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Wireless Reviews

Routing Performance

Routing performance for the 691GR using our standard test method is summarized in Table 1 and Figure 6 shows the composite IxChariot plot for the three routing speed tests.

Test Description Throughput - (Mbps)
WAN - LAN
262
LAN - WAN
314
Total Simultaneous
286
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 14,983
Firmware Version
1.0.0.0
Table 1: Routing throughput

It's easier to see that unidirectional routing speed was much more steady in both directions than the bidirectional test by looking at their individual test plots (WAN to LAN plot, LAN to WAN plot).

TRENDnet TEW-691GR routing throughput
Click to enlarge image

Figure 6: TRENDnet TEW-691GR routing throughput

The Maximum Simultaneous Session test topped out at 14,983 sessions. Since this isn't near a binary multiple boundary, I didn't round the result.

Use the Router Charts to see how the 691GR stacks up against other routers.

Wireless Performance - Two Stream

Updated 8/12/2010: Six location test results can be found here using a two-stream client.

I thought I was all set to start testing three-stream products, since my standard N test client is an Intel WiFi Link 5300. This is the only adapter available (besides Intel's newer 6300-series adapters) to support three-stream N. But I ran smack into the same obstacle that everyone else will—the lack of a third antenna in my test notebook.

Like, I think, every other notebook, the Dell Mini 12 I use for wireless testing has only two antennas, which are connected to the terminals labeled 1 and 2 on the 5300 card. So when I first fired up the router, which properly defaults to 20 MHz channel bandwidth mode, I got the same 130 Mbps link rate obtained with dual-stream routers. And when I set the router to Auto 20/40MHz channel bandwidth mode, from its default 20 MHz mode, I got only a 300 Mbps link rate.

Since I've heard claims that using a three-stream router will improve the performance of two-stream clients, I ran uplink, downlink and simultanous up / down tests with the router and client in the same room, 10 feet apart. (This is my test Location A).

For this first round of tests, I used our standard open air test method to test wireless performance and our standard wireless test client, an Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300 AGN mini-PCIe card in a Dell Mini 12 running WinXP Home SP3 and version 13.1.1.1 of the Intel drivers. I left all client-side defaults in place.

Figure 7 shows a composite IxChariot plot of the three tests. Throughput is not steady at all in any of the runs. And though speed averaged over the one minute test period is higher than the typical two-stream router I test, it's not higher than the highest wireless throughput two-stream routers I've tested, like the D-Link DIR-685 and NETGEAR WNDR3700.

TRENDnet TEW-691GR wireless performance - two antenna client, 20 MHz B/W mode
Click to enlarge image

Figure 7: TRENDnet TEW-691GR wireless performance - two antenna client, 20 MHz B/W mode

If you want to compare for yourself, head over to the Wireless Charts, pick a few routers at the top of the charts and click the Performance Table button. Make sure you compare only the results for Location A, 20 MHz bandwidth mode.

Switching to Auto 20/40 MHz bandwidth mode, kicked performance up quite a bit. Figure 8 shows top speeds close to 100 Mbps for the uplink and bidirectional tests.

TRENDnet TEW-691GR wireless performance - two antenna client, 20 MHz B/W mode
Click to enlarge image

Figure 8: TRENDnet TEW-691GR wireless performance - two antenna client, 40 MHz B/W mode

Again, this performance isn't unheard of in two-stream routers, but it's more atypical of what I see. Note, however that this speed comes with very high throughput variation. Check the individual downlink plot to see what I mean.

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