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Capacity - more

We can also see if throughput changes over the course of this 30 minute test. This data isn't available in the Charts, but here's a little taste. First Orbi mini wallplug. Aside from the periodic glitches in root node throughput, each client gets pretty steady, although different throughput.

Wi-Fi System Capacity - Downlink - Orbi mini wallplug

Wi-Fi System Capacity - Downlink - Orbi mini wallplug

The two 5 GHz clients appear to be battling for throughput in the Orbi mini desktop run, which is reflected in its lower total values in the Charts.

Wi-Fi System Capacity - Downlink - Orbi mini desktop

Wi-Fi System Capacity - Downlink - Orbi mini desktop

Here's how eero Gen2 fared...

Wi-Fi System Capacity - Downlink - eero Gen 2

Wi-Fi System Capacity - Downlink - eero Gen 2

...TP-Link Deco M5...

Wi-Fi System Capacity - Downlink - TP-Link Deco M5

Wi-Fi System Capacity - Downlink - TP-Link Deco M5

...and finally Google Wi-Fi. In general, it doesn't look like any system tweaks are made during this test. That's perhaps to be expected, since there is no break in traffic.

Wi-Fi System Capacity - Downlink - Google Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi System Capacity - Downlink - Google Wi-Fi

Routing Performance

Wi-Fi Systems also function as routers, of course. The simple iperf3 WAN to LAN and LAN to WAN throughput tests all came in over 900 Mbps, except for Orbi mini, which dropped to 529 Mbps for LAN to WAN. I don't know why.

Routing throughput - iperf3 method

Routing throughput - iperf3 method

The HTTP test method is better at showing performance differences under load. This benchmark downloads four different size image files with 2K concurrent connections. TP-Link's Deco fared the worst with the smaller file sizes.But eero Gen 2 and Google Wi-Fi distinguished themselves on the larger sizes.

Routing throughput - HTTP Score comparison - WAN to LAN

Routing throughput - HTTP Score comparison - WAN to LAN
Plot key file size: [A] 2 KB, [B] 10 KB, [C] 108 KB and [D] 759 KB file

The results are pretty much the same for uplink.

Routing throughput - HTTP Score comparison - LAN to WAN

Routing throughput - HTTP Score comparison - LAN to WAN
Plot key file size: [A] 2 KB, [B] 10 KB, [C] 108 KB and [D] 759 KB file

Closing Thoughts

So with all that data, how the heck are you supposed to pick a winner? Fortunately, now that Wi-Fi Systems are in the Charts, the Wi-Fi System Ranker comes to the rescue! It's no surprise Orbi came out on top, but not the way I would have expected. Most likely due to its better showing in the Capacity test, the RBK30 wallplug kit beat the RBK40 desktop. The other surprise is that Google WiFi beat TP-Link's Deco M5, despite being hobbled by using 20 MHz bandwidth in 2.4 GHz.

Wi-Fi System Ranker results

Wi-Fi System Ranker results

The Ranker Performance Summary detail shows GWiFi's edge came from higher 5 GHz RvR (throughput vs. attenuation) and Routing sub-ranks.

Wi-Fi System Ranker Performance Summary - GWiFi & TP-Link Deco M5

Wi-Fi System Ranker Performance Summary - GWiFi & TP-Link Deco M5

You'll notice I haven't awarded a #1 performance award and won't until I get all the products that have been waiting patiently for review and a few more of the original crop retested, too. In the meantime, if you've been waiting for our verdict before buying a Wi-Fi System, it looks like Orbi remains my recommendation, whether you buy the original RBK50 or one of the "minis".

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