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Wireless Reviews

Backhaul

Backhaul throughput is key to the performance of Wi-Fi systems because it sets a cap on throughput available to be passed on to client devices at each node. Having a nice strong signal in a Wi-Fi system is not necessarily a reliable performance indicator. You could standing next to a mesh point that is getting only a trickle of throughput due to poor backhaul performance.

These tests run traffic between the root node LAN-side Ethernet port and mesh node Ethernet port. I'm showing only Hop 1 because that's all Covr has, due to its extender-based design. Although 270/300 Mbps ain't bad, it's not as good as what both big and mini Orbi and Linksys Velop have to play with.

Wi-Fi System Backhaul - Hop 1

Wi-Fi System Backhaul - Hop 1

Wi-Fi System

These benchmarks measure up and downlink 2.4 and 5 GHz throughput at each system node, by "walking" the octoScope Pal dual-band test client from node to node. Since tests are made with 0 dB attenuation between the Pal test client and each system node, all measurements are best case. As signal levels between system node and client drop (i.e. distance increases), throughput will decrease proportionate to the RvR curves above.

The 2.4 GHz downlink chart shows throughput measured at each node, with the A bars being the root node and B bars the Hop 1 node. C bars represent the Hop 2 node for TP-Link Deco, but Hop 1 with 21 dB of attenuation applied between client and node (AP) for mini Orbi and Covr.

Covr does much better than Deco on the Hop 1 and 2 tests, but not quite as well as Orbi mini.

Wi-Fi System Performance - 2.4 GHz downlink

Wi-Fi System Performance - 2.4 GHz downlink

2.4 GHz uplink shows Covr running neck-and-neck with Orbi mini,

Wi-Fi System Performance - 2.4 GHz uplink

Wi-Fi System Performance - 2.4 GHz uplink

5 GHz downlink shows Covr not doing as well as the others at the Root node. But once backhaul throughput comes into play for Case B and C, Covr actually does quite well.

Wi-Fi System Performance - 5 GHz downlink

Wi-Fi System Performance - 5 GHz downlink

5 GHz uplink shows Cover again besting Deco for Case B and C, but running further behind Orbi mini than on downlink.

Wi-Fi System Performance - 5 GHz uplink

Wi-Fi System Performance - 5 GHz uplink

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