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Routing Performance

Updated 12/16/15 Router performance retest due to measurement process error

Routing throughput was measured using our standard router test process with the router loaded with 1.1.2 Build 20150924 Rel. 66045 firmware. Table 2 summarizes the results and includes the Linksys EA8500 and Amped Wireless RTA2600 for comparison. Although the numbers are slightly different, you'd find all three pretty much the same in real-world use. Even the Amped's lower maximum simultaneous connections value wouldn't be noticed.

Test Description TP-LINK C2600 Amped RTA2600 Linksys EA8500
WAN - LAN (Mbps) 757 613 702
LAN - WAN (Mbps) 800 711 805
Total Simultaneous (Mbps) 1416 734 1493
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 31,784 16,340 35,320
Firmware Version 1.1.2 Build 20150924 Rel. 66045 1.43 1.1.3.166845
Table 2: Routing throughput

The IxChariot unidirectional composite plot for the C2600 shows the usual bouncing we see in most routers these days.

Linksys  RTA2600 routing throughput unidirectional summary

TP-LINK Archer C2600 routing throughput unidirectional summary

The simultaneous up/downlink benchmark plot shows the usual jump near the start due to IxChariot's Nagle's algorithm implementation. Once that settles down, the throughput is stable for awhile, then downlink drops after the 50 second mark. Uplink is generally higher than downlink.

TP-LINK Archer C2600 routing throughput bidirectional summary

TP-LINK Archer C2600 routing throughput bidirectional summary

Wireless Performance

The C2600 is not Wi-Fi Certified. It was tested using the Revision 8 Wireless test process with 1.1.2 Build 20150924 Rel. 66045 firmware loaded. The router comes with WPS enabled. A Windows 8 notebook successfully connected to each radio via WPS pushbutton session that resulted in WPA2/AES connections. As noted earlier, the only WPS control is a disable buried in System Tools > System Parameters.

The router defaults to different, router-unique SSIDs, auto channel select for 2.4 GHz, Channel 149 for 5 GHz and Auto bandwidth mode for both radios.

For performance testing, the router was first reset to factory defaults. The 2.4 GHz radio was set to Channel 6 and 20 MHz bandwidth mode. The 5 GHz radio was set to Channel 153 and 80 MHz channel width to enable 802.11ac link rates. The AC1900 class 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 as the router rotates during test. The photo below shows the router in position in the Octoscope test chamber.

TP-LINK Archer C2600 in test chamber

TP-LINK Archer C2600 in test chamber

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

TP-LINK Archer C2600 Benchmark Summary

TP-LINK Archer C2600 Benchmark Summary

Now that there are three AC2600 class routers, I included the Linksys EA8500 and Amped Wireless RTA2600 in the throughput vs. attenuation plots.

2.4 GHz downlink performance shows the C2600 with a clear throughput advantage up to 42 dB of attenuation, where its curve joins the Linksys' for the rest of the ride down.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz uplink shows a similar pattern, with higher throughput at low attenuation (higher signal) for the TP-LINK. But this time the C2600's plotline tracks below the EA8500's after it crosses at 24 dB.

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The 5 GHz downlink benchmark shows an odd pattern for the Archer C2600. Throughput closely tracks the Linksys up to 12 dB, then falls sharply but recovers to a gentler slope at 18 dB. Keep in mind the Charts data is the average of two test runs. So this behavior was consistent.

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz uplink shows a more typical linear slope for the C2600's throughput. But it tracks lower than the Linksys until 27 dB of attenuation.

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The take away for wireless performance is the Archer C2600 may deliver higher 2.4 GHz throughput than its competition with strong signals. 5 GHz performance is close to that of the Linksys EA8500 with strong signals, but lower once signals move to mid and lower levels. Both are much better than the Amped Athena.

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