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Wi-Fi Router Charts

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Mesh System Charts

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Closing Thoughts

If you've skipped here wanting the bottom line here it is. Actually, there are four:

  • Highest best case throughput, 2.4 GHz band
    1) Intel 5300
    2) D-Link DWA-160 B1
    3) Linksys WUSB600N
  • Highest throughput with weak signals, 2.4 GHz band
    1) Intel 5300
    2) D-Link DAP-2553
    3) D-Link DWA-160 B1
  • Highest best case throughput, 5 GHz band
    1) Intel 5300
    3) D-Link DAP-1522
  • Highest throughput with weak signals, 5 GHz band
    1) Intel 5300
    3) D-Link DAP-1522 / DAP-2553

Using these four criteria, the overall winner is the Intel WiFi Link 5300, which also happens to be the SmallNetBuilder standard test client. That in no way influenced the results. But it does confirm that by using the 5300, we're giving each router we test the best chance of showing what it can do, without behind held back by a sub-par client.

Finally, I also put together Table 2, which shows that different adapters handle up and downlink traffic differently. I have not attempted to correlate the antenna and receive / transmit chain configurations with these results. Anyone else want to take a shot at it?

Product Higher Throughput Direction
Intel WiFi Link 5300 Downlink
Linksys / Cisco WUSB600N (v2) Downlink
NETGEAR WNDA3100 (v2) Downlink
D-Link DWA-160 (B1) Downlink
Linksys / Cisco WUSB300N Uplink
NETGEAR WN111 Wireless-N 300 USB Adapter (v2) Uplink
D-Link DAP-1522 Uplink
D-Link DAP-2553 Uplink
Table 2: Up vs. Downlink speed

I haven't shown as much data as I usually do, and I'm sure I could slice and dice the data in other ways. If you'd like to see further analysis, but not further testing, post a comment using the Forums link below. If you'd like to post your own review of any of these adapters, please use the new User Review feature. Just be sure to put the product number in the review title.

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