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Wireless Performance

I tested the 350 using our wireless test procedures, which use both open-air testing and Azimuth's ACE 400NB Channel Emulator.

Because Linksys has still not released the Draft 2.0 firmware for the single-band WPC300N card, I used a Linksys WPC600N Notebook card, which has Certified firmware. The card was inserted into a Fujitsu P7120 Lifebook (1.2 GHz Intel Pentium M, 504 MB) notebook running WinXP Pro SP2 with all the latest updates. I used the 4.150.31.0 driver with Windows Wireless Zero Config.

The router had 1.03.7 "Draft 2.0" firmware and I left all factory default settings in place, except as noted.

Maximum Throughput

To start, I ran some close range open-air IxChariot tests to look at maximum performance and throughput variation. This also provides baselines to check the Azimuth results against. Testing was done with the router and notebook about 10 feet apart in open air sitting in my lab with no other networks in range.

Figure 8 shows a composite IxChariot plot of uplink, downlink and simultaneous up and downlink tests in the 2.4 GHz band. The test was made with router defaults, which as I noted, properly used the 20 MHz Channel mode. Total simultaneous up/down throughput comes in around 69 Mbps, while running up and downlink separately yielded results of ~ 58 and 65 Mbps respectively.

Up and downlink throughput - 2.4 GHz band, 20 MHz bandwidth
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Figure 8: Up and downlink throughput - 2.4 GHz band, 20 MHz bandwidth

The same throughput "dropout" anomaly found in the 600N's throughput is also present in the 350N, which has the effect of lowering average throughput.

Figure 9 shows a composite of test runs with the 40 MHz channel bandwidth mode forced. This improves total simultaneous up and downlink throughput to 95 Mbps. Running up and downlink separately yielded results of 73 and 66 Mbps respectively.

Up and downlink throughput - 40 MHz bandwidth
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Figure 9: Up and downlink throughput - 40 MHz bandwidth

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