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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance

Those of you who never liked the throughput vs. path loss curves produced by the Azimuth ACE 400NB Channel Emulator test method can now rejoice. Azimuth finally took the system back after having generously loaned it to me for a little over a year following the loan of a previous system for about 2 years before that.

I'm very appreciative of the time that I was able to spend using the Azimuth system and will certainly miss its ability to show how wireless products really perform over range. My thanks again, to the folks at Azimuth, for their generosity and support!

So starting with this review, I am reverting back to the five location open-air walk-around tests used previously. Actually, I was able to test the G2 using the Azimuth before the system's return, so I'll present both flavors of data.

As mentioned earlier, testing was done using a Linksys WPC54G V3.1 notebook card 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 latest driver and Linksys Wireless Network Monitor V3.2 during testing. Figure 7 shows a composite of one minute IxChariot tests at the five test locations running downlink (router to notebook).

Five location wireless throughput - downlink
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Figure 7: Five location wireless throughput - downlink

Throughput is 21 - 23 Mbps in Locations 1 - 3, which is typical for 802.11g routers with no throughput enhancements (like Atheros' Super-G). But speeds fall to around 1 Mbps in Locations 4 and 5, with Location 4 having a harder time maintaining the connection (note the early end around 18 seconds).

Figure 8 shows the same five locations but in the uplink direction. The same performance pattern is seen, but this time, Location 4 was able to hang onto the connection.

Five location wireless throughput - downlink
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Figure 8: Five location wireless throughput - uplink

I also tested for throughput reduction with wireless security set to WEP, WPA/TKIP and WPA2/AES and found no significant reduction. Figure 9 shows downlink results; uplink behaved similarly.

Wireless security mode throughput comparison - downlink
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Figure 9: Wireless security mode throughput comparison - downlink

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