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Wireless Performance - 2.4 GHz Two Stream N

For performance comparison, I chose three dual-band three-stream "N900" routers: ASUS RT-N66U; NETGEAR WNDR4500 and Cisco Linksys E4200V2.

The comparison tables are large, so I'm going to provide links that will open them in a new window/tab to make things easier. Let's start with the Performance Table for Two-stream 2.4 GHz. Given that the ASUS wins three out of four benchmarks, I'd have to declare it the winner for two-stream 2.4 GHz performance in this comparison.

The IxChariot plot summary in Figure 3 for 20 MHz mode downlink shows generally stable throughput. But the 4-5 second dropouts in the Location D and F tests are troubling. I reran the tests a few times to see if this was a fluke and, unfortunately, it was not.

Buffalo WZR-D1800H IxChariot plot summary - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 2 stream
Figure 3: Buffalo WZR-D1800H IxChariot plot summary - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 2 stream

Fortunately, I didn't see similar behavior during the other test runs linked below.

Wireless Performance - 2.4 GHz, Three Stream N

Next, we'll look at the Performance Table for Three-stream 2.4 GHz. The ASUS "Dark Knight" clearly sweeps this comparison. The only place where the Buffalo comes close is in 40 MHz mode, downlink. The ASUS' 20 Mbps range downlink throughput in Location F in both 20 and 40 MHz bandwidth modes is very impressive, with no other product even coming close.

The IxChariot plot in Figure 4 shows that it took the D1800H and its client almost 15 seconds to decide to switch up to its steady-state 80 Mbps throughput in the Location A trace. Again, repeated runs revealed similar behavior.

Buffalo WZR-D1800H IxChariot plot summary - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 3 stream
Figure 4: Buffalo WZR-D1800H IxChariot plot summary - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 3 stream

Fortunately, you won't see a repeat of this behavior in any of the other plots linked below.

Wireless Performance - 5 GHz Two Stream N

Next, we'll look at the Performance Table for Two-stream 5 GHz. After running tests in the same room (test Location A), I moved the bridge to Locations C and D. Then, just for yuks, I tried my toughest test Location F, even though I didn't expect to get a detectable signal there.

I was initially shocked to get a link and even throughput around 50 Mbps! But then I noticed that the bridge had switched over to connect to the router's 2.4 GHz radio. After shutting off the D1800H's 2.4 GHz radio, the bridge in Location F was still able to see the router. But signal quality wasn't good enough for the bridge and router to successfully associate and run the test.

A glance at the performance table linked above shows the ASUS once again taking three out of four comparisons. The Buffalo doesn't seem particularly strong in any of the four benchmarks compared here.

The IxChariot plot in Figure 5 shows regular and high throughput variation in the weaker signal Location C and D runs.

Buffalo WZR-D1800H IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 2 stream
Figure 5: Buffalo WZR-D1800H IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 2 stream

Clicking through the other plots below will show similar throughput anomalies that indicate that two-stream 5 GHz isn't one of the D1800H's more robust modes.

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