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Wireless Performance

I used the open air test method described here to test the 320N's wireless performance. Testing was done using the SNB standard wireless test client, an Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300 AGN mini-PCIe card and 12.2.0.11 driver in a Dell Mini 12 running WinXP Home SP3. I left all client-side defaults in place except for enabling throughput enhancement (packet bursting).

The router had the latest 1.0.01 firmware and all factory default settings in place, except setting channel 1 for the 2.4 GHz mode tests and channel 36 for the 5 GHz tests.

Figure 7 shows a composite of downlink throughput tests made at the six test locations in four wireless modes: 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz channel; 2.4 GHz, 40 MHz channel; 5 GHz, 20 MHz channel; and 5 GHz, 40 MHz channel. Each column represents the average throughput from a one minute test. Best case downlink throughput of 85 Mbps was measured using a 40 MHz channel in the 5 GHz band.

Six location downlink throughput summary

Figure 7: Six location downlink throughput summary

As is typical with all dual-band draft 11n routers tested to date, I wasn't able to connect to the 320N in Locations E and F in 5 GHz using either a 20 or 40 MHz channel. Speeds in the 2.4 GHz band were low, but usable in Location E and F.

Figure 8 shows a composite of the actual IxChariot test results running downlink 2.4 GHz w/ 20 MHz channel. Throughput variation is typical of that seen in other Broadcom-based products and higher than I saw with the WRT400N, mainly because of the periodic large negative spikes.

Six location wireless throughput - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz channel, downlink
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Figure 8: Six location wireless throughput - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz channel, downlink

Figure 9 shows the six location plot for the uplink direction, with best case uplink throughput of 76.2 Mbps measured using a 40 MHz channel in the 5 GHz band at Location A.

Six location uplink summary

Figure 9: Six location uplink summary

The IxChariot uplink plot is similar to the downlink, showing moderately high variation.

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