Hardware Router Chart – Update 1

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Tim Higgins

New Grist for the Mill

No sooner had the bits dried on the first posting of this chart, than we heard from a reader who had a different take on our findings. The upshot of the discussion is that we’re taking a look at beefing up our router throughput testing.

The first fruits of the test process enhancement effort will be shown in an article to be published next week. The article will attempt to answer the question of which, if any, of the latest and greatest consumer routers can handle the demands of P2P applications like BitTorrent and eDonkey when used on a high-bandwidth connection. And when we say “high-bandwidth”, we mean 10 Mbps and up and not the piddling stuff that most of us here in the U.S. have to pay top price for.

In the meantime, you’ll have to content yourselves with the addition of three new routers to the chart: The D-Link DI-634M, Zyxel X-550 and Belkin Pre-N. The DI-634M is an Atheros-based MIMO router that incorporates the same StreamEngine technology used in D-Link’s DGL-4100 and DGL-4300 Gaming routers. Ubicom’s StreamEngine is also found inside Zyxel’s X550. Both the DI-634M and Zyxel use Atheros’ VLocity MIMO chipsets.

Note that the top four routers now have a third “Total” speed bar, which comes from the test technique that will be described next week. But we’ve also provided our separate upload and download throughput measurements so that you can compare the new entries with the other chart entries. The new test method shows speeds for the top four products that are in excess of 100 Mbps!

You’ll also note that we’ve dropped the VLAN checkbox column in order to make more space for the longer speed bars! We’ll bring it back when routers actually hit the market that support this feature!

You can access the latest charts here.

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