Router Charts

Router Charts

Router Ranker

Router Ranker

Router Chooser

Router Chooser

NAS Charts

NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

NAS Ranker

More Tools

More Tools

Wireless Reviews

Some readers noticed that Cisco's Linksys E4200 was notably absent from the three-router three-stream N round-up posted last week. That was because I had given my review unit away in a contest. But Cisco quickly sent another for three-stream testing. So let's get to it!

Two more 3 stream routers

Cisco Linksys E4200

To recap, the E4200 is a three stream N on 5 GHz only router with a Broadcom-based design very similar to NETGEAR's WNDR4000, using a Broadcom BCM4331 Single-Chip 802.11n Dual-Band 3x3 for the 5 GHz radio. (Check the E4200 review for full construction details.)

I first upgraded it to 1.0.02 firmware, set it up on Channel 36 and proceeded to test away with the new three-stream test procedure.

The summary table in Figure 1 includes test results for all four 5 GHz band three-stream routers tested this time and in the previous article. The WNDR4000, E4200 and DIR-665 take turns winning the various rounds, all performing significantly better than the Belkin N750 DB. The Marvell-based D-Link DIR-665 produced the highest throughput of 93 Mbps running downlink in Location A.

Three stream performance - 5 GHz band

Figure 1: Three stream performance - 5 GHz band

Note, however, how fast that throughput drops off when moving from strongest signal Location A to medium signal level Location C and even faster moving to medium low location D. Keep in mind that there are no walls between Location C and D and only about 20 feet distance between them.

It appears that three-stream N is even more susceptible to throughput loss due to physical obstacles than two-stream! This is a bit easier to see using the Performance vs. Location plot in Figure 2.

Performance vs. Location -3 stream downlink, 20 MHz mode

Figure 2: Performance vs. Location -3 stream downlink, 20 MHz mode

The IxChariot plot in Figure 3 shows that the E4200's throughput is pretty steady. But I should note that in many cases for this and the D-Link, I had to make multiple runs so that throughput shifts wouldn't undully influence results.

Cisco Linksys E4200 IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink

Figure 3: Cisco Linksys E4200 IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, three stream client

I measured 124 Mbps of total throughput running simultaneous up and downlink tests in location A in Auto 20/40 mode.

Here are links to the other 5 GHz plots for your inspection:

More Wireless

Amazon Top-Selling Wireless Routers

Top Performing Routers

AC2350
AC1900
AC1750
AC1200
N600

Top Performing NASes

1 drive
2 drives
4 drives
6 drives
8 drives