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Wireless Performance - 5 GHz

The 5 GHz Wireless Performance table (Figure 10) once again shows how difficult it is to find a router that is strong in both bands. It's easier to see using a Performance vs. Location plot, such as Figure 11's.

WZR-HP-AG300H Wireless Performance summary - 5 GHz

Figure 10: WZR-HP-AG300H Wireless Performance summary - 5 GHz

Figure 11 clearly shows the Buffalo with distinctly lower throughput in all locations. The difference isn't as pronounced as in the other runs, but the general pattern is still there.

WZR-HP-AG300H Wireless Performance vs. Location - 5 GHz, 40 MHz downlink

Figure 11: WZR-HP-AG300H Wireless Performance vs. Location - 5 GHz, 40 MHz downlink

Throughput stability in 5 GHz wasn't as good as in 2.4 GHz. In fact, during my ill-fated DD-WRT testing, the router dropped the connection multiple times during tests in Location D. Fortunately, using the Buffalo "Friendly" firmware resulted in a much more stable 5 GHz connection.

WZR-HP-AG300H IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink

Figure 12: WZR-HP-AG300H IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink

Here are links to the other 5 GHz plots if you'd like to check them out.

Closing Thoughts

I've never had much use for alternative router distros, but plenty of people swear by them. In Buffalo's implementation on the WZR-HP-AG300H, I did a lot of swearing at DD-WRT.

I can perhaps forgive the cryptic and undocumented controls. But if you're going to offer an alternative distro in a product, it should at least handle the basics, such as, say, the ability to set an 802.11n router into 40 MHz mode and have it stay there.

If you're a fan of DD-WRT, don't care about support for 40 MHz bandwidth mode, are ok with so-so range performance and want to spend less than $100 for a simultaneous dual-band N router, then you might want to take a shot at the WZR-HP-AG300H. But I'd spend a bit more and get one of the more popular choices like the Cisco Linksys E4200 or NETGEAR WNDR4000.

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