Benchmark Results: 1GB Transfer, Many Files
Not so long ago, we viewed the 10-foot location 1 test as more theoretical than practical. After all, why would anyone run a wireless device 10 feet from a wired router? Well, with sustained 11n speeds now outstripping 10/100 Ethernet and an explosion in the number and type of Wi-Fi-enabled devices throughout our lives, the practicality and importance of near-range scores only seems to be increasing. So whereas we used to dismiss location 1 results, we now consider all three result sets to be equally important. Wireless devices get used everywhere in the home.
We’ll warn you now: get ready to see a lot of the Linksys router in our discussion here. The ideal thing we want to see are three closely grouped bars at high throughput levels. The norm is to see best results at close range and a steep fall-off as distance and obstacles increase. Check out the D-Link “from router” results for a perfect example of this. Obviously, we want great results at every location. In our 2.4 GHz file transfer tests, both to and from the router, Linksys emerges as the force to beat, never dropping under a 50 Mb/s average in either direction.
ZyXEL and Asus’ N16 put in very respectable showings, both managing to sustain well, save for the N16's drop at location 2. The perplexing thing is how an under-performer like the Belkin N150 takes a big performance leap at location 2 in the “to router” test while disappointing in locations 1 and 3. Go figure.
On the 5 GHz side, Linksys and Ruckus seize the first and second spots. Apparently, the “from router” tests were tougher on three of these four units, Ruckus being the constant exception that makes pretty much every test look easy.