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Wireless Reviews

Features

The AC1300's feature set is identical to the other My Net routers. So if you need more details, just mosey on over to the N900 review. I've include the Dashboard shot from that review below so that you get a feel for the admin GUI.

WD My Net N900 (and AC1300) My Dashboard

WD My Net N900 (and AC1300) My Dashboard

Table 2 summarizes the AC1300's key wireless settings, which have a few changes from the N900's. Both bands default to Auto Channel Width with 20/40 for 2.4 GHz and 20/40/80 for 5 GHz.

The 5 GHz radio offers one less channel (165) than the N900. The 5 GHz channel list lops off a few more low band channels (36 and 48) when you are in the default mode. Just switch to 20/40 MHz mode and you'll see the other channels.

Setting 5 GHz 2.4 GHz
Channel Auto [default], 36, 40, 44, 48, 149, 153, 157, 161 Auto [default], 1 - 11
Network Mode 802.11a only
802.11n only
802.11ac only
802.11 a+n
802.11 n+ac
Mixed 802.11 a+n+ac[default]
802.11b only
802.11g only
802.11n only
Mixed 802.11 b+g
Mixed 802.11 g+n
Mixed 802.11 b+g+n [default]
Channel Width 20/40 MHz
20/40/80 MHz (Auto) [default]
20 MHz
20/40 MHz (Auto) [default]
Security None
WPA2 Personal
WPA Personal
WPA/WPA2 Personal
WPA2 Enterprise
WPA Enterprise
WPA/WPA2 Enterprise
WEP (legacy only)
Table 2: Wireless settings summary

There is still no transmit power control, no ability to set maxiumum link rates and no wireless on/off scheduling. You do get guest network support, however, on both bands with separate security modes.

Storage Performance

I ran Windows filecopy tests using the standard NAS testbed connected to the AC1300 with our standard USB drive (Startech USB 3.0 eSATA to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station (SATDOCKU3SEF) containing a WD Velociraptor WD3000HLFS 300 GB drive) formatted in FAT32 and NTFS. The results are summarized in Table 3, along with other draft AC routers and the My Net N900.

  My Net AC1300 My Net N900 Linksys EA6500 ASUS
RT-AC66U
Buffalo
WZR-D1800H
NETGEAR
R6300
FAT32 Write 7.0 12.9 4.8 9.0 7.3 8.6
FAT32 Read 6.4 21.7 10.7 9.9 11.8 10.2
NTFS Write 8.3 20.8 7.7 13.5 8.4 11.3
NTFS Read 6.5 21.3 9.5 9.4 8.7 10.3
Table 3: Router filecopy performance comparison - MB/s

None of the first-generation Broadcom draft 11ac routers are particularly high performers for storage sharing, the AC1300 included. The Ubicom-powered My Net N900 beats them all handily with about twice the filecopy throughput for all benchmarks run except FAT32 write.

Routing Performance

Routing performance was measured running the latest 1.03.09 firmware, using our router test process. Table 4 summarizes and compares the AC1300 and My Net N900's routing throughput. The N900, with its Ubicom processor seems to have more routing power, although both with handle the ISP bandwidths that most of us can get or are willing to pay for.

Test Description AC1300 N900
WAN - LAN 643 708
LAN - WAN 778 728
Total Simultaneous 658 1106
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 43,014 16,384
Firmware Version 1.03.09 1.03.11
Table 4: Routing performance

The Maximum Simultaneous Connection result of 43,014 was surprising in that my test setup usually hits its limit well before that. At any rate, that number does represent the limit of my test method and not the router.

Since the N900 produced significantly different results with and without its "FasTrack QoS" kicked in, I tried it both ways on the AC1300. I didn't find much difference between the two (I maxed out the uplink speed by entering 99999), so the results in the table above are with QoS disabled. Note that FasTrack QoS comes enabled by default.

The IxChariot throughput sumary below shows well-behaved unidirectional throughput, but a stuggle for dominance between up and downlink in the simultaneous bandwidth test.

AC1300 routing throughput summary - FasTrack Plus Qos off

AC1300 routing throughput summary - FasTrack Plus Qos off

Wireless Performance Overview

The AC1300 is Wi-Fi Certified with the 2.4 GHz radio defaulting to Auto 20/40 MHz mode and the 5 GHz to Auto 20/40/80 mode upon power-up. The radios default to different SSIDs (MyNetAC1300 for 2.4 GHz and the same plus _5G for 5 GHz).

The router comes with WPS enabled and prompted me to enter the router PIN when I first wirelessly connected to it. After about 30 seconds, I was connected with a WPA2/AES secured network. But I could no longer see the 5 GHz SSID. After logging into the router admin, I saw that the network name that I entered during the WPS pushbutton session had been applied to both radios. So I had to reset the 5 GHz SSID to differentiate it.

I ran 40 MHz Coexistence and Fat channel intolerant tests to see if the AC1300 properly refrained from switching into 40 MHz bandwidth mode. The router was a bit too sensitive, falling back to 20 MHz link rates when I set it to Channel 7 with another router beaconing in Channel 11. Setting the AC1300 to channel 6 successfully brought back 40 MHz link rates. Setting the Fat Channel Intolerant bit caused a fallback to 20 MHz mode when I reconnected to the AC1300. But after disabling the bit and reconnecting, I found the link still at 20 MHz mode rates.

1.03.09 firmware was loaded for all testing, which was done using the new Revision 7 process. The new process uses ASUS' PCE-AC66 AC1750 PCIe adapter to test all wireless routers and APs. The AC1300 was tested in 20 MHz mode only in the 2.4 GHz band and 80 MHz mode in the 5 GHz band.

The router was reset to factory defaults and Channel 6 was set for 2.4 GHz and Channel 153 for 5 GHz. The test client was connected using WPA2/AES encryption. The router antennas were positioned 8" from the test chamber antennas in the "0°" test position (front of router facing antennas).

The retest Benchmark Summary below shows the Consolidated benchmark process results. Remember that the summary shows the average of throughput measurements made in all test locations.

WD My Net AC1300 Benchmark Summary

WD My Net AC1300 Benchmark Summary

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