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Router Charts

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Mesh Charts

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The 3500's feature set is very similar to the TL-WR1043ND that Craig reviewed about a year ago. Here's the summary.


  • Static and Dynamic IP, PPPoE , PPTP, L2TP and BigPond Cable WAN connections
  • MTU Adjust on all connection types
  • DHCP Server, lease time setting, default domain and primary/secondary DNS
  • DHCP Client list
  • DHCP reservation
  • Virtual Server entry for single or multiple ports with separate local and remote ports and TCP, UDP or all protocols forwarded. Enable/disable for each entry.  10 preconfigured common service ports
  • Port triggering – can set individual or range of incoming ports.  10 preconfigured common applications
  • DMZ Host
  • UPnP enable/disable with list of current UPnP applications, settings, protocols, internal port and status
  • DDNS support for Dyndns (, Comexe ( and No-IP (


  • SPI firewall enable/disable
  • VPN Passthrough enable/disable for PPTP, L2TP and IPSec
  • Application Layer Gateway enable/disable for FTP, TFPT, H323 and RTSP
  • DoS (denial of service) enable/disable
  • Enable UDP Flood filtering (with settable threshold)
  • Enable TCP-SYN Flood attack filtering (with settable threshold)
  • Ignore Ping Packet from WAN port
  • Ignore Ping Packet from LAN port
  • Limit/allow LAN-based PCs access to router UI
  • Remote Management with user configurable port
  • Internet access control  - Rule based access control for host (domain name or IP address) and target lists(domain name or IP address) using user-defined schedules
  • Enable/disable bandwidth control with user settable egress/ingress (upload/download) speeds.
  • Bandwidth rules list based on IP address (or IP range), port range and protocol

Wireless features

  • WEP, WPA / WPA2 Personal and Enterprise (RADIUS) support
  • Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) support, pushbutton and PIN
  • Auto and manual channel set
  • SSID broadcast enable/disable
  • Enable/disable wireless
  • WDS Bridging
  • Beacon period, RTS threshold, DTIM interval, Fragmentation Threshold adjusts
  • Wireless client isolation (from each other)
  • Wireless MAC address filtering (allow or deny based on MAC address)
  • WMM disable
  • Short GI disable
  • High / medium / low transmit power adjust
  • Beacon period, RTS threshold, DTIM interval, Fragmentation Threshold adjusts
  • Wireless client isolation (from each other)
  • WMM disable
  • Short GI disable

USB features

  • SMB storage sharing
  • FTP server
  • Media server
  • Print server
  • User accounts for SMB and FTP access

Despite the list above, there are some missing features that might make a difference to you:

  • IPv6 support
  • HTTPS (secure) remote management
  • Automatic internet bandwidth measurement
  • Scheduled wireless enable/disable
  • Guest network

Logging in brings you to the Status page, which will look familiar to TP-LINK users. In keeping with its "value" focus, the admin GUI is old-school, with no flashy graphics or Java applets to pretty it up. It responds pretty quickly, except for the times when it requires a reboot to activate new settings. Reboots aren't required for every setting change, though.

TP-LINK TL-WDR3500 Status page

TP-LINK TL-WDR3500 Status page

Craig covered most of TP-LINK's router feature set in his review, so I'll just hit the few differences. The first difference is, of course, the two radios, whose settings are summarized in Table 2.

Setting 2.4 GHz 5 GHz
Channel Auto [default]
1 - 11
Auto [default]
36, 40, 44, 48
149, 153, 157, 161, 165
Channel Width

Auto [default]
20 MHz
40 MHz

Mode 11bgn mixed [default]
11b only
11g only
11n only
11bg mixed
11an mixed [default]
11a only
11n only
Security None
WEP (abg modes only)
WPA/WPA2 Personal
WPA/WPA2 Enterprise
(Both Personal and Enterprise
allow mixed WPA/WPA2 networks)
Table 2: Wireless settings summary

Besides the two radios, the main thing the 3500 brings to under $50 routers is the USB 2.0 port. Instead of only sharing via FTP, the 3500 also provides access to files via SMB (Samba) and to UPnP DLNA devices via its media server. The 3500 also brings a USB print server to the table, but I didn't try it. I did try SMB file sharing, the results of which you will see shortly. For all the servers, you can use NAT or NTFS formatted drives.

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