Throughput vs. Path Loss
I used the Azimuth ACE to plot throughput vs. path loss curves for uplink and downlink and 270 Mbps and 130 Mbps modes. Figure 15 was generated using the Compare Benchmarks tool of our Wireless Charts.
NOTE: We no longer refer to "range" in these plots, but instead use the more accurate "Path Loss". For an explanation, see the How we Test Wireless article.
Figure 15: Throughput vs. Path Loss - both modes
The odd thing here is the low uplink throughput in the 40 MHz mode, which doesn't match the open air results in Figure 10. I went back and checked the multiple Azimuth runs that I made and found very consistent results. So my only explanation is that there is something in the Azimuth configuration that is causing the lower results.
NOTE: Since the WPC54G card that is used for the WRT54G test does not allow direct cabled connection to the Azimuth system, we intead use a near-field antenna. Since the antenna introduces additional path loss, the Linksys plot starts at a higher path loss value.
Figure 16: Throughput vs. Path Loss product comparison - downlink
The overall leader remains the D-Link DIR-655, but I'd say that the 834B comes in second. This is because the 854T's throughput falls off more rapidly and crosses under the 834B at around 90 dB of path loss.
Interestingly, the Linksys WRT54G still holds its own at path losses above 100 dB. But at that point, all products are down in the single digits for throughput anyway. So it's unlikely you would notice the difference in real-world conditions.
Figure 17: Throughput vs. Path Loss product comparison - uplink
If you don't like these comparisons, you can run your own using the Wireless Charts tools!