Skip to main content

Which Networking Technology Is Right For Your Home?

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.

  • rebturtle
    I'll be bookmarking this article for customers who tell me, "No, I don't want a wired LAN, I picked up this wireless router at WalMart....."
    Reply
  • blackmancer
    +1 wired ethernet connections all the time!!!!!!!!
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    I like the netgear floorplan "Stairs to go upstairs" ... great!

    And nice article btw. Imo I'd have put the first rant about netgear after the section detailing that you're using it, so it looks more like an explanation than an advertisement (page 1) though.
    Reply
  • anamaniac
    Thank you for the article.
    I decided to skip getting a switch (as I still want interent on all connected devices anyways), and grabbed a 2.4/5GHz 820.11n gigabit router...
    Has done well for me, just too bad my PSP can't use wireless N.

    I've been tempted (and almost did) put new holes in my walls to drag my cat6 cables around my house (I only grabbed cat6 over cat5e because of the colour of the cables at my shop, however I do somewhat regret it because cat5e is a lot more flexible).
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    Q: can regular people like I download the zap benchmark software somewhere? I'm the guy being blamed if our corporate network in two towns breaks down, and lately I've been hammered for unstable wireless network and can't find any cause for this. Would like to see minimum performance for our access points (got about 40 meru aps with dual radio and a,b,g and n concurrently).
    Reply
  • Spanky Deluxe
    Gigabit ethernet throughout the house running through a gigabit switch in the garage here with 802.11g for the laptops until I get round to replacing the router we got with our broadband supplier with an Airport Extreme.

    Luckily the previous owner of the house was a network engineer and had left all the wiring throughout the house. I just hooked up a cheap second hand gigabit switch off eBay and have been loving it ever since.
    Reply
  • NicNash
    If you connect a power-line connector from a computer that is also connected to a wireless n network, to that router... will it use both adapters at same time? or whichever to provide best speed?

    weird thought.. but yea
    Reply
  • NicNash
    btw great article on these lesser known technologies. this article is worth its weight in gold to those who care
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    nicnashIf you connect a power-line connector from a computer that is also connected to a wireless n network, to that router... will it use both adapters at same time? or whichever to provide best speed? weird thought.. but yeaDepending on the OS, but if you're running a standard microsoft os, it'll use whichever it detects a gateway on first. Has nothing to do with which is fastest or most reliable.

    Type route print in cmd if you want to see what it uses
    Reply
  • ytoledano
    Wired is king.
    Reply