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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance - Competitive Comparison

For a competitive comparison, I pulled together the first "pseudo-N" router, the Linksys WRT110 and the other single-stream router that I've tested so far, the Belkin N150.

As I have seen with every other wireless router, Figure 22 shows that the WRT120N isn't the best performer in all test locations.

Wireless competitive comparison - 20MHz mode, down

Figure 22: Wireless competitive comparison - 20MHz mode, down

So I'll once again turn to my trusty throughput summary tables (Tables 2 and 3) to perform a more comprehensive comparison.

The tables are generated by going through each six-location comparison plots and putting the throughput value in the product's box that had the highest throughput for each test. If throughput differs by 1 Mbps or less, then both products get the throughput entered.

Product 2.4GHz /20 2.4GHz / 40
A B C D E F A B C D E F
Linksys WRT120N     41.1 21.5     66.9       1.9 0.2
Linksys WRT110 37.6 35.1     2.3 0.4   48.2 59.1 25.1    
Belkin N150                        
Table 2: Best downlink throughput summary

Table 2 shows that the WRT120N and WRT110 are essentially tied for downlink performance both in 20 and 40 MHz modes. But Table 3 shows the WRT110 the clear winner for uplink and so the overall winner. Not surprisingly, the Belkin N150 is the poorest performer of the group.

Product 2.4GHz /20 2.4GHz / 40
A B C D E F A B C D E F
Linksys WRT120N         0.4 0.3   39.3   13.9 0.7 1.0
Linksys WRT110 42.4 38.9 38.2 25.5 0.8 0.9 63.3 38.9 52.4 14.0 0.5  
Belkin N150                        
Table 3: Best uplink throughput summary

But let's see what happens if you spend a bit more money for a certified draft 802.11n router. I chose the D-Link DIR-655 [A4] since it's a popular choice and good performer. I also wanted to include a draft 11n router that had also been tested with the Intel 5300AGN client, just to see if there was a pattern of bad performance using that adapter.

Figure 23 shows the four routers compared for 20 MHz mode downlink.

Wireless competitive comparison w/ DIR-655 [A4] - 20MHz mode, down, down

Figure 23: Wireless competitive comparison w/ DIR-655 [A4] - 20MHz mode, down

And once again, throughput comparison tables for down (Table 4) and uplink (Table 5).

Product 2.4GHz /20 2.4GHz / 40
A B C D E F A B C D E F
Linksys WRT120N       21.5             1.9 0.2
Linksys WRT110   35.1     2.3 0.4   48.2 59.1 25.1    
Belkin N150                        
D-Link DIR-655 [A4] 67.4   48.4 22.1 2.8 0.8 83.1       0.9 0.8
Table 4: Best downlink throughput summary - w/ DIR-655 [A4]

Table 4 shows that the downlink contest is between the DIR-655 [A4] and WRT110, with the 655 coming out ahead. Uplink is just no contest, with the 655 shutting out the other two products in all locations (except for a tie in Location F, 40 MHz mode).

Product 2.4GHz /20 2.4GHz / 40
A B C D E F A B C D E F
Linksys WRT120N                       1.0
Linksys WRT110                        
Belkin N150                        
D-Link DIR-655 [A4] 62.4 41.7 54.4 35.4 6.0 2.3 100.1 52.2 63.8 30.1 2.2 1.4
Table 5: Best uplink throughput summary - w/ DIR-655 [A4]

It's not surprising, to me at least, that the Certified draft 11n dual-stream router and card are the clear winners. But it's nice to have the data to back up the assumption.

Use the Wireless Charts to generate other comparisons.

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