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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance - more

The throughput vs. attenuation plots show these four routers are more alike than different. This is the case in even the 2.4 GHz band, where performance tends to fall apart.

2.4 GHz downlink has the D-Link tracking right with the ASUS and Linksys; only the NETGEAR stands apart.

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

The NETGEAR again tracks the lowest for 2.4 GHz uplink. But the difference among these products is so small, it's doubful you'd see it in actual use.

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

2.4 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

All four products again track pretty closely for 5 GHz downlink. But this time the D-Link takes the low road for most of the benchmark run.

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Downlink Throughput vs. Attenuation

Same goes for 5 GHz uplink, but the difference is still pretty minor.

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

5 GHz Uplink Throughput vs. Attenuation

My conclusion is the same as in the EA9500 review. In all, the performance of these AC5300 routers is as similar as I've seen. I don't see a reason to recommend one over another on the basis of wireless performance.

Maximum Wireless Throughput

We now use the Ixia Veriwave to test maximum wireless throughput. Note the Veriwave does not support non-standard modulation, which includes 1024 QAM in 5 GHz and 256 and 1024 QAM in 2.4 GHz. So these results represent the equivalent of testing with an AC2350 class wireless bridge with maximum link rates of 600 Mbps in 2.4 GHz and 1733 Mbps in 5 GHz. The results posted are an average of 10 one minute test runs. The results posted are an average of 10 one minute test runs. 40 MHz bandwidth is used for the 2.4 GHz test; 80 MHz for the 5 GHz.

2.4 GHz results show the D-Link having significantly lower throughput in both directions. Note maximum theoretical throughput reported by the Veriwave for these tests (both up and downlink) is 451 Mbps. Note also I had to lower MCS rates to MCS29 for downlink and MCS28 for uplink from the maximum MCS31 to get the tests to run.

2.4 GHz Maximum Wireless Throughput comparison

2.4 GHz Maximum Wireless Throughput comparison

The DIR-895L/R has mixed results for 5 GHz maximum throughput with downlink at 736 Mbps beating only the much-lower Linksys at 588 Mbps. But the D-Link dropped below the Linksys to rest in the bottom spot at 554 Mbps. The NETGEAR R8500 turns in the top performance for both benchmarks.

5 GHz Maximum Wireless Throughput comparison

5 GHz Maximum Wireless Throughput comparison

Note the MCS rate had to be dropped from the maximum MCS9 down to MCS5 to get the tests to run for the DIR-895L/R. However, I had to run the test on Channel 153 with the NETGEAR; it would not connect using Channel 40.

Why No Router Ranking?

With the major changes to our router test methodology, the ranking criteria also must change. Unfortunately, the current version of the Ranker supports only one set of ranking criteria per product class. We're hard at work on a completely revamped Charts system that will support multiple sets of ranking criteria and test data that will make everything right again. Please bear with us in the meantime.

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