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Wi-Fi Router Charts

Click for Wi-Fi Router Charts

Mesh System Charts

Click for Wi-Fi Mesh System Charts

Routing Performance

Routing performance for the 360RT using our standard test method is summarized in Table 3. The results show that the router is basically capable of 100 Mbps wire-speed in both directions. ~5,000 maximum simultaneous connections aren't the highest we've seen, but they should be plenty for most users.

Test Description RNX-N360RT
WAN - LAN 91 Mbps
LAN - WAN 91 Mbps
Total Simultaneous 89 Mbps
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 5,095
Firmware Version 3.12.11
Table 3: Routing throughput

The IxChariot plot for the routing tests shows very stable throughput in each direction. But there is some interaction when running simultaneous up and downlink tests that caused total throughput to drop a bit from the unidirectional numbers.

RNX-N360RT Routing throughput IxChariot plot summary

RNX-N360RT Routing throughput IxChariot plot summary

Wireless Performance

The RNX-N360RT is not Wi-Fi Certified. It defaults to Auto (20/40) Channel Width and auto Channel on power-up. Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is enabled by default and caused my Win 7 client to prompt for PIN entry on its first connection attempt. Completing the WPS process resulted in a WPA2/AES secured connection, which was used for performance tests.

I ran 40 MHz Coexistence and Fat channel intolerant tests to see if the 350RT properly refrained from switching into 40 MHz bandwidth mode. It didn't, even after I waited three minutes to see if it would switch to 20 MHz. The router also failed to fall back to 20 MHz bandwidth mode when the client had its Fat Channel Intolerant bit set. So if you decide to be a bandwidth hog, the 360RT will play right along.

I used our Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 in a Lenovo X220i notebook running Win 7 Home Premium SP1 (64 bit) standard test client for all testing. As is our standard practice, all tests were run using WPA2/AES encrypted connections using Channel 1.

Each entry in the Benchmark Summary below shows the average of throughput measurements made in all test locations. Results show there is essentially no difference in overall performance between 20 and 40 MHz bandwidth modes for either down or uplink. But there is a 20% gain between the 20 and 40 MHz simultaneous up/downlink tests, which are run in Location A (strongest signal) only.

RNX-N360RT  benchmark summary

RNX-N360RT Benchmark Summary

For performance comparison and more detailed look, I chose three other 2.4 GHz N300 routers based on the Atheros AR9132/AR9103 platform: TP-LINK's TL-WR1043ND; Buffalo's WZR-HP-G300NH; and NETGEAR's WNR2000. The Performance Table is fairly large, so you can open it up here in another tab/window and follow along.

Since the Buffalo and NETGEAR results were obtained using different test procedures with, most notably, different clients, they can't be directly compared. Although it looks like the Buffalo wins in this comparison, some of the difference could be the different client and notebook. used.

Even though it has Gigabit ports, the TP-LINK's results are most directly comparable to the Rosewill's, so I've created a comparison table with just those two products for a fairer and clearer comparison. In this matchup, the TP-Link appears to do better than the 360RT running downlink, but the tables turn in favor of the Rosewill for uplink.

In this table, you can also see a significant throughput gain with 40 MHz mode only for the strongest-signal Location A test and really only for uplink. Once signal levels drop even moderately, the throughput gain from bandwidth-hogging 40 MHz mode disappears. I'll also note that throughput in Location F in 40 MHz mode was significantly lower.

The IxChariot plot summary below for 20 MHz mode downlink shows relatively stable throughput for the stronger signals in Locations A and C, with more variation in Locations D and F.

RNX-N360RT IxChariot plot summary - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink
RNX-N360RT IxChariot plot summary - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink

Some of the other charts linked below show very short spikes down to zero, These are artifacts from IxChariot and are not included in the average throughput results reported, so can be ignored.

Closing Thoughts

For $40, the RNX-N360RT isn't that bad a deal. But with frequent specials on better-known brands, clearances on older models and factory refurbished stock competing in a race to the borrom for pricing, there are many other similar products to be had for $5 to $10 less.

If you're ok with the price and with going with a lesser-known brand (in networking, that is), the Rosewill RNX-N360RT should serve you well enough. If I were you, though, I'd look to get it at closer to $30.

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