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Wireless Reviews

Storage Performance

We tested storage performance using our standard router storage test process. Among three routers in this roundup, only the Linksys EA6350 has a USB 3.0 port. The NETGEAR R6220 has a single USB 2.0 port and the TP-LINK Archer C5 has two USB 2.0 ports.

The table below shows even though the Linksys has a USB 3.0 port, the NETGEAR outperformed both other routers on all tests except FAT32 Write.

  Linksys EA6350 NETGEAR R6220 TP-LINK Archer C5
Speed USB 3.0 USB 2.0 USB 2.0
FAT32 Write (MBytes/s) 27.5 28.3 16.9
FAT32 Read (MBytes/s) 13.0 11.4 15.4
NTFS Write (MBytes/s) 27.6 30.1 12.6
NTFS Read (MBytes/s) 12.0 21.9 10.3
Table 1: File copy throughput (MBytes/sec)

Routing Performance

We tested routing performance using our current Router test process. Each product was tested using the firmware indicated in the table below. The main takeaway is that all three routers have plenty of routing throughput to keep up with most internet services.

Test Description Linksys EA6350 NETGEAR R6220 TP-LINK Archer C5
WAN - LAN 835.7 Mbps 743.3 Mbps 841.9 Mbps
LAN - WAN 768.8 Mbps 778.3 Mbps 806.3 Mbps
Total Simultaneous 1130.2 Mbps 1410.8 Mbps 1486.7 Mbps
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 7768 8192 40574
Firmware Version 1.0.4 (Build 164719) 1.0.0.17_1.0.1 3.14.1 Build 141126 Rel. 6217n
Table 2: Comparative routing performance

Wireless Performance

Each router was tested using our Version 8 Wireless test process, using the firmware version shown in the table above. The router was first reset to factory defaults and Channel 6 set for 2.4 GHz and Channel 153 for 5 GHz. 20 MHz B/W mode was set for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz was set in 80 MHz bandwidth mode.

The Benchmark Summary below shows the average of throughput measurements made in all test locations. With the exception of 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz uplink throughput, the products are more alike than different.

Benchmark Summaries

Benchmark Summaries

2.4 GHz Throughput vs. Attenuation

The composite image below shows Throughput vs. Attenuation plots for 2.4 GHz uplink and 2.4 GHz downlink profiles. Looking first at the uplink profile, you can see that the TP-LINK starts out at 119 Mbps, and outperforms the other two routers throughout its entire range. It lost connection with 3 dB less attenuation than the other two routers, but at its last data point, 54 dB, it had double the throughput of the Linksys EA6350. The other two routers performance curves tracked each other very closely throughout the tests.

For 2.4 GHz downlink, the C5 again had a clear advantage over the other two routers out to 18 dB of attenuation. Thereafter, the Linksys EA6350 had better performance until about 45 dB where the performance curves converged.

Keep in mind that the C5's 3x3 radio linked at a higher rate with our standard 3x3 test client, which resulted in the better results.

2.4 GHz Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Throughput vs. Attenuation

Throughput vs. Attenuation - 5 GHz

For 5 GHz uplink, the Archer C5 started out with a small advantage over the Linksys EA6350, and a larger advantage over the NETGEAR R6220. The performance plot for the Archer C5 stayed "above and to the right" of both of the other routers throughout the entire testing range. The NETGEAR R6220 turned in somewhat disappointing performance and lost its connection with 9 dB less attenuation than the Archer C5.

Looking at 5 GHz downlink, the C5 started out with a huge 155 Mbps advantage over the second place Linksys EA6350 at 0 dB of attenuation. The TP-LINK held a shrinking lead out to about 15 dB of attenuation where their plots tracked throughout the rest of the test range. The NETGEAR R6220 started out with poorer performance, and its plot stayed "below and to the left" (poorer performance) of the other two routers throughout its test range. As with the 5 GHz uplink profile, the R6220 dropped its downlink connection with 9 dB less of attenuation than the TP-LINK.

5 GHz Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Throughput vs. Attenuation

The NETGEAR is clearly the poorest performer of the three in 5 GHz.

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