Wireless Networking: Nine 802.11n Routers Rounded Up

Benchmark Results: PerformanceTest TCP

Can our Zap numbers be trusted? Well, the two tests agree on ZyXEL’s fair but unexceptional turn-out. The Asus N13U doesn’t quite pop out the same way here, although it still leaves one wondering, “Why exactly am I paying 60% more forthe N16? Ah, right—the GbE ports. And the extra antenna. Why exactly do I need the extra antenna?” That remains a very good question.

D-Link and the N1 Vision still mystify, looking far worse at distance tests here than they did with Zap. Linksys and Netgear’s WNDR3700 once more shine brightest. We keep wanting to praise the location 1 performance of TRENDnet’s 671BR, but those dang distance tests keep spoiling the fun.

Now, just for giggles, we also recorded PerformanceTest’s CPU utilization scores, not really expecting to see anything other than a direct correlation between speed and CPU usage since more packets means more processing. Interestingly, this isn’t always the case. Look how Netgear’s WNDR2000v2 has the lowest speed but highest CPU utilization at location 2, topping the chart at a whopping 29 percent. We’re intrigued by the resource efficiency of ZyXEL, Linksys, and the Asus N16. This may be something to keep in mind if you’re running other resource-heavy tasks alongside your networking app(s).

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  • Dandalf
    I'd buy the Linksys if it didn't have a bloody spoiler on it. Chavviest router I ever saw.
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  • madskillz12_1
    £20 cashback on the Linksys until 30/4/10 as well. You'd be mad not to.
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  • daglesj
    Belkin routers are a joke. I bought a low end one as a spare. It couldnt get a speed of higher than 2Mbps. Any other router would get 6Mbps+. After several attempts of getting a sane response from Belkin India, one of their techs finally admitted that model has an issue with the Firewall. Switch it off and speed goes back up. He said a firmware update would sort it. Nearly a year later...yup no firmware. A couple of my customers have the new Belkin N spec routers. Really bad.
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  • chronicbint
    Surprising, I am on my second Belkin N router and they have all worked perfectly well.
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  • hairystuff
    I've realised with Belkin routers they sometimes have multiple revisions of the same product code/model number, some of the revision work really well and others are pure trash, I've noticed this with D-Link aswell but generally the differences are marginally acceptable.
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  • gagaga
    I'm not normally a fan of Apple gear, but I can get 14MB/s (equal to 112Mb/s) from my airport extreme (the older 2 aerial one) on big files.

    Guessing the laptop (Vaio TZ) has a big influence - that has three separate aerials and the top-end Intel card, and the fact mine is the only 5GHz network in the area...
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  • Accurim
    What did you use with the WRT610N? I'd be interested in getting it based on the benchmarks but I'd have to get the same client adaptor also.

    I believe you did your testing with a laptop also, if I were to get a desktop adaptor would this be fine:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124342
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