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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance - more

The 2.4 GHz downlink throughput vs. attenuation comparison plot provides a better look at performance specifics. The NETGEAR is clearly the inferior performer of the three and the Linksys the best. The EA9500 starts out with high throughput, stays highest the longest and disconnects last.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The 2.4 GHz uplink plot shows a similar story for the Linksys, except it runs 2 - 3 Mbps lower than the ASUS in the lower attenuation (higher signal) tests.

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The 5 GHz downlink profile shows very closely matched performance for the three routers from 18 dB of attenuation up. I don't know how or why the ASUS had over 500 Mbps throughput in the 0 dB test, but it was repeatable over two tests. But throughput quickly fell into line with the other two routers from there on.

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

For 5 GHz uplink, there is not much to say except the three products perform essentially the same for this benchmark.

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

In all, the performance of these three AC5300 routers is as similar as you might expect for products using basically the same design. I don't see a reason to recommend one over another on the basis of wireless performance.

Maximum Wireless Throughput

Throughput vs. attenuation plots are now done with a 2x2 STA. So we use the Ixia Veriwave that can emulate up to 4x4 ac devices to test maximum wireless throughput. Note the Veriwave does not support non-standard modulation, which includes 1024 QAM in 5 GHz and 256 and 1024 QAM in 2.4 GHz. So these results represent the equivalent of testing with an AC2350 class wireless bridge with maximum link rates of 600 Mbps in 2.4 GHz and 1733 Mbps in 5 GHz. The results posted are an average of 10 one minute test runs.

2.4 GHz results show the three products in a fairly tight range. Note maximum theoretical throughput reported by the Veriwave for these tests (both up and downlink) is 451 Mbps.

2.4 GHz Maximum Wireless Throughput comparison

2.4 GHz Maximum Wireless Throughput comparison

Throughput spread is greater for 5 GHz with the Linksys turning in the lowest results of the group. The reason is probably that I could only get the test to run by dropping the MCS rate to 6 (1170 Mbps) for the Linksys. In contrast, the ASUS turned in best performance at MCS 7 (1300 Mbps). Only the top-performer in this test, the NETGEAR R8500, was able to connect at the maximum MCS9 (1733 Mbps). However, I had to run the test on Channel 153 with the NETGEAR; it would not connect using Channel 40.

5 GHz Maximum Wireless Throughput comparison

5 GHz Maximum Wireless Throughput comparison

Why No Router Ranking?

With the major changes to our router test methodology, the ranking criteria also must change. Unfortunately, the current version of the Ranker supports only one set of ranking criteria per product class. We're hard at work on a completely revamped Charts system that will support multiple sets of ranking criteria and test data that will make everything right again. Please bear with us in the meantime.

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