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Wireless Performance - 2.4 GHz Two Stream

For performance comparison, I chose two other full "N-900" routers: the ASUS RT-N66U "Dark Knight" and Cisco Linksys E4200V2. I once again threw a NETGEAR R6300 draft 802.11ac router into the comparison, since many people are considering their purchase given that they cost the same as "N900" routers.

I recently changed the Performance Tables to widen its comparison criteria when highlighting similar performance. Instead of putting a yellow highlight on results that differ by 1 Mbps, the criteria is now +/- 5%. Given the (im)precision of wireless throughput measurement, I think this new criteria will be much more realistic in showing similarly performing products.

Let's start with the Performance Table for 2.4 GHz, 2 streams. The ASUS Dark Knight is the clear winner in this round, taking three out of four comparisons and tieing one. The WD N900's results don't even come within 5% of any of the ASUS'.

The IxChariot plot summary below for 20 MHz mode downlink shows generally stable throughput. But you can see some prolonged dips in the lower signal level location D and F runs.

WD N900 IxChariot plot summary - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 2 stream
WD N900 IxChariot plot summary - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 2 stream

Here are links to the other plots for your reference.

Wireless Performance - 2.4 GHz, Three Stream

Next, we'll look at the Performance Table for 2.4 GHz, 3 streams. Here is where the N900 shines, but not too brightly, winning only one comparison and tieing another. But since both wins are in 40 MHz bandwidth modes, these speeds are unlikely to be seen in the real world of overcrowded 2.4 GHz airwaves.

Note that, in general, the N900's lower signal performance in 2.4 GHz is nothing to brag about. The ASUS is still the king of location D.

WD N900 IxChariot plot summary - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 3 stream
WD N900 IxChariot plot summary - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink, 3 stream

The IxChariot plot above shows some throughput rampup in the location A run. This effect was consistent and appears in all the other plots linked below.

Closing Thoughts

It's too bad that WD's entry into the consumer wireless router market is marred by a performance problem on the N900's 5 GHz side. It's otherwise not a bad first effort, with 20 MB/s + storage filecopy performance, decent feature set including free parental controls/web filtering for up to 15 devices, 700+ Mbps wired routing speeds, Ubicom-based automatic Qos and some of the highest throughput I've ever seen from a three-stream "N900" router (on its 2.4 GHz side).

Let's hope WD really can fix the 5 GHz problem with a firmware update and do it soon, so we can see if the ASUS "Dark Knight" has a serious challenger for the top-performing "N900" router crown!

Updated 10/15/2012 - Copied from 5 GHz retest

The MyNet N900 is not a bad first router effort from WD, with 20 MB/s + storage filecopy performance, decent feature set including free parental controls/web filtering for up to 15 devices, 700+ Mbps wired routing speeds and Ubicom-based automatic Qos.

Our initial review showed it also has some of the highest throughput I've ever seen from a three-stream "N900" router on its 2.4 GHz side. And with the properly-operating new sample, I can say the same for the 5 GHz side. But those high speeds are only running uplink and only with a very strong signal (same room or maybe next room).

When it comes to downlink performance or as signal levels drop, the MyNet N900 looks less attractive than other choices in top-end "N900" routers.

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