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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Tests

The routing tests gave you a preview of best-case wireless speeds, which weren't too shabby. I wish I could say the same for the products' range and WEP / WPA performance, however, as you can see from the test results below.

NOTE!Testing Notes:
- All tests were run with WEP disabled, STA to AP (uplink)
- All tests were run with the AP placed on raised table top in horizontal position
- Signal strength readings were not available

3Com 802.11g wireless performance test results are presented in the table below:

Test Conditions:

- WEP encryption: DISABLED
- Tx Rate: Automatic
- Power Save: Disabled
- Test Partner: Linksys WPC54G CardBus card
Firmware/Driver Versions:

AP f/w: Version 1.0 Release 2
Wireless client driver: WinXP 3.30.15.0
Test
Description
Signal
Strength
(%)
Transfer
Rate
(Mbps)
Response
Time
(msec)
UDP
stream
Throughput
(kbps)
Lost
data
(%)

Client to AP -
Condition 1

N/A


21.2 [No WEP]
18.9 [WEP 128]
12.9 [WPA / TKIP]

1 (avg)
1 (max)

500

0%

Client to AP -
Condition 2

N/A

1.7

9 (avg)
14 (max)

483

0%

[Details of how we test can be found here.]

3Com multi-location uplink throughput comparison

Figure 12: 3Com multi-location uplink throughput comparison
(click on the image for a larger view)

NETGEAR 802.11g wireless performance test results are presented in the table below:

Test Conditions:

- WEP encryption: DISABLED
- Tx Rate: Automatic
- Power Save: Disabled
- Test Partner: Linksys WPC54G CardBus card
Firmware/Driver Versions:

AP f/w: V1.0_07
Wireless client driver: WinXP 3.30.15.0
Test
Description
Signal
Strength
(%)
Transfer
Rate
(Mbps)
Response
Time
(msec)
UDP
stream
Throughput
(kbps)
Lost
data
(%)

Client to AP -
Condition 1

N/A


23.7 [No WEP]
23.2 [WEP 128]
15.3 [WPA TKIP]

1 (avg)
1 (max)

500

0%

Client to AP -
Condition 2

N/A

1.7

8 (avg)
17 (max)

452

0%

[Details of how we test can be found here.]

NETGEAR multi-location uplink throughput comparison

Figure 13: NETGEAR multi-location uplink throughput comparison
(click on the image for a larger view)

Figures 12 and 13 show that both products have very limited range, with the inability to run tests at both my longer-range Location 3 and 4 test positions. And even in my Location 2, which is approximately 30 feet away with two sheetrock walls between AP and Client, you can see that the link between client and router was very weak. If these products were intended for normal home use, I'd give them both a thumbs-down so hard I'd probably hurt myself.

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