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Wi-Fi Router Charts

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Mesh System Charts

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Throughput Testing & The Verdict

Table 1 summarizes my Qcheck tests that show a big difference in inbound and outbound TCP routing performance with outbound almost 7 times faster! Note that you probably wouldn't notice this difference unless you had a fiber or DSL2 / 2+ connection.

Firmware Version: 1.37
Build May 10 2005 11:38:48
Test
Description
Transfer
Rate
(Mbps)
Response
Time
(msec)
UDP
stream
(@ 1000kbps)
Throughput
(kbps)
Lost
data
(%)

WAN-LAN

14

1 (avg)
1(max)

900

1%

LAN-WAN

94

2 (avg)
4 (max)

904

1%

Table 1: Routing Performance Test results

Note: Details of how we test can be found here.

ASUS confirmed these results (although their testing showed 25Mbps inbound throughput), and said the difference is due to the extra processing that inbound traffic must go through (SPI and DoS, plus ACL and NAT). But they also pointed out that my WAN-LAN results didn't represent throughput from transfers that originated on the LAN side of the 3141 - like most typical networking traffic. Instead, the Qcheck WAN-LAN test measured throughput from transfers originating on the WAN side of the router - like someone accessing an FTP, gaming or web server hosted on the router's LAN side from the Internet would experience.

So I set up an FTP server on the WAN side of the router and used IxChariot's FTPput and FTPget scripts to check out ASUS' explanation. Note that this was done without any virtual servers or Inbound ACL list rules since there are none needed for LAN-initiated transfers. The results confirmed ASUS' assertions with average throughputs of about 83 Mbps and 86 Mbps for FTPput (LAN > WAN) and FTPget (WAN > LAN) respectively.

So is the RX3141 a good deal? It all depends on how much you value its support of Jumbo Frames. As I write this, it's not in stock anywhere in the U.S. but has a lowest on-line price of $115. This compares well with D-Link's DGL-4100 (the only other non-wireless gigabit Ethernet consumer router available) at $107. So you're not paying a lot for the Jumbo Frames feature.

But where the 3141 disappoints is in its routing feature set and user interface, which are more reminiscent of earlier-generation products than what most of ASUS' well-established competitors are currently producing. In particular the RX3141 has neither the DGL-4100's GameFuel automatic QoS, nor its parental controls and schedulable port filtering, nor its more user-friendly controls.

So if gigabit is what you gotta have, but you can live without Jumbo Frames, you'd be better off - both in features and in money saved - by checking out D-Link's GameFuel duo, or rolling your own solution with separate router and gigabit switch.

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