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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance-5GHz

Since the TEW-687GA doesn't support 5 GHz, Figure 9 shows only the results for the 680MB. Throughput both 20 and 40 MHz modes is significantly lower than 2.4 GHz band results. And it's no surprise that I couldn't detect the router signal in Location F.

Wireless Performance Table - 5 GHz

Figure 9: Wireless Performance Table - 5 GHz

Best case was 122 Mbps running uplink in 40 MHz bandwidth mode in Location A. The 20 MHz mode simultaneous up/down test produced only 92 Mbps total throughput, well below the 2.4 GHz results. But the 40 MHz mode test came in at 186 Mbps total, which is closer to the 2.4 GHz results. Running two up/down tests simultaneously squeezed out a bit more total throughput at 197 Mbps.

Figure 10 shows a composite IxChariot aggregate plot for all 5 GHz band downlink tests using 20 MHz channel width. If you browse through all the plots, you'll see higher throughput variation for uplink tests than we saw for the 2.4 GHz band.

TRENDnet TEW-692GR router with TRENDnet TEW-680MB client - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode

Figure 10: TRENDnet TEW-692GR router with TRENDnet TEW-680MB client - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode

Here are links to the other 5 GHz IxChariot wireless test plots:

Closing Thoughts

If you want a dual-band 802.11n bridge that supports 450 Mbps maximum link rates in both bands, the TEW-680MB is currently the only game in town. I don't know why other manufacturers are letting TRENDnet have this market all to itself, but they are, at least for now. Fortunately, TRENDnet has come up with a pretty decent product and isn't really sticking it to you on pricing at around $100.

If you want to get the fastest possible wireless connection for a desktop, why mess with PCIe-based cards, or even USB adapters? The TEW-680MB lets you put your wireless connection anywhere an Ethernet cable can go for maximum placement flexibility. And its built-in four-port Gigabit Ethernet switch makes it an attractive way to get your network to your Ethernet-less home entertainment area.

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