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Wi-Fi Router Charts

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Mesh System Charts

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WQS Results

Figure 19 shows the total WQS for both uplink and downlink tests. I'm not surprised that the Airgo-based Belkin products turn in the best WQS numbers, since they don't rely on channel-bonding to achieve high throughput. No channel-bonding means no periodic throughput down-shift, resulting in lower Relative Precision numbers and therefore higher WQS (for approximately equal throughput values).

But I was surprised to see that the new G Plus 2 X 2 MIMO product slightly beat out the original 2 X 3 MIMO Pre-N. Since only the router is different (the F5D8010 Pre-N and F5D9010 G Plus cards have the same FCC ID), I'm guessing that newer Airgo code for the two-channel radio in the router holds the key.

The products using Super G to boost throughput (TRENDNet, D-Link and ZyXEL) have very similar scores, but almost half those of the Airgo-based Belkins due to the effect of the periodic downshift out of channel-bonding that all this group showed at some point during testing.

WQS - uplink and downlink

Figure 19: WQS - uplink and downlink
(click image to enlarge)

Although the Ruckus Wireless product uses an Atheros chipset, it doesn't appear to use Super G Turbo mode. I verified this using Cognio's ISMS Mobile 1.0 spectrum analyzer, which showed that only 20MHz of bandwidth was being used. Still, the Ruckus' WQS was comparable to the Super-G Turbo boosted products, and Figure 20 shows the reason why.

Ruckus Wireless Location 4 downlink throughput

Figure 20: Ruckus Wireless Location 4 downlink throughput
(click image to enlarge)

Even in the toughest test location (Location 4), the Ruckus still has respectable throughput and more significantly, low throughput variation, a combination unmatched by any of the other products. The difference is probably partly due to Ruckus' BeamFlex antenna, but more likely due to its use in both the AP and client. All other clients use antenna designs constrained by the significantly limited space allowed by the CardBus form factor.

I was also surprised to see the NETGEAR RangeMax do so poorly with Figure 21 showing an example of the behavior that held it back in WQS ranking. First, there is a delay at the start of the downlink test for Location 1 that also appears to some extent in other locations. But the test also caught the RangeMax in one of its periodic down-shifts out of Super G Turbo mode. Since both of these represent large throughput variations, the Relative Precision score jumped up to double-digits and significantly drove down the WQS.

NETGEAR RangeMax Location 1 downlink throughput

Figure 21: NETGEAR RangeMax Location 1 downlink throughput
(click image to enlarge)

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