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LAN & WAN Reviews

Wireless Tests

Since Qcheck can't test throughput over a long period of time or generate plots, I decided to use the open source applications IPERF and its GUI front end, JPERF for wireless throughput measurements. The table below summarizes the test results.

Test Conditions:

- WEP encryption: DISABLED
- WPA-PSK ENABLED
- Tx Rate: Automatic
- Power Save: Disabled
- Test Partner: ZyXEL ZyAir G-220 USB Adapter
Firmware/Driver Versions:

AP f/w:
v3.60
Wireless client driver:
No Info
Wireless client f/w:
WinXP 1.146.705.2004
Test
Description
Transfer
Rate
(Mbps)
Response
Time
(msec)
UDP
stream
Throughput
(kbps)
Lost
data
(%)

Client to AP -
Condition 1

19

1 (avg)
1 (max)

500

0 %

Client to AP -
Condition 2

17

1 (avg)
2 (max)

500

0 %

Client to AP -
Condition 3

17

2 (avg)
2 (max)

499

0 %

NOTE!Test Conditions :
- WPA-PSK was enabled
- Throughput taken with IPERF at default settings (8 kByte file sizes) for 120 seconds, data collected each second and averaged.
- Qcheck used for Response Time and UDP Streaming results (500kbps rate)
- Condition 1: AP and STA in same room, 7 feet apart
- Condition 2: AP and STA in separate rooms, 1 wall between, 15 feet apart
- Condition 3: AP and STA in separate rooms, 2 walls between, 16 feet apart

The graphs JPERF generates are certainly not as detailed as those generated by IxChariot - which I would have preferred to use - but JPERF was an alternative that proved suitable for my needs, and is also free! I eventually decided I could improve upon the graphs generated by JPERF and opted to take data straight from IPERF and run it through Microsoft Graph after cleaning it up with some simple regular expressions. Figure 16 shows a plot of the Condition 1 results.

ex. iperf -c 192.168.1.35 -t 120 -i 1

Condition 1, Access Point and WiFi Adapter in same room, ~7 feet apart.

Figure 16: Condition 1, Access Point and WiFi Adapter in same room, ~7 feet apart.

The results clearly show that the HS-100W / ZyAir G-220 provides a solid strength radio signal through 1 and 2 walls, with nominal performance degradation at the short distances I was able to test the device at. I would have been interested to push the HS-100W a bit further to test its maximum communication range but was limited by a variety of unfortunate circumstances.

ZyXEL was kind enough to send two WiFi Adapters to test out the HS-100Ws abilities, but I soon discovered that I was unable to get their ZyAir G-100 CardBus card to make a connection (regardless of the fact that it did detect a signal). Thinking this was merely a localized problem with my laptop, I tried in two others with the same frustrating results.

Luckily the ZyAir G-220 USB Adapter ZyXEL also sent worked fine, but since I did not have USB 2.0 ports on any of my laptops, I was forced into using my desktop for the client machine, and my testing abilities became clearly limited due to the lack of mobility! Ultimately I had to move the AP to several different rooms in my home to get the job done. Frustrating indeed!

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