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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance

The RT-AC3200 is Wi-Fi Certified. It was tested using the Revision 8 Wireless test process with 3.0.0.4.378_4120 firmware loaded. The router comes with WPS enabled, but I did not test it.

The router defaults to Smart Connect mode, which presents a single SSID and channel selection and bandwidth modes set to auto. Turning off Smart Connect leaves the same SSID for all three radios, channel selection to auto and 20/40 MHz bandwidth mode on the 2.4 GHz radio and 20/40/80 MHz bandwidth mode on both 5 GHz radios.

For performance testing, the router was first reset to factory defaults, Smart Connect disabled and unique SSIDs assigned to each radio. The 2.4 GHz radio was set to Channel 6 and 20 MHz only bandwidth mode. The 5 GHz-1 radio was disabled and the 5 GHz-2 radio was left in 20/40/80 MHz channel width to enable 802.11ac link rates. Throughput tests were run on the 5 GHz -2 radio since it is the only one that supports our standard Channel 153 test channel. The NETGEAR R7000 bridge mode standard test client was connected using WPA2/AES encryption.

Our standard practice is to center the router under test's antennas on the turntable, both front-to-back and side-to-side in the chamber. This method is intended to keep maximum distance between the router under test and chamber antennas. The photo below shows the RT-AC3200 in the test chamber in its starting test position.

RT-AC3200 in test chamber

RT-AC3200 in test chamber

The Benchmark Summary below shows the average of all wireless throughput measurements made over the tested attenuation range.

ASUS RT-AC3200 Benchmark Summary

ASUS RT-AC3200 Benchmark Summary

We'll put these results in perspective when we look at throughput vs. attenuation profiles next.

The other two AC3200 class routers, NETGEAR's R8000 and Linksys' EA9200 were included in the throughput vs. attenuation profile plots. So the throughput vs. attenuation plots are easy to read.

2.4 GHz downlink performance is very similar. The Linksys has a slight advantage with strong signals but drops below the ASUS and NETGEAR from 27 dB on. The ASUS maintained its connection all the way to our 63 dB test limit.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz uplink plot is essentially the same for all three products, except for the 0 dB level, where the ASUS jumps above the other two at 148 Mbps.

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

Performance spreads out in the 5 GHz downlink profile with the ASUS maintaining higher throughput than NETGEAR over most of the test range. The Linksys EA9200 falls far below both other products and disconnects first, indicating more limited range.

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

A similar pattern is seen for 5 GHz uplink, but with wider spread between the ASUS and NETGEAR. The Linksys EA9200 once again turns in the lowest performance of the three.

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

In all, there isn't much wireless performance difference among the three routers in 2.4 GHz, but in 5 GHz, the ASUS appears to be the superior performer.

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