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Routing Performance

Routing throughput was measured running V1.0.0.24 firmware, using our standard router test process. Table 4 summarizes the results. The 160 Mbps Total Simultaneous throughput indicates that the unidirectional throughput is being limited by the 10/100 WAN and LAN ports.

The unusually high Maximum Simultaneous Connection number is a reflection of a tweak I made to the test process. The result still indicates that the test hit a Windows-imposed limit. The router obviously can handle plenty of simultaneous sessions.

Test Description R6100
WAN - LAN 93.9 Mbps
LAN - WAN 94.7 Mbps
Total Simultaneous 160.2 Mbps
Maximum Simultaneous Connections 40,125
Firmware Version V1.0.0.24
Table 4: Routing throughput

I am now separating the unidirectional and simultaneous IxChariot throughput plots for clarity. The composite unidirectional plot below shows rock-steady throughput in each direction, with essentially 100 Mbps wire-speed throughput in each direction.

NETGEAR R6100 routing throughput unidirectional summary

NETGEAR R6100 routing throughput unidirectional summary

The simultaneous up/downlink test shows 160 Mbps of total throughput, evenly shared between up and downlink. In all, the R6100's routing performance looks solid.

NETGEAR R6100 routing throughput bidirectional summary

NETGEAR R6100 routing throughput bidirectional summary

Wireless Performance

Updated 11/6/2013: Wi-Fi Certified Sept. 2013

The R6100 is not Wi-Fi Certified. It defaulted Auto channel and "Up to 300 Mbps" mode (20 MHz B/W mode) on the 2.4 GHz radio and channel 153 and "Up to 867 Mbps" (auto 20/40/80 MHz B/W mode) for the 5 GHz radio upon power-up. The router comes with different 2.4 and 5 GHz SSIDs set, so you'll be able to connect to your desired band without having to change router settings.

I ran 40 MHz Coexistence and Fat channel intolerant tests to make sure the R6100 behaved when encountering interfering 2.4 GHz networks. I first had to disable Auto Channel selection to get the router to allow a 300 Mbps link rate.

The R6100 immediately fell back to 20 MHz mode link rates when the Fat Channel Intolerant bit was set on the client and quickly switched back to a 300 Mbps link when the bit was cleared. The coexistence test passed, too, with the client again switching quickly back to a 300 Mbps link when the R6100 was moved back to a non-interfering channel.

I successfully ran a pushbutton Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) session with a Win 7 client. The WPS session took about 5 seconds to get started, but then completed quickly and resulted in a WPA2/AES secured connection. WPS appeared to be enabled only on the 2.4 GHz radio.

All tests were run using our new wireless test process and V1.0.0.24 version firmware loaded. The router was first reset to factory defaults and Channel 6 was set for 2.4 GHz and Channel 153 for 5 GHz. "Up to 145 Mbps" (20 MHz B/W) mode was set for 2.4 GHz and "Up to 867 Mbps" (80 MHz B/W) mode (to enable draft 802.11ac link rates) was set for 5 GHz. The test client was connected using WPA2/AES encryption.

The router was positioned 8" from the chamber antennas in all test positions. The 0° position had the router front facing the chamber antennas.

The retest Benchmark Summary below from the new Consolidated benchmark process shows the average of throughput measurements made in all test locations. The 2.4 GHz values in the summary correspond to 2.4 GHz values (20 MHz B/W) and the 5 GHz values correspond to the 80 MHz B/W - 3 stream values measured with the previous test methodology.

NETGEAR R6100 Benchmark Summary

NETGEAR R6100 Benchmark Summary

Compared to the only other AC1200 router tested so far—TRENDnet's TEW-811DRU (which hasn't been reviewed yet)—the R6100's 2.4 GHz average throughput is about double the TRENDnet's for both up and downlink. The main reason for the difference is that the TRENDnet's throughput falls off drastically as signal level drops. You'll see this clearly in the throughput vs. attenuation plots shortly.

5 GHz performance is the opposite, with the TRENDnet averaging about double the NETGEAR's downlink throughput and 50% more on uplink.

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