so before you start the Internet setup process (using the modem's Quick Setup), you'll need to know not only your username and password, but also the type of connection (PPPoE for most of us) and the VPI and VCI values your ISP uses. The default values for the VPI and VCI are 0 and 35, respectively. For our ISP, iiNet, the VPI value had to be changed to 8. Other inexpensive modem/routers that we've reviewed, such as Buffalo's AirStation WBMR-HP-GN, only require you to know the type of connection.
You'll need to know more than your username and password in order to successfully connect to your ISP.
Once we were up and running, the TD-W8950ND was a reliable performer. It averaged a download rate of 15.94 megabits per second (Mbps) using PC World's Broadband Speed Test, which is a little slower than other inexpensive modems we've seen, such as the afore-mentioned Buffalo and also the Netgear DGN1000 modem router. Nevertheless, it's still a solid result, and its average upload speed of 862 kilobits per second (Kbps) is actually a fraction faster than both the Buffalo and the Netgear.
The wireless access point of the TP-Link is based on the N Lite specification, which means it isn't really an 802.11n access point, but it can run with 802.11n adapters at a speed up to 150Mbps (real 802.11n access points run at up to 300Mbps). This is much faster than the 54Mbps of a typical 802.11g access point. In our 2m and 10m Wi-Fi tests, the access point returned average transfer speeds of 5.07 megabytes per second (MBps) and 4.67MBps respectively. These results are faster than what the Buffalo and Netgear modem/routers achieved in the same tests and they make the TP-Link a capable performer in a small home or an apartment for tasks such as streaming videos over a wireless network, in addition to sharing a fast ADSL2+ connection. The useable range of the unit is about 15m, but this will vary depending on your own environment.
The router has URL filtering, but not keyword filtering.
Security is by way of an SPI firewall (although you have to enable it yourself) and you can also use IP filtering and MAC address filtering. For parents wishing to restrict the content their kids can access, only URL domain name filtering is offered; there is no keyword filtering. Filtered URLs will not bring up a page saying the content has been blocked; instead, users will just get a connection error. Time of day restrictions can be applied to computers on the network, so parents can disable the Internet late at night for example.
Other features of the TP-Link include QoS, which can prioritise your voice data over Web traffic automatically; port forwarding; DMZ; VPN passthrough. Quick Secure Setup (QSS) is also offered for wireless devices. This allows you to add computers to your secure wireless network by pressing the QSS button on the router, then typing the PIN presented in the router's Web interface into your wireless computer when you are prompted for it.
QSS offers a relatively simple way to add secure clients to your wireless network.
Overall, the TP-Link TD-W8950ND modem/router is a solid unit that represents very good value for money. It was a solid performer in our tests and it's reasonably easy to set up, although you do have to know what you're doing. Its Web interface could use a clearer menu system, but you won't get lost in it as all the menu items are located in the left-hand pane.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the newsletter!
Apple iMac Pro
Ballistix Sport AT
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Toys for Boys
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Internet Security
ESET Smart Security Premium
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Developing data science skills is one of the best things that you can do for your career.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Nokia 7.1 review: A modest and modern mid-tier option
- 3 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 4 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 5 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
Latest News Articles
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards Nominees Announced
- Netgear introduces new weather resistant Orbi outdoor satellite
- Netgear introduces Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Mesh Extender
- Netgear delivers insight Instant VPN router
- Synology launches mesh router
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?