Like every other website on the planet, SmallNetBuilder uses cookies. Our cookies track login status, but we only allow admins to log in anyway, so those don't apply to you. Any other cookies you pick up during your visit come from advertisers, which we don't control.
If you continue to use the site, you agree to tolerate our use of cookies. Thank you!

Router Charts

Click for Router Charts

Router Ranker

Click for Router Ranker

NAS Charts

Click for NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

Click for NAS Ranker

More Tools

Click for More Tools

Wireless Reviews

Introduction

About a year ago in Do Extended-range WLAN technologies deliver? I looked at three products representing three technologies that claimed to deliver higher speed and extended range to folks putting together home wireless LANs. Among those technologies was Airgo Networks' True MIMO, which was represented by Belkin's "Pre-N" router and card and which beat the other two products hands-down.

The objects of our attention

The objects of our attention

Since then, a flurry of products with the apparently alluring "MIMO" (Multiple Input Multiple Output) term somehow incorporated into their names has hit retail shelves. Yes, folks, MIMO has become the "new black" (at least in the consumer WLAN world) and purveyors of consumer WLAN gear hope that you'll once again dig deep into your wallets to drink the latest Kool-Aid, that really, really, this-time-for-sure, honest-and-truly, will cure those wireless dead spots that we all have around our homes.

This time I assembled eight sets of wireless routers and adapters that are marketed as using some form of MIMO, and one non-MIMO product that promises improved wireless performance and extended range and set out to compare their performance. But instead of using outdoor testing to simiply see which product goes the farthest, this time I used indoor testing - since that's how most buyers use wireless gear.

I also developed a new scoring system that takes into account both speed and variation in throughput, since wireless LANs are being increasingly used for time-sensitive gaming and multimedia streaming chores in addition to less time-critical web browsing, email and file transfer applications. The change in location, test methodology and scoring produced some interesting, and in some cases, unexpected results. Let's first meet the products.

More Wireless

Wi-Fi System Tools
Check out our Wi-Fi System Charts, Ranker and Finder!

Support Us!

If you like what we do and want to thank us, just buy something on Amazon. We'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!

Over In The Forums

New firmware for the GT-AC5300 — which is great timing, as mine just arrived today. Changelog reads:ASUS GT-AC5300 Firmware version 3.0.0.4.384.457132...
Besides tweaks to the software, is it more stable than official Asus firmware?Thoughts on both?
If anyone is interested in a good working factory reset n66u with merlin ping me..just upgraded to an ac86u and have no use for it.
I have an Asus RT-AC68U router. I am largely (not entirely) using default settings, and am using 5ghz wireless only (2.4ghz is turned off). I have Cha...
Is there a way to tell which clients are connected via capable? I have 384.10_2 and using the Display low level details I think its missing it. Thanks...

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3