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Wi-Fi Router Charts

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Mesh System Charts

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Wireless Performance - 2.4 GHz 3 Stream

Next, we'll look at the Performance Table for three-stream 2.4 GHz.

The R6300 offers improved performance over the WNDR4500 for many of these tests. But the ASUS "Dark Knight" still takes most of the benchmarks, particularly running uplink.

The IxChariot plot summary below for 20 MHz mode downlink once again shows dropouts in test locations D and F.

NETGEAR R6300 IxChariot plot summary - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 3 stream
NETGEAR R6300 IxChariot plot summary - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 3 stream

There aren't many dropouts on the other plots linked below.

Wireless Performance - 5 GHz 2 Stream

Next, we'll look at the Performance Table for two-stream 5 GHz.

At the risk of repeating myself, the tables once again show the ASUS winning three and tieing one of the benchmarks

The IxChariot plot summary below for 20 MHz mode downlink shows some rate-shifting behavior in the location C run.

NETGEAR R6300 IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 2 stream
NETGEAR R6300 IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 2 stream

You'll also see higher throughput variation for in the location C in the plots linked below.

Wireless Performance - 5 GHz 3 Stream

Next, we'll look at the Performance Table for three-stream 5 GHz.

The R6300 holds its own pretty well against the ASUS in this set of benchmarks running downlink. But uplink performance pales against the ASUS' in both 20 and 40 MHz bandwidth modes.

The IxChariot plot summary below for 20 MHz mode downlink shows both dropouts and rate-shifting.

NETGEAR R6300 IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 3 stream
NETGEAR R6300 IxChariot plot summary - 5 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 3 stream

You'll see more dropouts for location A on the other plots linked below.

Closing Thoughts

If you are trying to decide between the R6300 and Buffalo's WZR-D1800H purely on the basis of their draft 11ac capability, it's largely a toss-up. With the V1.0.2.14_1.0.23 firmware, the R6300 can pump out higher total bandwidth if you are running multiple 11ac clients. But at this point, with only $200 routers or bridges that support full three-stream draft 11ac, how many people are going to do that? More realistically, single client throughput is more evenly matched with a slight edge going to Buffalo as signal levels drop.

The R6300 has significantly higher wired routing throughput than the Buffalo, but you'll need > 500 Mbps internet service to have that matter. What could be more in Buffalo's favor is its much higher simultaneous session handling, which hit our almost 35,000 test limit while the NETGEAR maintained the 4,096 session limit that is common across its WNDR router line.

All that being said, I think buyers will opt for NETGEAR rather than Buffalo if they decide to plunk down their $200 to enter the draft 802.11ac beta test. Buyers like flexibility and features and the R6300 handily beats Buffalo on both counts. The R6300 supports both WDS bridging/repeating, AP and client bridge modes and guest SSIDs on both bands as well, while the Buffalo supports none of these. The NETGEAR's routing feature set is also more complete than the Buffalo's, with parental controls, scheduled firewall rules, bandwidth metering and more.

Perhaps as counterpoint to these advantages, both the WZR-D1800H and WLI-H4-D1300 are already down to $180 at Amazon. Pay your money. Take your choice.

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