Like every other website on the planet, SmallNetBuilder uses cookies. Our cookies track login status, but we only allow admins to log in anyway, so those don't apply to you. Any other cookies you pick up during your visit come from advertisers, which we don't control.
If you continue to use the site, you agree to tolerate our use of cookies. Thank you!

Router Charts

Click for Router Charts

Router Ranker

Click for Router Ranker

NAS Charts

Click for NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

Click for NAS Ranker

More Tools

Click for More Tools

Wireless Features

Introduction

Quite some time ago, a reader wrote to complain that he had to constantly power-cycle his access point because it kept locking up on him. He also posed the question: "If I spend more, do I get a more reliable product?".

I thought that was a very good question, but didn't really have a good way to answer it at the time. Although single-client throughput testing is fine for seeing how fast WLAN gear can go, a single wireless link really isn't sufficient to make current-generation AP's break a sweat.

Fortunately, time and the march of technology have provided a solution to simplifying WLAN load-testing in the form of Communication Machinery Corporation's Emulation Engine (since acquired by Ixia). Armed with this handy little box, I set out to separate the 98 pound weaklings from the kings of the wireless beach. What I found, however, may surprise you...

CMC's Emulation Engine

Think of the Emulation Engine (EE) as an access point in reverse. Instead of providing connection to a wired LAN for multiple wireless clients or stations (STAs), it generates multiple wireless STAs that can transmit and receive data to / from a target wireless AP or router. The data sent can be either simple internally-generated ping traffic, or come from an external traffic generator such as Ixia's IxChariot.

CMC's Emulation Engine

Figure 1: CMC's Emulation Engine

These multiple STAs aren't the product of a bunch of radios crammed into the EE's enclosure, but are instead virtual stations (vSTAs), all generated from a single mini-PCI radio. Each vSTA has its own IP and MAC address and individually authenticates, associates and transmits and receives data.

CMC produces a number of Emulation Engine models and recently upgraded its product line to its more powerful XT platform. They also introduced a model capable of exercising APs using data secured by Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). But I agreed to use a previous-generation EE a/b/g model, since its ability to test 802.11a,b and g APs with WEP enabled was fine for my purposes, and CMC was able to loan it to me for longer than any of the newer platforms.

More Wireless

Wi-Fi System Tools
Check out our Wi-Fi System Charts, Ranker and Finder!

Support Us!

If you like what we do and want to thank us, just buy something on Amazon. We'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!

Over In The Forums

My GT-AC5300 is only getting between 50mbps and 150mbps. I have a gigabit connection. From the modem directly, I get 900mbps. I've changed cables and ...
So, this is a thing that has bugged me for a long time. When I am on the Network Map page, I see the clients connected with 31 connected clients. Then...
I ran into this issue early today and figure to upgrade the firmware to 384.8_2 since it is available (hoping that fixes the issue)...But I still can ...
Hi..This is related to Asus RT-AC88U firmware version 384.8_2 but I always get "Cannot assign requested address" and "Failed to get IP for interface e...
I have one Asus 68u repeater mode in the basement connected wirelessly to a bell parent modem/router on main floor. Only wifi is working on Asus route...

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3