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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance

The AExAC is not Wi-Fi Certified. It defaults to Auto channel on both 2.4 and 5 GHz radios and the same SSID for both upon power-up. As noted earlier, you can change the SSID for the 5 GHz radio only. You supposedly have the option to select the channel for both bands, but I was able to get it to stick only for the 2.4 GHz radio. The 5 GHz radio insisted on using Auto channel selection and chose Channel 149.

Setting 2.4 GHz 5 GHz
Channel Auto [default], 1 - 11 Auto [default], 36, 40, 44, 48, 149, 153, 157, 161
Wireless Mode Auto [default]
802.11a/n - 802.11b/g
802.11a - 802.11b/g
Security None
WPA/WPA2 Personal
WPA2 Personal
WPA/WPA2 Enterprise
WPA2 Enterprise
Table 3: Wireless settings summary

Neither WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) nor 40 MHz bandwidth in 2.4 GHz is supported. So I couldn't test WPS or run 40 MHz Coexistence and Fat channel intolerant tests.

All tests were run using our new wireless test process and 7.1.1 firmware loaded.The AExAC was reset to factory defaults and Channel 6 was set for 2.4 GHz and Channel 149 was auto-selected for 5 GHz. 20 MHz B/W mode was mandatory and used for 2.4 GHz and 80 MHz B/W mode was set for 5 GHz. The router was positioned 8" from the chamber antennas in all test positions. The 0° position had the front panel of the router facing the chamber antennas.

The retest Benchmark Summary below from the new Consolidated benchmark process shows the average of throughput measurements made in all test locations. The 2.4 GHz values in the summary correspond to 2.4 GHz values (20 MHz B/W) and the 5 GHz values correspond to the 80 MHz B/W - 3 stream values measured with the previous test methodology.

Benchmark Summary

Benchmark Summary

Comparing average 2.4 GHz benchmark values with other AC1750 routers in the Charts, the AExAC's 72 Mbps downlink average positioned it toward the bottom of the group. The 82 Mbps uplink average, however, earned it a #2 slot in that chart. Simultaneous up/downlink throughput totaled only 156 Mbps, vs. 171 Mbps for the top-of-chart NETGEAR R6300.

5 GHz average downlink throughput of 116 Mbps put the AExAC at the very bottom of the AC1750 chart. Best for this benchmark was the ASUS RT-AC66U that averaged 215 Mbps for all tests run. Average uplink was also 116 Mbps, which moved the product up to third from bottom. Simultaneous up/downlink throughput totaled 414 Mbps. But since the D-Link DIR-868L turned in 609 Mbps for the same test, the AExAC ended up next-to-the-bottom for that chart.

Wireless Performance - Comparative

For a comparative look, I chose the top three-ranked AC1750 routers to compare with the AExAC, the WD My Net AC1300, D-Link DIR-868L and top-ranked ASUS RT-AC66U.

The 2.4 GHz downlink profile shows the initial throughput dip we have seen with other products. But that aside, you see that the profile sits below the other three products for the entire run.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The AExAC does better for 2.4 GHz uplink as is indicated by its #2 slot in that chart. All four routers start out about the same, with the D-Link starting its downward slope first, followed by the WD. The Apple manages to hold out until 30 dB of attenuation before its throughput starts to drop and then tracks downward with the same slope. However, the ASUS RT-AC66U's throughput still holds up surprisingly well even out to 60 dB attenuation.

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

More Wireless

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