Official 5 GHz Wireless Expectations
Netgear provided us with a reviewer’s guide for the WNHDEB111 kit. As far as such docs go, this was a good one, and Netgear in general was beyond helpful in providing information and tools for our tests—tests which might conceivably condemn one or more of its product groups.
According to Netgear, this is the floor plan of a 2,500-square foot, two-storey house in northern California in which company representatives tested the 5 GHz kit. Three 1080p, 20 Mbps video streams were run for a period of three to five hours at different times of the day and were monitored for any signs of jitter or glitches. Following is a graph of the average throughput Netgear reports observing at seven test locations throughout the property.
According to Netgear, there was only one indoor location (#8) with insufficient bandwidth to support all three HD streams at full frame rates. Given that our past experience with video over wireless was little better than abysmal, this level of performance is almost too good to be true from standard consumer gear. Netgear’s document is mum on whether these numbers are based on TCP or UDP protocols, but in referring back to our prior beamforming data, our bets are on UDP. However, as we’ll see, our results go beyond seeking “average” throughput and also include more stringent demands.