TP-Link TL-WR841N

The TL-WR841N is an Atheros-based 802.11n 300 Mbps capable wireless router for a price that can't be beaten. Its major drawback is the limited amount of flash (4 MB), but even with that in mind it is still a bargain for anyone wanting a cheap upgrade to 802.11n. Also, the OpenWrt devs made some space savings on the firmware images from Backfire to Attitude Adjustment, which meant I could install extra packages (and get that guest AP working, including a speed cap). So if you're on Attitude Adjustment, the limited amount of flash shouldn't be that big a deal. You can always rebuild your image, or base yours off the stock ones by using the OpenWrt image builder and strip e.g. LuCI out.

Keep in mind it's always more interesting space-wise to include packages in your firmware image rather than installing them separately, since the image is a compressed read-only file system (squashfs). Additional packages are installed onto a read-write (non-compressed) overlay.

As with the WNDR3700 this device is running a recent OpenWrt 15.05+ 'Chaos Calmer' build. The flash does not allow for a lot of headroom with 15.05, a.nd RAM is not plentiful either, but it still runs snappily. If you want extra bells and whistles, you might want to remove LuCI from the image, that will save space and lower RAM usage.

Hardware specifications

  • Atheros AR7241-AH1A SoC 400 MHz
  • 4 MB flash
  • 32 MB RAM
  • 5 port Fast Ethernet switch
  • Atheros AR9287 2,4 GHz 802.11bgn 2x2:2
  • Serial port (holes, no pins)

/proc/cpuinfo contents

system type             : Atheros AR7241 rev 1
machine                 : TP-LINK TL-WR841N/ND v7
processor               : 0
cpu model               : MIPS 24Kc V7.4
BogoMIPS                : 265.42
wait instruction        : yes
microsecond timers      : yes
tlb_entries             : 16
extra interrupt vector  : yes
hardware watchpoint     : yes, count: 4, address/irw mask: [0x0ffc, 0x0ffc, 0x0ffb, 0x0ffb]
isa                     : mips1 mips2 mips32r1 mips32r2
ASEs implemented        : mips16
shadow register sets    : 1
kscratch registers      : 0
core                    : 0
VCED exceptions         : not available
VCEI exceptions         : not available
Updated: 2015-11-10