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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance - 5 GHz 2 Stream

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

The CENTRIA didn't perform as well as the ASUS RT-N66U in 20 MHz mode downlink, turning in a top throughput of only 65 Mbps vs. the ASUS' 82 Mbps. The lower throughput pattern continued as signal levels dropped in Locations C and D. Uplink turned the tables, however, with the CENTRIA coming in at 93 Mbps vs. the ASUS' 66 Mbps in Location A.

In 40 MHz mode, the CENTRIA has the lowest best case throughput in Location A of all four routers at 65 Mbps. But once again, uplink was an entirely different story with the WNDR4700's best-case 127 Mbps throughput trouncing the other three products.

Highest throughput measured was that 127 Mbps running uplink, 40 MHz mode in Location A. This was again higher than the 110 Mbps simultaneous up/down test in the same mode.

The IxChariot plot summary below for 20 MHz mode downlink again shows steady throughput.

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

Throughput looks generally steady in the other plots linked below. But I once again found some instances where it took the router and client up to 10 seconds to move up to their highest throughput for the rest of the test run.

Wireless Performance - 2.4 GHz 3 Stream

Moving along, we come to the Performance Table for three-stream 2.4 GHz. In 20 MHz mode downlink, the WNDR4700 didn't even look like a three-stream N router, with throughput peaking at 48 Mbps in location A. Uplink was much better, even beating the other three products in locations D and F with 64 Mbps and 18 Mbps, respectively.

Switching to 40 MHz mode really let the WNDR4700 shine. It was better than the ASUS in two out of four locations and tied in one running downlink and better than the second-best ASUS by a wide margin running uplink.

Highest throughput measured was that 157 Mbps running uplink, 40 MHz mode in Location A. The simultaneous up/down test in the same mode finally turned in the highest throughput at 165 Mbps.

The IxChariot plot summary below for 20 MHz mode shows the reason for the CENTRIA's overall poor showing in that mode with large jumps in throughput and a roller-coaster-like quality.

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

The 20 MHz up/downlink plot is particularly interesting. Something is definitely wrong between client and router in this mode.

Wireless Performance - 5 GHz 3 Stream

Finally, we'll look at the Performance Table for three-stream 5 GHz. The CENTRIA once again looks much better in 40 MHz mode than in 20, beating or tying the next-best products in all but one case, both up and downlink. Not that it didn't win any of the location comparisons in 20 MHz mode. But 5 GHz 20 MHz mode is probably the poorest overall mode for all the routers compared.

As you might expect, the case throughput for the CENTRIA was in 40 MHz mode, Location A running uplink, coming in at 170 Mbps. Simultaneous up/down throughput in that same mode was even a bit better at 174 Mbps.

The IxChariot plot summary below for 20 MHz mode downlink shows decent throughput stability.

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

Variation looks like it is higher in some of the other plots. But that's mainly because I didn't adjust the test file size to compensate for the generally higher overall throughput in this mode.

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