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TP-Link TL-WR1043ND Router

How to Install DD-WRT on TP-Link TL-WR1043ND

In this post, I will walk you through converting your TP-Link TL-WR1043ND from factory firmware to DD-WRT 3rd party firmware.  DD-WRT is generally more stable than the factory firmware and contains more advanced features.  This is a pretty easy firmware upgrade with one catch.  If your router’s Serial Number begins with 12, then you will need to perform an additional step before converting to DD-WRT. The extra step is to flash a special german firmware image before flashing to DD-WRT.  Newer versions of the TL-WR1043ND router turn off the WAN port during a firmware upgrade which never gets turned back on in DD-WRT.  This special german firmware image prevents the WAN from being turned off during the DD-WRT conversion.

**UPDATE** If you already have a non working DD-WRT install, you can use this file to revert your firmware back to stock TP-Link. Then you can install the german firmware file and then install DD-WRT.

  •  First, you will need to make a hardwired connection to the router (do not attempt this using a wireless connection).
  • Next you will need to obtain the DD-WRT firmware for this router.  The firmware can be found HERE. The link is to the DD-WRT ftp site.  Select the latest year, then select the most recent build (not a testing build), then select the tplink_tl-wr1043nd folder, and lastly click the factory-to-ddwrt.bin file.  I used build 19419 at the time of writing this.
  • If you have a router that has a serial number starting with 12, then you will need to download THIS german firmware file, otherwise you can skip this step.
  • Open up a browser and navigate to and the default user is admin, default password is admin.
  • Go to System Tools and then Firmware Upgrade.  You should see the following screen:
    Factory Firmware Upgrade
  • If your router serial number starts with 12, select browse and choose the german firmware file that you downloaded earlier.  Otherwise select browse and choose the  factory-to-ddwrt.bin file that you downloaded from DD-WRT.
  • You will then see the next two screens and your router will automatically reboot.
  • If you uploaded the german firmware file, then you will need to go back to System-Tools then Firmware-Upgrade to upload the factory-to-ddwrt.bin file.
  • Once you have uploaded the factory-to-ddwrt.bin file, the router will reboot and you will see the DD-WRT setup screen.  You just need to set your username and password and you are ready to start configuring your DD-WRT router.

If you have any questions or suggestions, leave a comment. Also, let me know what builds you have found to be stable on this router.


About Joey Iodice


  1. Awesome, thanks a lot for the write up. I am going to do this now. I hear DDWRT can make the 1043 a VPN router instead of just supporting VPN pass through. Have you tried that? Also have you gotten the USB printing and HD storage to work?


  2. hello i have a little problem!
    I have a tp-link tl-wr1043nd and after i instaled the dd-wrt when i restart the router i have to log on router interface and give connect to wan port…. its a little bit disturbing …. how can it be fix???

  3. your links to firmware are no longer working and might need updating.
    also what if the serial number starts with 13…. is the german firmware flash also needed?
    thank you very much.

    • German Firmware should not be needed anymore. The only reason I pinpointed certain serial numbers is because they came installed with a factory firmware that had a WAN issue when the router was flashed with a different firmware. The German firmware file did not have this bug which is why it was necessary to flash to it before flashing to an open source firmware. I believe they fixed the problem in their firmware last year so I would suggest getting the latest TP-Link firmware and then flash to DD-WRT.

      Also, the link is still working for me, not sure why it is not for you…

      • thanks a lot for the help!
        and strange. have tried the links to firmware above in different computers and with different browsers with the same result: “page not available…”
        thanks again.

  4. have to correct myself. the only link thats not workin for me is the one that says: The firmware can be found HERE. when i click on HERE the message that page is not available appears.

  5. another thing i notice is that this procedure takes you only to the point of flashing with the factory-to-ddwrt.bin. at that point it is stated that one can start configuring the router.
    the final necessary step of flashing with the latest firmware for the router is not mentioned.
    or do i miss something?

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