A brief review of TPLink's TL-R470T+ Load Balanced Router
As a remote worker, one of the drawbacks to living in the countryside is that fast and reliable Internet Service Providers are scarce. The fastest available subscription peaked at 3800Kbps downstream over a single ADSL connection, at my NID (Network Interface Device), I had two twisted pairs available, which meant I could have two connections. Unfortunately, two connections requires two modems, since my ISP did not offer Bonded ADSL. With the potential of 7600Kbps downstream coming into the house between both modems, I needed a device that had the ability to link those two connections into one. Thankfully, the TP-link TL-R470T+ Internal Universal Power Supply Load Balance Broadband Router offered what I was looking for, at a good price of ~$42USD too!
Unboxing and setup was a breeze, I configured two WAN ports, one for each modem; TP-Link advertises that the router can support up to four up-links. The router is not too bad-looking either, it has a rugged metal case and an internal power transformer, which is always a win in my book; the case does not get that warm either. From what I recall, the only change I made to the configuration was disabling the Enable Application Optimized Routing setting, pictured below. My DDWRT router handles QOS for the network and is the only device plugged into the TP-Link’s LAN port, without disabling this setting it seemed that the TP-Link would prevent any requests for several minutes until resuming, however your mileage may vary.
There are a few services that do not like that my IP address changes, however the user interface offers the ability to add exceptions and filter that traffic through one particular uplink, even based on the particular time of day. Yes, that means I cannot use all the bandwidth I have for that service, but I only have two exceptions added, honestly I do not use them often nor do I really notice the degradation of speed since other traffic is split across both connections.
One of the common complaints that I read amongs reviews was that this device needed to be manually restarted every couple of hours or days, however I have not seen where this is necessary. Maybe I lucked out with the v4.0 hardware build or the specific firmware that I am running, but as you can see from the screenshot, it has been up for 79 days. I am sure that is around the time that I rearranged the office, which would have resulted in everything being unplugged and relocated.
Did you catch it? It’s been up for 79 Day, …, and 61 Sec. The other day I caught this at 117 seconds, then it finally rolled over and incremented the minutes value.
Overall, I am very pleased with this piece of hardware and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable load balancer for their home or home office. For home office and remote workers, do not let the price tag fool you, this is hardware I rely on every day and it has yet to fail me once. Plus, being able to pick one of these puppies up on Amazon for ~$42USD at this time is unbeatable for the reliability that I have seen.