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Wireless Reviews

Wireless Performance

I tested the 854T using our new wireless test procedures, which use both open-air testing and Azimuth's ACE 400NB Channel Emulator.

A Netgear WN511B Cardbus card was inserted into a Fujitsu P7120 Lifebook (1.2 GHz Intel Pentium M, 504 MB) notebook running WinXP Pro SP2 with all the latest updates. I upgraded to the 4.150.16.0 "Draft 2.0" driver with the Netgear client application.

The router was upgraded to 1.4.23NA "Draft 2.0" firmware and I left all factory default settings in place.

Maximum Throughput

To start, I ran some close range open-air IxChariot runs to look at maximum performance and throughput variation. This also provides baselines to check the Azimuth results against. Figures 9 and 10 show up and downlink throughput respectively using Up to 300 Mbps mode (Auto 20/40).

Uplink throughput - Up to 300 Mbps mode
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Figure 9: Uplink throughput - Up to 300 Mbps mode

The runs were done with the router and card about 10 feet apart in open air sitting in my lab with no other networks in range. The WN511B's driver appeared to properly report link rate, but I confirmed 40 MHz channel operation with the Cognio Spectrum Expert.

Downlink throughput - Up to 300 Mbps mode
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Figure 10: Downlink throughput - Up to 300 Mbps mode

I also checked the legacy-friendly, factory-default Up to 145 Mbps mode (20 MHz channel), with the results shown in Figures 11 and 12.

Uplink throughput - 20 MHz default mode
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Figure 11: Uplink throughput - Up to 145 Mbps default mode

Highest throughput was obtained in the 300 Mbps mode, downlink. But the high throughput variation brought the average throughput down to just shy of 90 Mbps.

Downlink throughput - 20 MHz default mode
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Figure 12: Downlink throughput - Up to 145 Mbps default mode

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