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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance

The LAPAC1750PRO was tested using the V8 Wireless test process. All wireless testing was done using 1.0.4 build 03 firmware. The access point was first reset to factory defaults and Channel 6 and 20 MHz bandwidth mode was set for 2.4 GHz and Channel 153 and 80 MHz bandwidth mode for 5 GHz. The AP was laid flat and centered on the turntable for testing with the 0° position having the the connectors facing away from the chamber antennas. All testing was done via WPA2/AES secured connections.

The Benchmark Summary below shows the average of throughput measurements made in all test locations. The results don't mean too much by themselves, so we'll bring in some AC1750 routers for comparison. There are no other AC1750 APs tested with the V8 process to compare.

Benchmark Summary

Benchmark Summary

In this comparison, the AP's 2.4 GHz downlink performance is lower than all AC1750 routers, but is third from the bottom for uplink. Average 5 GHz downlink is better only than the TP-LINK Archer C7 V2 and 5 GHz average uplink beats only the NETGEAR R6300v2.

AC1750 Router Average Throughput

AC1750 Router Average Throughput

As noted earlier, there are no other AC1750 access points tested with the V8 process to compare. So instead, I chose two V8-tested AC1750 routers, ASUS' RT-AC66U and Linksys' EA6500. The AP and router are in separate charts, so the throughput vs. attenuation profile plots are presented side by side. Keep an eye on the vertical scale when comparing plots; it's not always the same.

In general, you'll see the LAPAC1750PRO plots disconnect earlier than the compared routers. I suspect this is a byproduct of the short distance between AP and test chamber antennas, AP rotation during test and internal AP antenna placement. So I think it's fair, for all products, to follow the slope of the plot and draw an imaginary line down to the x axis to get a better comparison of relative range.

That said, the AP has a lower maximum throughput and begins its downward slope almost immediately. So it's clear that its 2.4 GHz downlink throughput profile is lower than the other products'.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The AP does a bit better on 2.4 GHz uplink with throughput staying at maximum out to 6 dB. But the overall trend is still lower than the ASUS and Linksys routers'.

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The LAPAC1750PRO doesn't do much better on 5 GHz downlink. Maximum throughput is about 50 Mbps lower than the two routers' and the line slope indicates it disconnects at 30 dB of attenuation vs. 33 and 36 for the two routers.

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz uplink is the best of the four benchmarks with maximum throughput of 391 Mbps just about the same as the two routers' maximums. But the AP's slope is steeper, once again indicating inferior range.

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

Closing Thoughts

Access points in general aren't designed with the same "one-device-does-it-all" focus that consumer routers have. After all, wireless pros learned long ago that you can't use a single AP for many reasons if you want reliable service with decent throughput. So APs focus on features that are needed in multi-unit installations, such as centralized management, multiple SSIDs linked to VLANs, client limits, bandwidth limits and more.

So it's no surprise that Linksys' LAPAC1750PRO doesn't outshine top consumer routers in wireless performance. The first AC AP we tested—Ubiquiti's UAP-AC—didn't either and it's still more expensive than the Linksys, while more than a year older in design.

But what it may lack in performance, the LAPAC1750PRO more than makes up in features. The Virtual AP feature with its associated bandwidth and authentication controls and the Captive Portal feature are particularly powerful, providing much more control of who is doing what on your WLAN than you'll get from any consumer router.

If all this sounds good, then you might want to bring an LAPAC1750PRO in and see if it can do the job for you.

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