Wow, what a difference this custom firmware makes on your device. I'm kicking myself for not trying this out earlier! Although it's not officially listed on the supported devices database, there's a beta build for the TL-WR1043ND v2.1 on the FTP that is pretty stable.
First of all, there are plenty of guides for the v1.x hardware router. Make sure you've got the v2.x version! It's on the box, and the router even LOOKS different. Otherwise you'd have yourself a pretty brick.
At time of posting on 5th of January 2015, I got the latest build from ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2015/01-04-2015-r25760/
If this is the first time you're flashing DD-WRT on the router then grab "factory-to-ddwrt.bin", otherwise get "tplink_tl-wr1043nd-v2.bin".
It's advised you reset your router configuration before flashing with DD-WRT. Hold the reset button for 10 seconds so the router reboots. The guides usually recommend the 30/30/30 rule, which means hold it for 30 while it's on, hold it for 30 while it's off, and continue holding it for another 30 while you turn it on again.
- Log into the router admin page at 192.168.0.1 (default) and then go to System Tools > Firmware Upgrade.
- Select the custom firmware file you downloaded earlier.
- Click upgrade
- Wait for it to finish
- The page refresh will fail, because the IP of the router will have changed to 192.168.1.1.
- Change the address in your browser to http://192.168.1.1
- Set up the admin username/password and you'll be on your merry way.
Well that was surprisingly short and simple, so here's a cute little puffer fish GIF to brighten your day.