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Wireless Reviews

Routing Performance

Testing and analysis by Tim Higgins

Routing performance for the WZR-HP using our standard test method and 1.60 firmware is summarized in Table 1. WAN to LAN measured 165.8 Mbps, while LAN to WAN came in at 183.6 Mbps. While these routing speeds don't take full advantage of the Gigabit WAN port, they rank the WZR-HP above most current-generation Cisco / Linksys routers, but below many of D-Link's.

However, routing speed should be fast enough for most Internet connections. And the router had no problem maxing out our simultaneous connection test limit at 200 connections.

Test Description WZR-HP-G300NH
Throughput - (Mbps)
WAN - LAN
165.8
LAN - WAN
183.6
Total Simultaneous
173.3
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 200
Firmware Version
1.60
Table 1: Routing throughput

Figure 15 is a composite plot of the three routing tests, which shows relatively steady routing throughput. Use the Router Charts to further compare the WZR-HP's routing performance.

Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH Routing throughput composite plot

Figure 15: Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH Routing throughput composite plot

Wireless Performance

Testing and analysis by Tim Higgins

I used the open air test method described here to test the WZR-HP's wireless performance. Testing was done using the SNB standard wireless test client, an Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300 AGN mini-PCIe card and 12.4.0.21 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) and changing the 802.11n Channel Width (2.4 GHz) setting from its 20 MHz default to Auto, so that the adapter would support 40 MHz channel bonding mode.

The router had the latest 1.60 firmware and all factory default settings in place, except setting channel 1.

Figure 16 shows a composite of throughput tests made at the six test locations using 20 and 40 MHz channel widths. Each column represents the average throughput from a one minute test. Best case downlink throughput of 97.2 Mbps was measured at Location A using a 40 MHz channel. This is quite good and higher than what I see from most draft 11n routers.

Six location wireless throughput summary

Figure 16: Six location wireless throughput summary

The real story, however, is the throughput in my most difficult test locations E and F. Since I have been using the Intel WiFi Link 5300 AGN test client, I have been able to successfully connect and get low, but usable throughput in these locations. But the throughput I obtained from the WZR-HP is 2 to 3X what I normally see, except for the 40 MHz downlink tests.

So it would appear that the router's higher power does help improve throughput vs. range performance. And although I didn't test to see if the WZR-HP would connect at longer distances, I'm pretty sure it would, given its significantly higher transmit power.

Figure 17 shows a composite of the actual IxChariot test results running downlink 2.4 GHz w/ 20 MHz channel. Throughput variation is a mixed bag, with some locations nice and smooth and others, most notably Locations A and B, displaying seconds-long throughput dropouts. This had the result of forcing the average throughput for the 1 minute run to a lower value.

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

Figure 17: Six location wireless throughput - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz channel, downlink

I saw these dropouts in other tests, as you can see in the IxChariot plots (20 MHz up, 40 MHz down, 40 MHz up). I'm not sure of the exact cause, which could be in the router, the client or a combination of the two.

Wireless Security Throughput

Testing and analysis by Tim Higgins

Because link rates are supposed to be limited to 802.11g (54 Mbps) speeds (as per 802.11n) when using WEP and WPA/TKIP wireless security, I'm no longer showing the IxChariot plots and just confirming whether products conform. I ran the checks and the WZR-HP properly limits speeds to 11g rates,which results in best case throughput around 20 Mbps.

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