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Wireless Reviews

Throughput vs. Attenuation (RvR)

The Rate vs. Range or RvR benchmarks look at how throughput varies with decreasing signal. This test is done on the root node, so is a best-case view and does not include any effects from backhaul links.

Nova ran a bit "hot" on 2.4 GHz, exceeding the octoScope Pal reference client's -30 dBm maximum recommended input level. As I've done when previously encountering this condition, I started the 2.4 GHz RvR tests with 9 dB of attenuation. But so that the ranking algorithms don't get messed up, the results are shifted by 9 dB. In other words, add 9 dB to the attenuation values shown in the plot to get the actual attenuation applied for each test.

The 2.4 GHz downlink plot shows Nova running behind Deco at the strongest signal levels, but catching up around 21 dB of attenuation (30 actually), then running above Deco from 36 dB (45 dB) onward. Both products handlily beta Google WiFi, which is handicapped by being spectrum-friendly and limiting itself to using only 20 MHz of bandwidth.

Throughput vs. Attenuation - 2.4 GHz downlink

Throughput vs. Attenuation - 2.4 GHz downlink

2.4 GHz uplink shows similar results, except Nova doesn't catch up to the TP-Link until the 39 dB (48 dB actual) test.

Throughput vs. Attenuation - 2.4 GHz uplink

Throughput vs. Attenuation - 2.4 GHz uplink

5 GHz downlink runs usually show more interesting results and that's the case for Nova. Although it doesn't reach the peak throughput of both GWiFi and Deco, its flatter curve outperformed the other two as signal levels dropped.

Throughput vs. Attenuation - 5 GHz downlink

Throughput vs. Attenuation - 5 GHz downlink

On 5 GHz uplink, however, Nova's relatively didn't provide an advantage until later on in the plot.

Throughput vs. Attenuation - 5 GHz uplink

Throughput vs. Attenuation - 5 GHz uplink

Backhaul

Wi-Fi Systems live or die on the strength of their backhaul bandwidth. Backhaul tests run traffic between the root node LAN-side Ethernet port and the Ethernet port on each leaf mesh node. The results below made me do a double-take! But I reran the tests and Nova does indeed outperform the four-stream backhauls of NETGEAR's RBK50 Orbi and the just-tested Zyxel Multy X, with 487 Mbps downlink and 532 Mbps uplink throughput!

Wi-Fi System Backhaul - Hop 1

Wi-Fi System Backhaul - Hop 1

Although high, these rates are not impossible to achieve with a two-stream 5 GHz AC client. A glance at the 5 GHz downlink Router Charts benchmark with the Maximum selector set shows a top result of 614 Mbps by NETGEAR's four-stream R7800 Nighthawk X4S and 529 Mbps from Linksys' tri-band two-stream EA8300.

Adding a hop, however, slows things down considerably. Nova manages only 121 Mbps downlink and 103 Mbps uplink through the backhaul link between first and second "leaf" nodes. This means if your Novas end up configured in multi-hop, the devices connected to the second hop Nova will be running much slower than those connected to the root and first hop nodes.

Wi-Fi System Backhaul - Hop 2

Wi-Fi System Backhaul - Hop 2

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