Let me start off by saying the TP-Link TL-WDR3500 is a great router. The WDR3500 has tons of features that you will find on many flagship routers without a price premium. The fact that you can purchase this router for $49.99 shipped is icing on the cake and we really don’t think you can beat the bang for the buck.
Throughout out testing the TP-Link TL-WDR3500 was rock solid with no drops of signal during our use. Once the router was set up, operation was seamless. Many people will appreciate the fact that you can set the router up out of the box with some level of security to your wireless devices in less than 10 minutes using the included Setup Wizard software. For more advanced users, you have the freedom to customize a number of options to personalize the router to your specific needs. We used the TP-Link in an office where there were multiple wired devices – laptops, cell phones, tablets, and a Western Digital media player – were all connected and working successfully using the TL-WDR3500.
The user interface was identical to that of the TP-Link TL-WDR4300 that we previously reviewed. The interface layout is fairly logical and everything that a typical user would want can be found. We were especially pleased with the ability to name both SSID channels and independently secure them. We left our 2.4GHz channel visible to everyone and hid the 5.0GHz channel. We also set up a few port addresses directing them to specific computers on our network. For those who use Bittorrent or Remote Desktop applications, this feature is a must. We were very happy to find these features working on our $50 router as they did on their flagship model.
As more and more wireless devices come to homes and small offices, it is good to have economical solutions that are solid alternatives to higher priced equipment. People will ask do they really need the ability to have four separate SSIDs or are two good enough for their purposes. Does your house really need multiple USB ports for a fully functional attached storage devices shared over your network?
The TP-Link TL-WDR3500 comes with a standard 2-year limited warranty and is reportedly compatible with third party developed firmware like DD-WRT. For many, being able to use these Beta firmware solutions is an absolute must when it comes to choosing a router.
The TL-WDR3500 really has all of the important features that one is looking for no matter what the cost. As of this printing, you can get the WDR3500 for $49.99 shipped, which is an incredible bargain. Our testing found the TP-Link TL-WDR3500 N600 Wireless Router to have 30-35% lower performance than the TP-Link TL-WDR4300 N750 Wireless Router, but it costs 70% less. It doesn’t have the performance of the higher-end routers, but it doesn’t have the high price tag either! If you are looking for a mainstream cost effective wireless router for your home and don’t need Gigabit LAN ports then this is the perfect device to easily get a home network up and running for all your mobile needs! The cost effectiveness of this router is hard to beat and clearly deserves the Legit Reviews Value Award.
Legit Bottom Line: TP-Link has delivered a fully-functional and very cost-effective dual-band wireless router in the TL-WDR3500. Even though this model doesn’t have gigabit Ethernet, there is nothing that is holding this N600 router as one of the best in its class.