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Benchmark Results: Mid-Range, 1 Versus 60 Clients

Why Your Wi-Fi Sucks And How It Can Be Helped, Part 2

Now we get to the fun stuff. If there was ever a question whether nearby devices could cause interference with your own Wi-Fi connection, these tests should prove the answer. Compare the 102 to 136 Mb/s seen on the prior page’s no-interference downlink tests with these numbers. HP, Cisco, and Aruba hold up fairly well, only giving up 30 or 40 Mb/s. Meraki and Apple are simply crushed.

Uplink performance in the face of 61 interfering devices tells the same story, only worse. Apple manages to limp along and complete the test. Meraki simply rolls over and gives up part-way through the test run.

In these circumstances, Ruckus’ adaptability can come into full play. Beamforming, spatial multiplexing, polarization diversity, and all the rest assist with the downlink. If nothing else, the ability to ignore interference through the use of directional antennas (see part 1, page 16) clearly benefits Ruckus’ uplink performance.

Again, pinpointing exact reasons why this or that access point falls on its face would be largely speculative. We could mention that Apple and Meraki are the two least-expensive APs in our group, and maybe the “you get what you pay for” principle is dominating these results. After all, whatever the marketing bullet points say, you don’t get a luxury sedan for the price of an econobox.

Moreover, you might be starting to see a pattern here with Cisco. Like Ruckus, Cisco suffers at short range, but at longer distances, Cisco performs well, even against a storm of interference. Clearly, Cisco put a lot of attention into refining its receive sensitivity, which would explain the 3502i’s second-place showing in our uplink test here.

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