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Wi-Fi Router Charts

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Mesh System Charts

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Wireless Tests

As I said earlier, the 4300 uses an Atheros-based Super-G radio that supports Dynamic Turbo (channel bonding), but not the newer Adaptive Radio or eXtended Range (XR) features. Since I've had plenty of experience testing Super-G product, I expected to breeze through the testing.

Unfortunately, my experience was not so breezy. I'll spare you the details, but I ended up trying two WinXP Home SP2 notebooks, downloading the latest driver (1.30), rebooting multiple times and manually disabling Windows Wireless Zero Config before I could get the D-Link client application to run on the DWL-AG660 AirPremier AG Cardbus adapter that D-Link sent along.

The good news is that the client has a built-in WPA supplicant that supports both WPA-PSK (WPA-Personal) and WPA-Enterprise modes. The bad news is that the supplicant doesn't provide a the selection of TKIP and AES encryption that the 4300's radio provides. And the worse news is that while I could get the client to associate with the 4300 with WPA-PSK enabled, it couldn't get a DHCP lease - which tells me that it wasn't really connected.

At any rate, after all the fun was done I managed to run my standard four-location test in both uplink and downlink directions.

Four location wireless throughput - Uplink

Figure 20: Four location wireless throughput - Uplink
(click image to enlarge)

The drop to around 30Mbps you see in Figure 20 is the by-design behavior of Dynamic Super-G dropping out of channel bonding, uh, Turbo, mode that occurs on a periodic basis. The top Location 1 (best case) speed is actually quite good, peaking at just under 56Mbps. Performance was also fairly consistent at the other three locations, running around 40Mbps when channel bonding is kicked in.

Four location wireless throughput - Downlink

Figure 21: Four location wireless throughput - Downlink
(click image to enlarge)

Figure 21 shows that downlink performance (from the router to client) was not as stellar. Given my experience with other Super-G product, this didn't look right to me, so I alternately swapped in a NETGEAR WG511U and WGU624 "Double 108" card and router to see if I could determine the cause of somewhat erratic performance. In the end, I couldn't isolate it to either the card or 4300, so I just have to chalk it up to something in the combination of D-Link card and router radio.

I came away from the wireless testing somewhat disappointed that the performance of the wireless half of the 4300 didn't match the excellent wired router side.

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