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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance - Competitive Comparison

While I can't compare the 610N against the 600N, I can compare it against a few other dual-band products. The D-Link DIR-628 [reviewed] and DAP-1522 [reviewed] aren't dual-radio, dual-band, however. I didn't include the Netgear WNDR3300 in the comparison because its 2.4 GHz radio is 11g if you want simultaneousl dual-band.

Figure 9 shows that the 610N's 2.4 GHz radio is definitely better than the DIR-628 with strong signals running in its default 20 MHz channel mode. But the DIR-628 pulls ahead in the lower signal level Locations C and D and the DAP-1522 beats them all in the tough Location E.

Competitive comparison - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz channel, downlink

Figure 9: Competitive comparison - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz channel, downlink

Figure 10 finally confirms my impression that the 610N's uplink is stronger than its down, with it clearly beating the other products except in Location F.

Competitive comparison - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz channel, uplink

Figure 10: Competitive comparison - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz channel, uplink

I chose to plot results for the default 40 MHz channel for the 5 GHz radio. But I think the 40 MHz default is a poor choice because it reduces effective range. Although Figure 11 shows that the D-Links were slightly faster than the 610N at Location C, they all failed to connect in Locations E and F and the DIR-628 was the only one to pass traffic in Location D.

Competitive comparison - 5 GHz, 40 MHz channel, downlink

Figure 11: Competitive comparison - 5 GHz, 40 MHz channel, downlink

But the DIR-628 fails to deliver running uplink and really slows down even under the reasonable signal levels in Locations B and C. The 610N, on the other hand, turns in decent performance in those locations.

Competitive comparison - 5 GHz, 40 MHz channel, downlink

Figure 12: Competitive comparison - 5 GHz, 40 MHz channel, uplink

These tests illustrate both the state of the draft 11n art and the significantly reduced range that you'll encounter with 5 GHz. I have yet to see a product that is best in both bands and both channel widths and the 610N is no exception.

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