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  • lordbannon - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    I've had two wireless ac routers working as a bridge between the two main network nodes in my house for a few months, and while the latency clearly isn't quite there yet, for file transfers I'm not really seeing any issues. Its the first time I've actually not been concerned with getting around to wiring my house! Reply
  • DaveLessnau - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I've got Netgear R6300s in two rooms configured in Bridge Mode to my original R6300 (configured as a regular Access Point) using 5GHz. Transferring files across the LAN (i.e., from an SSD in the Windows 8 computer on one Bridge to the SSD in the Windows 7 computer on the other Bridge) doesn't seem very good to me. My speeds (according to Windows) are:

    - a single 2.69 GB file transferred at 14.2 MB/s (114 Mbps).
    - 1,223 items totaling 2.93 GB transferred at just about the same speed (13.2 MB/s or 106 Mbps).

    That's about half the real-world speed I'd expect transferring to a slow USB 2.0 drive. Considering that all of these R6300s are 802.11ac devices, I'd have expected at least two or three times that speed.
  • Guspaz - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I get better speeds out of my 2x2 802.11n network... Reply
  • Spoelie - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Do all the R6300s use the same channel? Potential for interference there. Max speed you will only see when there's only one client actively sending on the network, no competing networks on the same channel and the other client is wired to the AP. Reply
  • DaveLessnau - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the R6300s in Bridge Mode can't specify their channel. The channel is set in the Access Point router and whatever it's set to is what all the bridges use. It looks like the only way to specify different channels for each bridge is to have one of the bridges use 2.4GHz and have the other use 5GHz. One of these days, I'll get around to testing how that works. But, still, these R6300s are supposed to be capable of 1300 Mbps. Channel conflict or not, I really expected better than 8% of the rated speed. Reply
  • DaveLessnau - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Oops. I forgot to mention that there aren't any other 5GHz networks in the area. Actually, there's only one other 2.4GHz network that's within range. That's a nice benefit of living in a standalone house in a neighborhood populated mostly by little ol' ladies. :) Reply
  • virgahyatt - Thursday, July 25, 2013 - link

    If they are acting as wireless bridges then you can't set different channels. However there is no interference issue in that scenario. Though wireless bridging increases overhead and therefore slows down your actual transfer speed. Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    Netgear may be your problem. I've never had any luck with Netgear routers for myself or any of my customers.

    Linksys/Cisco seem OK, but the almost exclusive use of Broadcom chips limit them.

    Atheros makes some really nice chipsets, but they don't have good market penetration in consumer level equipment.

    I've got quite a bit of Atheros equipment in the air and I've done quite a bit of testing. Atheros beats just about every one else in range and throughput.
  • Mokona512 - Friday, August 16, 2013 - link

    What router companies usually fail to mention is that high speed wifi are broken up into multiple streams.

    the problem with this is that network applications which only make 1 connection, will only use a single stream.

    This means that in order to reach your full speed, you need to get 3-4 connections going.

    you can easily test this yourself, on your network create an FTP server or any other basic server that you can download files from

    Then use a download manager such as down them all for firefox. then have it download and compare your speeds.

    with 802.11ac, speeds quickly drop with distance because it can not maintain something as high as 256QAM for more than a few feet. and generally after about 20 feet, each stream will give around 100-120mbit/s of performance.

    At best, wifi only offers around 40-50% of the advertised speed It has been this way since 802.11g (802.11b offers over half, you could expect around 8-9mbit/s on an 11mbit connection)

    windows file transfer will often only make 1 connection but depending on the router, different streams can take turns handling a single connection which leads to a small speed boost, but nothing close to a true multi connection.

    The good thing about the r6300 is that is has very high end wifi radios and they can be heavily optimized so netgear may release more updates to further optimize the wifi, or the community behind tomato or some other open firmware, will implement some of the latest optimizations.

    PS if just having a slower client connected to the 5GHz network will slow the 5GHz network down or cause the router to drop to an N450 mode, so if you have 1 router set up as a bridge and the main router set up as normal where the second router shows up as a client, then make sure no non ac1300 client is connected to the 5GHz.

    If the network has to compensate for a slower client then it also disables all AC tailored optimizations.
  • SlyNine - Saturday, January 10, 2015 - link

    I do not believe that last part to be true. Ac afaik will stay at ac speeds even with an n device.

    You really need to site some sources, because I'm calling bs on most of your rant.
  • GuniGuGu - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    I wonder how do these intel adapters compare to the "killer" offerings?

    What about latency? I know that was killer's claim to fame. Has intel been able to make any headway here with the 7260 chipset?
  • JarredWalton - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    I'll be looking into that in the full review. AFAIK, Killer at present does not have an 802.11ac offering (though I'm sure one is in the works). Their current top solution is the 1103, which is 3x3:3 802.11n.
  • GuniGuGu - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    Cool, look forward to it. I'm just curious really if the 7260 on 802.11 ac makes any improvements on latency? Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Friday, July 12, 2013 - link

    What latency issue?

    Wireless latency is typically +1ms of wired links until you saturate the link or have signal or interference issues. It has been this way since 802.11G, and 802.11B didn't add much latency over 10/100.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, July 15, 2013 - link

    Nope. Not even close. It will be typically a 5-10ms, but on many implementations you'll suddenly get some huge spikes of >100ms for a few seconds, then back down again. And that's at short, "ideal" ranges -- go to where you only get moderate signal quality (e.g. when 802.11n is connecting at 30-50Mbps instead of 150-300Mbps) and latency issues become even worse. Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - link

    Oh, do educate me on how wireless works.

    I've only got a couple of hundred long range wireless links out there, as well as a 8-10 hotels I've built wireless for. If you are having latency issues on wireless then you have either poor signal, interference or poor quality hardware.

    I was going to give you a snapshot, then I thought about we can't attach pictures.

    My ping to google averages 17ms, 7 miles from my fiber optic line, 2 wireless hops. My edge router averages 15ms to ping google. My farthest link, around 50 miles from my fiber and 5 hops deep averages 27ms.

    Run proper hardware. Most of this stuff at Walmart pales in comparison to what the actual hardware can do. The consumer level routers are made with the cheapest chips they can get because that is what people will pay for.
  • Flunk - Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - link

    There is a big price premium you pay for commercial-grade equipment. Yes, it's much better but it's overkill for most people's home use. What most people want is a $50 Walmart-grade router and there is nothing wrong with that. You get what you pay for. Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Saturday, July 20, 2013 - link

    There was a price premium, not so much any more. Ubiquiti has their Unifi and regular old wireless routers, between $50-110. The Ubiquiti stuff is comparable to Linksys to configure.

    Mikrotik has a few models out now, RB751 2HnD, RB951 2HnD, though admittedly the Mikrotik units are not quite as easy to program. They're working on it though, several presets are there for, more or less, plug and play.

    Not exactly what I would call difficult to program or expensive from someone who is complaining about wireless making them lag.
  • 0ldman79 - Saturday, July 20, 2013 - link

    Almost forgot, Trendnet has been around for a while now, they run quite a bit of Atheros stuff, their Realtek based hardware is pretty solid as well and most of it is cheaper than the Walmart-grade equipment. Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Saturday, July 20, 2013 - link

    Almost forgot, Trendnet has been around for a while now, they run quite a bit of Atheros stuff, their Realtek based hardware is pretty solid as well and most of it is cheaper than the Walmart-grade equipment. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, July 22, 2013 - link

    Run proper software. Ping uses ICMP, where normal software uses TCP or UDP. Most games use UDP, and while a 7ms average seems great, it could be 2ms 95% of the time and 228ms 5% of the time, which would suck for action gaming.

    The problem with latency of this form most often comes from the wireless clients and drivers, not the router. 802.11ac likely doesn't change that, but since it has been nearly two years since my last look at latency, it's something we certainly need to revisit.
  • 0ldman79 - Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - link

    Btw, the Intel cards are not all they're cracked up to be either. A $27 Compex Atheros 9281 chipset card blows Intel's wifi away.

    I haven't checked recently, but Trendnet is another that was using Atheros chips. They're cheaper than Linksys, D-Link, Netgear and Belkin and work much better.
  • BreezeDM - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    yes do latency in full review please. I would also love to see something running DD-WRT. Reply
  • Flunk - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    "Killer" products are made by Broadcom so you can extrapolate based on the performance of their chip in this article. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    This is what I'm hoping to avoid: don't extrapolate anything based on chipset manufacturer -- or even notebook manufacturer. Every company has had products with poo wireless performance, and most if not all have also had good products. Amped Wireless, for instance, uses a Realtek chipset but manages to get much better performance than you typically see from Realtek solutions (and of course it's a dual-band 2x2:2 solution).

    Killer is actually owned by Qualcomm now, so I would be surprised if they're using Broadcom devices, but regardless they do their own custom drivers and tuning, plus they're not using the cheap single-band 1x1:1 solutions. I reviewed their 1102 last year and it performed quite well, though not necessarily so much better as to negate any alternatives.
  • kogunniyi - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    Interesting look. Can you test the Broadcom 4352? Reply
  • DonTHB - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    As part of future testing of 802.11ac it would be good to know how this version of WiFi works in an apartment building where each of your nine neighbors (three on one's own floor, three on the floor above and three on the floor below) have upgraded to this new standard.

    In a single family house it seems ideal, however.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    You've got several times as many, and significantly wider, channels at 5ghz as at 2.4ghz; so there's much less conflict over spectrum. In the US: 5ghz offers 6x80mhz (or 12x40, or 25x20mhz) vs 3x20mhz at 2.4ghz. The FCC may add enough additional spectrum to add 3 more 80mhz channels to the wifi to the 5ghz band in the near future. (The 5ghz situtation is more fragmented globally than 2.4ghz; but most of the world has similar amounts of total spectrum available).

    In addition because 5ghz is shorter ranged you'll have less interference from networks in adjacent buildings.
  • DonTHB - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    The issue isn't with the next building the issue are the neighbors that are each one wall away. What if they are first with an ac router and set up channel bonding?

    WiFi is best for a single family house and 802.11ac only improves this situation. In an MDU it is best to have wires that give you a communication channel you don't have to share.
  • iwod - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    Any Reason why the only 2 antenna is working instead of 3?
    Any Reason we could believe we would have even better throughput then what we have tested today for 802.11ac, with better software, hardware etc? The speed is still no where near good enough.
    Why we only have 80Mhz implementation today when the spec allows up to 160Mhz?

    Lets hope decent company like Amped Wireless will give us a decent Router soon. Most if not all major consumer brand, including Linksys, Cisco, etc give us absolutely crap router.
  • thesavvymage - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    up until a little bit ago, Linksys was a brand of Cisco's, so including them both as brand examples isnt really correct. They were however just sold to belkin, so Cisco doesnt even make consumer routers anymore Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    1. 160mhz channels are an optional feature.

    2. Making hardware that can work on that wide a channel is significantly more difficult than narrower options. N only supported 40mhz channels; so they already had to push the tx/rx modules to double their bandwidth already.

    3. For mobile devices the wider bandwidth will result in higher power consumption for the wifi chip. I wouldn't be surprised if 160mhz channels never become common for anything except bridges/etc.

    4. At 160mhz you're down to 2 channels in the US now (possibly 4 in the future); which is worse from a conflict standpoint than the 3 channels we've got at 2.4ghz now.

    The last point is the biggest reason I don't expect to see 160mhz channels any time soon. It's in the spec; but it has major real world problems. IMO it was added just to let them waive around bigger (theoretical) bandwidth numbers for bragging rights vs commonly available wired networks (never mind that in real world situations 1gb wired will be faster anyway).
  • DarkXale - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Actually number 3 is false.

    A higher bandwidth permits using modulation that requires less energy per bit.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Unless I'm misunderstanding something, the higher bandwidths are used to pack more bits in; so the wider streams still need the same amount of power/bit but just cram more total bits into the stream at any given time. Reply
  • DarkXale - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    A higher throughput of course will net a higher power drain (if you're using the bandwidth for that), but a wider bandwidth itself does not cause that. Reply
  • Jaybus - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    The wider channel width would take a bit more power, but that would more than be made up for by allowing more bits per token. Higher throughput will use more power, of course, but does not affect power per bit. Where the power is being increased is in the RF amplifier. It of course takes more power to transmit 3 signals than it does to transmit 2.

    Also, it takes more power for a 5 GHz carrier than it does for a 2.4 GHz carrier. This is because the rise and fall times for the RF amplifier are the same. Amplifiers are less efficient during the rise and fall time, and the higher the frequency the larger the percentage of time they are in a rise/fall state. This is assuming a class D amplifier design, which it almost certainly is, as it is the most power efficient..
  • name99 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    "Making hardware that can work on that wide a channel is significantly more difficult than narrower options"

    Sufficiently hard that that is not the way it is done.
    160MHz support is done through channel bonding, ie running essentially two 80MHz channels in parallel. This means duplication of everything, plus logic to synchronize the two. If you want the two 80MHz channels to be discontiguous, it also means a more aggressive (likely duplicated) set of RF components to handle the two disparate frequencies.

    For all these reasons, 160MHz, like MU-MIMO, has been left to the next gen of chips (and who knows if it will be implemented, even there; it's possible all the vendors will conclude that reducing power and area are more important priorities for the immediate future).
  • Modus24 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Seems like Jarred is assuming it's only using 2 streams. It's more likely the lower rates are due to the bad antenna design he mentioned and the link had to drop to a lower order modulation (ie. BPSK, QPSK, 16-QAM, etc.) in order to reduce the bit errors. Reply
  • danstek - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    To correct a statement in the third paragraph, MacBook Air is traditionally 2x2:2 and only the MacBook Pro has had 3x3:3 WiFi implementations. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Fixed, thanks. Reply
  • theagentsmith - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Sorry to be obnoxious, but if cares about its international audience I think a "Metric units-only" policy should be put in place.
    It's true that it's not so difficult to multiply a foot by 30 to get the distance in centimeters, but the only Imperial unit that I would accept in a tech site is inches and only for screens diagonal, as this is the de facto standard to express screen sizes.
    You are already testing hardware and measuring its performance with metric units (Mbps, Ghz), please go on with millimiters, centimeters, meters and grams, as it's done in the scientific field :)
    You remember why the Mars Climate Orbiter crashed, right?
  • karasaj - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    To what end? I believe most of their readers are from the US (no real source, I just think I remember Anand mentioning it somewhere). I tend to agree with you but it would just tick off all of the non engineers, physicists, and maybe mathematicians from the US :P

    Also, that's kind of a weak argument, because I could easily say "if cares about its stateside audience, it would implement a customary/imperial system only" just as easily, and nrither really makes sense.
  • lmcd - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I think enough people here know that 1 meter ~1.10 yards that using metric would be acceptable. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I would also suggest that enough people know that ~3 feet = 1 meter that using imperial units would be acceptable. I didn't actually try to measure the distance through the walls down to the HTPC location, so it's merely an approximation. So call it 2m for the office and anywhere from 6m to 9m for the HTPC location. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    hehe. You can't win this one. The government screwed this one up and should have switched with the rest of the world. Now nobody is happy :-) Reply
  • amrs - Thursday, July 18, 2013 - link

    Well, since the site dynamically reflows now, how about automatic unit conversion? Reply
  • twistedgamez - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    i'm from australia and i have no idea about these conversions Reply
  • seapeople - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Oh yes, thankfully Jared didn't use the Imperial unit for frequency here. Reply
  • fteoath64 - Saturday, July 13, 2013 - link

    @theagentsmith: "You remember why the Mars Climate Orbiter crashed, right?". Oh worse still, very recent Russian Proton-M booster crash due to sensor installed UPsideDown!!!. Standardization with consistency ensures quality. But needs checking, cross-check, recheck!. Reply
  • jramskov - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Don't forget the Asus routers, they are pretty nice. Reply
  • Modus24 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I have an RT-AC66U and I get a ~250 Mbps file transfer rate from 20 feet away using 5 GHz 802.11n. I get ~500 Mbps between floors using an 802.11ac bridge. Reply
  • DroidTomTom - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    What are you using for the client adapter? Those are great speeds. I can not get my IntelCentrino Advanced-N 6235 client to connect faster than 133Mbps to my Linksys EA4500 N900 host router. Let alone attain decent sustained speeds. Even living in the dead of nowhere. Reply
  • Streetwind - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Honestly these test numbers are apalling. In the home theater test, even the 5 GHz ac adapters failed to match 100 Mbps wired ethernet except for the best of the best implementations - and we've been on gigabit ethernet for how many years now? I'm intentionally not looking at the 5 feet results, because those are often completely unrealistic when you try to provide wireless coverage in your entire house. In fact, I even think somewhere around 30-40 feet would be more representative than 20, considering Jarred is stating here that 50 feet isn't even making it to his driveway.

    Another thing I've always wondered about and never saw tested anywhere is the stability of the connection quality. Wireless transfer rates can often fluctuate wildly even when both endpoints are completely stationary, and even moreso when one of them moves. A mean time taken to transfer a file doesn't tell nearly the entire story about connection quality and latency. Those are a big deal for things like VoIP, content streaming and online gaming, for example. Jarred, I don't suppose you could screenshot some of those pretty graphs that Windows 8 draws while copying files...?
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I'll have to look into making more detailed graphs for the full review. Yes, throughput fluctuates a bit, and the slower connections tend to fluctuate even more. The AC Bridge does tend to be far more consistent in throughput than the other adapters. As for the 50 foot problem (sorry, that's 15.24m for the international audience...), that was more specifically a problem with the devices than with WiFi in general. I have one WiFi device (single stream 2.4GHz 802.11n) that can actually get amazing coverage. It lacks throughput, but for moderate traffic I think I can get well over 300 feet (100m) without dropping connectivity. Reply
  • Urbanos - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    please add netgear, asus and engenius AC routers to your mix if you are going to do some reviews... and anyone else who might have them out by now/then. it would be good to offer some comparisons on range and performance from the low to the high end, as well as some tasks that traditionally weren't accessible or usable via wifi b/g/n that should be possible now via AC. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I will have to see who is interested in sending routers for review -- would like to get an AirPort Extreme tossed into the mix as well, but TBH I'm not interested in buying any of the routers with my own money. :-) Reply
  • ikjadoon - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Well, then, this suggestion might be pointless. But, I have a heard of a number of system administrators recommend Ubiquiti routers as great medium-business routers. It's a hefty $340 for their AC-router, the UniFi, but if you're going through a handful of routers in a few years, maybe it's worth it! :D Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Interestingly enough, they just emailed me and asked to send their AC access point. :-) Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Cool. I'm definitely interested to see if they bring anything to the table beyond enhanced tools for managing a number of access points in a network. Reply
  • miahshodan - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I keep reading how great 5ghz is. But the reality in my house I often can't connect at all on 5ghz while 2.4 is fine. I think it all comes down to environment. For larger houses in non-crowded areas 2.4 ghz can be superior. Hopefully AC will help with the 5ghz range. You almost need two or three test area scenarios to account for different distances, construction techniques, wireless traffic scenarios etc. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    How large is your house? It's a question of area, as well as quality of implementation. Some 5GHz devices will manage to go farther than others, but if your home is really large you'd need to go with repeaters or access points. Then again, if your home is that large, you probably aren't running into as many problems with neighborhood 2.4GHz networks interfering. Reply
  • chripuck - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Agreed with mia, my house is 4300 square feet and I need two 2.4 GHz routers to cover the darn thing. Of course my biggest problem is that at the center of my house is a fireplace that has some sort of heat shielding inside it and it creates a blackhole for wifi signals. Reply
  • jaydee - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Comparison of the following options for the Dell Latitude line?

    Dell Wireless™ 1504 802.11g/n Single Band Wi-Fi Half Mini Card
    Dell Wireless™ 1540 802.11a/n Dual Band, High Speed Wi-Fi Half Mini Card
    Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6205 802.11n 2x2 Half Mini Card
    Intel® Centrino® Ultimate-N 6300 802.11n 3x3 Half Mini Card
  • lmcd - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Clearly the last one is going to perform the best as the first one isn't even dual-band, the next two are dual-band and the last is tri-band. Not even accounting for the fact that Dell likely rebrands the first two options from Realtek, which was covered here. If the difference between the third and forth option is less than $30 I'd dive on that 6300 without blinking. Reply
  • jaydee - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Its not so much a matter of "I wonder which is going to perform better?", its more of a matter of "how much performance are you buying with the better wifi card?" There's only a $28 diff between the 1st option and the 4th option, obviously on paper it's well worth it, but I'm hoping for a more tangible comparison. Reply
  • MikeDiction - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    I went with the Intel 6300 when I configured my Dad's laptop for him. I'm getting about 130 Mbps in 20 feet away from an ASUS NT-56U. Reply
  • Zap - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    "over the past seven or so years of testing notebooks and laptops for AnandTech, dropped wireless connections are a far too common occurrence in my experience"

    Tell it like it is, brother!

    Seriously though, even cell phones still get dropped calls in this day and age.
  • lmcd - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Last time I dropped a call was in a completely dead forest corridor, where no signal was claimed. My signal made it farther than advertised, too.

    Now, my data connection on the other hand...
  • kwrzesien - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Excellent review, thank you for the solid information as every bit helps. I'm looking to replace my Netgear WNDR3700 v0 which is now performing Wireless AP duty in the middle of an enormous house. The wired network (FVS318G ProSafe VPN Router and two GS105 switches) is rock solid, with eight drops of Gigabit wiring built in to the house during construction. But that stupid wireless box crashes or partially locks up every few weeks. Sometimes wireless will work for some existing connections but won't accept devices (iPhones, iPad) back onto the network when they have been away.

    I just read all the Newegg and Amazon reviews, especially anything less than perfect, on several of the new AC routers. All of them seem to be 10-20% defective, and the firmware seems to be 10-20% buggy on advanced features several of which I need. In fact it seems there hasn't ever been a reliable, rock solid, long lasting (5 yr) router in the last three years. Please, please correct me if I'm wrong! So I am seriously considering the Apple Airport Extreme or Time Capsule, it seems like a solid product, well engineered, and has great reviews. Give me that Apple halo!
  • kwrzesien - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    My wife says I have logic problems - maybe she it right.

    I concur with the other comments that 5 GHz doesn't seem to be all that - most of my devices prefer 2.4 GHz as the connection is more stable when moving around the house. Of course most of the old devices are 2.4 GHz only anyway, but even our Lenovo T410 laptops and iPhone 5's seem to work as well or better on 2.4.

    Oh, and please don't label the charts as 5G and 2.4G, that's just not right and will confuse people with 2.5G, 3G and 4G cellular standards. /rant
  • lmcd - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Yeah, it doesn't take that much more space to put GHz instead of G... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I think we're all smart enough here to know that 2.4G and 5G are referring to GHz, and personally I already think the text is too long (it's half the width of the graphs!) Sorry if that bothers you. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    "...middle of an enormous house..." That's basically why 5GHz isn't as big of a deal for you, as 2.4GHz likely isn't getting much interference from other networks. Generally speaking, big home = big yard = 2.4GHz is fine. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I did a double take when I saw 5G on the graphs, only took a second to realize what you meant but I agree it's mildly confusing.

    I enjoyed your comment about your wireless routers being unstable. I've used a lot of wireless products, indoors and outdoors, and it's very hit or miss. I've brand hopped, bought expensive, bought cheap, it's just not predictable at all. I consider stability the most important factor and would love some tests showing stability over the course of at least a month or two, including if the device recovered itself (reboots on it's own or whatever it needs to do), or you had to go reboot it.
  • bobbozzo - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    IME, lockups are often caused by overheating (add ventilation holes and/or heatsinks), or flaky firmware (replace with DD-WRT). Reply
  • Yuriman - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I'd like to see some testing done at greater distances - 40ft or more, if that's possible. How does it perform at the edge of its range? Reply
  • seapeople - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I don't understand this "40ft" measurement you used. Are you trying to say femto-teslas? A unit of charge? That doesn't make sense to me, I only understand logical units that sensible people like me use. Reply
  • wbeyda - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    >>Apple's 3x3:3 dual-band implementation is better than 99% of Windows laptops (and yes, I just made up that statistic).

    Quit reading right there. I'm not gonna tolerate ignorance or bias in a tech review. Last time I checked Windows doesn't make laptops either. Windows is an operating system. Not a tyrannical software/hardware combo for brainwashed zealots.
  • lmcd - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Sorry but Windows OEMs tend to cheap out on WiFi. It's common, particularly outside of gaming laptops. And they're Windows OEMs. They aren't OS X OEMS or Linux OEMS (sadly), so Microsoft takes ownership. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I don't use Apple laptops, but I've tested so many Windows laptops and do you know how many actually had 3x3:3 dual-band WiFi adapters? TWO. Two laptops in the past seven years. So you'll pardon me for saying that the Windows vendors are being totally cheap. Sure, you can custom order something better from some OEMs, but the vast majority of Windows laptops purchased by consumers come pre-built with single-band, single-antenna solutions. Reply
  • Modus24 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    How many of them cost as much as the MBP? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Considering the gaming laptops have hit the $3000+ mark numerous times, I'd say enough of them that it's still a problem. Granted, we're still trying to get good LCDs, which is a bigger deal IMO, but I'd happily add $25 to the cost of a laptop to get a quality WiFi solution integrated. Reply
  • ananduser - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    2 OEMs is still more than 1 OSX OEM. You're never without choice in the PC front. As long as there is one choice at least it is on par with Apple. So what if the rest don't follow the lone Win OEM ? Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I got a good laugh out of this completely faulty logic. Thanks! Reply
  • seapeople - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Ballmer, is that you? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Um, no... that's two LAPTOPS. One was Dell Latitude, and granted 450Mbps dual-band is often an option with Dell, but if you're not custom ordering (e.g. just buying from Newegg or elsewhere), the number of laptops that have quality WiFi is diminishingly small. Reply
  • JamesT34 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I buy business notebooks (EliteBook, Latitude, ThinkPad) and they all have excellent WiFi solutions (usually Intel 6300 cards). I'm transferring data at 250-300 Mbps on 5 GHz 802.11n.

    Sounds like you're overpaying for you notebooks.
  • arthur449 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    The bigger problem is the UEFI/BIOS whitelist these Windows OEMs use to disallow the purchase and use of other mini PCIe modules.

    I just purchased an HP ENVY 15z (AMD 'Richland' 5550M) and the included Ralink RT3290 WiFi+Bluetooth module is 1x1:1, doesn't support 5GHz networks, and barely manages 5MB/s over 2.4GHz 802.11n when sitting 1 meter away from an ASUS RT-N56U.

    In fact, I have a 2010 HP dm1z (AMD 'Brazos' E-350) and its Ralink RT5490 wifi module typically beats the much more expensive ENVY product in wifi network transfers. My 2007-8 HP TX2525nr (AMD Turion @ 2.0GHz) boasts a Broadcom Wifi module (Draft N) supports the 5GHz band and manages at least double the network throughput of either of the two newer machines.

    I'd love to swap out the wifi module on crappy wifi implementations in OEM machines, but hardware not specifically coded in the UEFI/BIOS doesn't work, at all.
  • RU482 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    "Apple's 3x3:3 dual-band implementation is better than 99% of Windows laptops"

    Should this say 3x3:2 instead of 3x3:3? Or am I incorrect in thinking that the number after the : stands for the number of bands?

    Great write up - definitely be sharing this with some colleagues
  • RU482 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    nevermind - the number after : is the number of streams. Reply
  • kmmatney - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Would have been nice to see 100Mb and 1Gb wired connections as well, just for a comparison. Reply
  • pattycake0147 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    ^This would be excellent for the full reviews that are forthcoming. Reply
  • khaydin - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I have an Asus RT-AC66U router and a Linksys Wireless AC Media Bridge and I can copy a movie I recorded with Windows Media Center 7 to my computer upstairs at 48 megabytes per sec. Only about half the speed of gigabit Ethernet, but a great alternative in a condo where it'd be a nightmare to try to run cables through the walls. Previously I was using powerline adapters getting maybe 5 megabytes per sec on file transfers from my media center downstairs to my computer upstairs. Reply
  • hojo98 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I also have an Asus RT-AC66U and a Linksys WUMC710 AC bridge. I get ~500 Mbps transfer rates between an HTPC downstairs and a PC upstairs.

    The only issue I have is sometimes during long file transfers (several GBs of data), the WUMC710 loses it's connection to the router and never reconnects unless I power cycle the WUMC710. Do you encounter this as well? There's a somewhat long thread in the Linksys forums mentioning disconnects too.
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Good luck. Linksys is terrible, they look nice, they have one of the best ui's (in my opinion), nice features, but their hardware just always seem to be unstable. They'll release a v2 hardware which runs different (incompatible) firmware, then a v3, and v4, etc but you're likely screwed. Reply
  • 24thChromosome - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Journalism 101: Explain briefly what you're talking about (what is 802.11ac?) Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Google 101: "802.11ac wiki" Reply
  • chrnochime - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    My primary concern IS range. Even at 300mbps if the range doesn't get close to at least 40ft, which is not 3 cars length, what's the point of having wifi anyway. Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Oh noes. The product does not meet my needs, therefore it is useless for all people in all situations.

    One of the things you're supposed to work out some time in your adolescence is that though you're the star of your own life, you're not the star of anyone else's.
  • Hrel - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    I know you guys can't review all products. But if you could review the D-Link DIR-868L that would be great. It's their top offering so I'd think they'd be more than happy to send you a unit to review. Reply
  • HammerStrike - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Can anyone confirm if legacy standards (n/g/b/a) can be connected to a 801.11ac router, and still have it connect at ac speeds to ac native devices? I know that (at least with my current n class wifi router) if I connect a g class device the whole network goes down to g level speeds for all connected devices. Presumably with both 2.4ghz and 5ghz radio's the 2.4ghz can service legacy devices, while the 5ghz would be dedicated to ac devices. Is that correct, or and I misunderstanding that? Also, if I am correct, is that part of the ac standard, or up each manufacture to implement? Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    (a) Yes, the intelligent thing would be to segregate legacy devices to 2.4 GHz. Always has been.

    (b) With 802.11n, the smart thing to do is put the device in Greenfield mode for the 5GHz band, which will will not allow connections from anything except n.

    (c) With 802.11ac, for better or worse there is no greenfield mode (maybe because pretty much no-one ever used it to run their networks optimally; Apple makes its use easy on Airport, but even there few people use it; apart from Apple no-one seems to even know it exists. You could maybe implement a greenfield mode equivalent in the router, just not allowing anyone not using ac to connect, perhaps by only broadcasting the SSID in 802.11ac format, but I don't know if that's within spec, or if anyone is doing it.)
    This makes it even more imperative to get slow devices onto 2.4GHz, otherwise all your time is going to be used up by them slowly dribbling out their bits.
  • Gabik123 - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Can't wait for my almond+... Reply
  • hrrmph - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Good job putting the notebook computer manufacturers on notice that the performance of their wireless implementations are going to be measured (and how well they do counts a lot towards customer, and reviewer, satisfaction).

    They definitely need to get it right - especially on the expensive computers.

    With form factors shrinking, the day when there isn't room for a LAN port is fast approaching, even for high-end machines.

  • wrong - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the roundup. It's good to see data on this underserved topic.

    The big question for me is still "wireless or copper?", though, so I found myself wanting two things:
    * Stats for just running a patch cable to the test locations
    * More information about those outliers. It's a llittle disconcerting to see pauses and disconnects pruned from the data when they are actually the biggest influence on the quality of your experience.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    The pauses are usually on the first run -- sometimes Windows still hasn't figured out where the other PC is on the network when I switch from 2.4 to 5GHz, or wired to wireless. It's maddening, but there are many times when I power up a laptop, open the path to my main PC in Explorer (\Nehalem if you're curious -- yup, my work system is still running a Bloomfield CPU!), and then... wait, get told the system isn't online, ping the IP address and get a response, try again, etc. and then about five minutes later Windows finally figures out where \Nehalem is "hiding". Grrr.... Mind you, this is with all the Windows Firewall stuff disabled as well. Reply
  • Wintek - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the review. I did want to share that the only things that matter to me are reliability and range. The definition of a positive experience for me is when my wife wants to use the facebook app on her iphone 5, and it works. I have a 15/5 Mbps internet connection, which means that the speeds of nearly every test case presented would result in the same experience for my wife - what I really want to know is if the device is going to require constant rebooting and if it's going to work out on the deck, which is ~75 feet away through 3 walls. I didn't even set up the 5GHz SSID in her phone because it can't even reach past the same room as the access point. As far as speed tests go, the test that would be useful to me is reporting the number of feet when the connection drops below a 15Mbps reliable transfer speed. I purchased a Western Digital My Net N900 router because of the 7 ethernet ports and reported speed to hard drives attached to the USB port. What a bad choice, none of the online reviews reported the failures (should have listened to the Newegg user reviews) of this device for what I am guessing is overheating. Initially I was very pleased with the device with 5 of the ethernet ports used and reasonable wireless 2.4GHz range. But the first two each died after ~3weeks. I then bought a Netgear switch and just used the router as an access point. So far the third WD router is still working, but I had to reset it last night because of slow/flaky connectivity. It's this kind of experience that I would love your help in avoiding!
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    Totally with you. Reliability and range trump speed. Reply
  • whyso - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    Honestly one of the few things I honestly couldn't care less about on my 5mbps internet connection. No company offers faster internet in my location though the population demand is there and I don't expect faster than 20mbps in the next five years. Reply
  • designerfx - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    maybe you should test this with the Asus RT-AC66U? I imagine the results would be profoundly different, based on smallnetbuilder's test results.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    One should be on the way (or I think it might be the newer model). Reply
  • ddriver - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    No latency test? Really? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    Did you read the part in the article where I said, "This is a shorter introductory piece, so don’t expect a full suite of benchmarks..." I guess not.

    This was not intended to be a full review, but just to show that AC can be quite useful, and that we're working on testing some AC routers (which is in part a way of sending out a fishing line for additional products -- I've got two more coming already). The full review will look at latency, consistency of connection, and Rx/Tx speeds under more than one workload and at more than one location. Stay tuned....
  • ddriver - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    Well, it is not like pinging is very challenging or time consuming, but whatever. Hopefully the full review will also include multiplayer gaming as well as other less typical workloads and naturally CPU load. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    Gaming is basically out, as I don't have the necessary equipment to test every single combination with the various WiFi adapters. I could test one adapter on one system with multiple routers, but most laptops have a whitelist of supported WiFi cards in their firmware so swapping cards in/out of a system doesn't generally work (and even if it does work with some, I'm not ready to tear apart someone's notebook review unit to accomplish the necessary testing).

    Please keep in mind that "comprehensive" looks at a technology can end up scaling the amount of testing time rapidly. If you have four routers and six adapters, you're already looking at 24 combinations to test. Now add in two more test locations and you get 96 combinations! Just the one "simple" test conducted in this article at two locations required a full day of testing to complete. Adding latency, copying lots of smaller files, then do the copy to the server rather than from the server (testing transmit rather than receive), and add in two more test locations to get an idea of how things look at 50' and 75', and I'm easily looking at a week or two dedicated purely to testing WiFi.

    Simply put: I have a lot of other stuff on my plate, and while WiFi is definitely interesting, at some point I need to draw the line on what's in and what's out and write about the experience. My plan for now is to start with one router and several adapters (plus the bridge). Review that, then if everything checks out I can do the same tests on another router and so on. And in the meantime, I have a couple laptop reviews to complete, plus some other items as well, and a summer vacation to take. It might be a while before I'm done with this. :-)
  • kenthaman - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    You should add the Ubiquity UniFi UAP-AC to your wifi testbed. I'd really like to see how their numbers rate compared to the other devices you've tested. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    We should be getting the UniFi 3.0 for testing as well. Reply
  • fc528e - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    Very nice comprehensive review of 11ac as it currently stands! I'm really glad you were able to compile these results from an array of devices. Sounds like a worthy upgrade (assuming good hardware on the receiving end is there). Reply
  • Laststop311 - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    I'll never give up my wired gbit connection. It's much easier knowing when the net messes up that you know its not the connection to the comp. And when you reformat the intel ethernet nic's just kinda work wifi gotta find drivers. I can see changing to 10gbit wired when that penetrates the consumer space. Especially with ssd's really need the bandwidth. SSD's are basically bottlenecked by the 6 gbps sata III limitation (the top ssd's at least). So hopefully 10gbit ethernet will be standard when sata express is standard. Wired is lower latency as well. People can't hack into it with a laptop parked in front of your house and steal bandwidth and do illegal stuff, neighbors can't hack it and mooch free internet off you. And there is still a ton of value in houses coming pre ethernet wired with ports in every room. I know that will be a requirement usb 3.0 ports and 10gbit ethernet ports with the power jacks in the next house i buy. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    It's sad. I haven't seen a router that compelled me since my DIR-655. Years and years now. It isn't even that good, requiring reboots every month or so. I don't trust the new firmwares they put out any more and perhaps the new wireless hotness would be nice, but the truth is I don't feel like throwing down another $50-200 for the new hotness and have it be same as the old hotness with a slightly faster speed.

    Gigabit is all I need. I've been vaguely tempted by the faster processors and greater memory in recent Asus routers, but this article shows when you get outside of the same room, wireless starts to show only very narrow differences.

    And latency still sucks. For the same reason I don't use wireless keyboards and mice for my everyday system is the same reason I wouldn't use wireless networking on my everyday system.

    That said, having wireless is better than not just for the option. Until tablets, smartphones, consoles, laptops, and everything else use the NEW wireless spec (and it becomes officially released instead of a beta), there's just no reason to buy in yet.

    By the time they finally get around to putting out affordable Nexus-class devices with it integrated and iPad's with it and most laptops have it, we should have cheaper and better routers with it, too.
  • thetoad30 - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    I think you are sorely mistaken with this article. Here's why:

    802.11ac will combine up to three 80 mhz 5 GHz streams. As each channel is 20MHz, you're looking at four channels per stream, by three streams, meaning 12 channels being used by ONE router. Since there are only 21 channels right now, one router takes up more than half the available spectrum in the 5GHz channel.

    Remember 11n in the 2.4 GHz spectrum? Why didn't anyone get 40MHz channels? Because there were only three non-overlapping channels in the spectrum, and the number of people using it meant that interference was all but impossible to avoid in common neighborhoods. 11ac just brings that problem to the 5 GHz channel.

    Second, Apple doesn't allow 40MHz three stream mode in their 2.4 GHz band - you are limited to 2x2 at 270 mbps for the same reason I outlined above.

    People think that the 5GHz spectrum is the answer for interference - and it was because it had so many options to choose from to limit interference - but now that you're combining channels and soaking up more bandwidth, it will soon be just like the 2.4 GHz fiasco.

    Just thought you'd want readers to know this before pouring money into products that eventually will have the same problems as before.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    You're right that the amount of spectrum/channels being used by one router is higher with 11ac, but what you're not mentioning is range. The biggest issue with 2.4GHz (and the reason no one is doing 900MHz WiFi these days) is that the range on 2.4GHz is much greater. With a moderate yard (0.14 acres or so), I don't see my 5GHz signal much beyond my property, if at all. Most people who want bandwidth are really only looking at bandwidth within their home, in which case 11ac can be an excellent solution. On 2.4GHz, I can at least "see" anywhere from eight to twelve networks from my house, and that makes it extremely difficult to get a 40MHz channel. 3x3:3 can still get better throughput than 2x2:2, thanks to the extra stream, but for shorter distances 5GHz 11n is often two or three times faster than 2.4GHz 11n, and 5GHz 11ac can be another doubling in performance over 5GHz 11n.

    I'm not saying 11ac is for everyone, but if you want higher bandwidth within a more limited area, it can be awesome. 40MBps to my downstairs HTPC is nearly four times what I got with the Amped Wireless router/repeater combination, also functioning on 5GHz. (And on 2.4GHz, the Amped Wireless only managed 4-6MBps most of the time.)
  • thetoad30 - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    Huh. I had a whole comment block that explained the issues with 11ac and some errors in the article and it appears to have been deleted. I wasn't disrespectful or arrogant either. Wondering if censoring is happening or if my account is messed up? Reply
  • thetoad30 - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    Never mind - apparently it's working now. Reply
  • Micropterus - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    Did this Mythlogic Pollux 1613 happen to have the Samsung PM841 mSATA SSD? Preferably 512GB, that you could test, please? :) Reply
  • trip1ex - Friday, July 12, 2013 - link

    I just wired my house with Cat6. It isn't just about pure speed but latency for me. The WMC experience likes low latency. Reply
  • Conficio - Friday, July 12, 2013 - link

    What about bufferbloat testing? For many throughput is only half of the story, latency in Wifi solutions is a big, big issue as well. Could you please consider testing the bufferbloat behavior of these implementations? Also add the buffer characteristics, size in hardware/drive if possible.
  • theduckofdeath - Sunday, July 14, 2013 - link

    You seem to like Apple a lot. I mean, they're a nice company and all, but, I really think the majority would enjoy seeing references to stuff adopted by a wider demographics once in a while? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, July 15, 2013 - link

    The only Apple product in my house is an iPod Touch 4th Gen, and I didn't even buy that. However, I've handled enough Apple MacBook Pro laptops and iPads and iPhones to know that they make a good product. I personally don't like OS X, and I hate the elitist mentality that seems to pervade the Apple user base, but credit where credit is due: Apple has pushed the state of the art in many areas. Having a rabid cult following helps, sure, but if the iPhone, iPod, iPad, etc. had lousy hardware and software, none of the devices would have seen the success they've enjoyed. You pay through the nose on some of their products, but generally speaking at least you get a quality result...provided you prefer running OS X, of course. Reply
  • misaki - Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - link

    For years I've had problems with wifi dropping out/crashing when doing lots of file transfers and requiring reboots of the laptop/router using many different chipsets. But every time I tried to google it, I could never find any meaningful conversation on it. It's nice to know I wasn't the only one with these problems. Reply
  • Sylvala - Friday, July 19, 2013 - link

    Apple implentation is the best? lol Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, July 21, 2013 - link

    Don't mistake the Air problems with Apple issues in general. Apples WiFi in the past has been far better on most laptops, at least on the MacBook Pro line. They've had dual-band 3x3:3 with two chipsets in their AirPort Extreme for many years now, and the result has been very good performance. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Monday, July 22, 2013 - link

    In the comprehensive review, would it be possible to test combined throughput for multiple clients connected to the same AP?

    While it's great to benchmark/measure the throughput a single client connected to a single AP can achieve, that's not very realistic compared to how wireless is actually used, even in single-family homes. It's very rare you'll see a single device connected to an AP, what with the proliferation of phones, tablets, laptops, and consoles in homes these days. And workplaces are even worse.

    Perhaps as a final benchmark, you could run the download test on every laptop simultaneously and measure the overall throughput from the AP? Would be interesting to see how each AP handles that situation.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, July 22, 2013 - link

    I can certainly try that; usually, though, what you get is a high burst of traffic from one client for a bit, then another high burst, etc. If you are running a file server with lots of wireless clients, you'd really want to go with distributed access points most likely -- unless you're in a small area, and then a single AP might be sufficient. Reply
  • agrntn - Sunday, September 01, 2013 - link

    What is '802.11'? Reply
  • uio77 - Saturday, December 28, 2013 - link

    Hello wireless gurus:

    I just got one of this WD my net bridge AC adapter and connected to the 5G band to a Netgear Nighthawk. To measure how fast the transfer speed is I copied a file from my NAS to my desktop and the speed do not pass 4mbps. I tried changing setting in the router but no luck. The setting in the bridge are almost none. Do any of you have an idea in why this think is given me such a lame speed over AC, Thanks guys
  • mshirley1964 - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    I recently upgraded to comcast's x1 platform and it came with a dual band router.
    I just got an 802.11ac usb wifi adapter for my laptop and just check out the before
    and after results:
  • mshirley1964 - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    I recently upgraded to comcast's x1 platform and it came with a dual band router.
    I just got an 802.11ac usb wifi adapter for my laptop and just check out the before
    and after results:

    Aint that amazing?!

  • Barney4 - Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - link

    I don't know why others have had problems, but I have had mine running non-stop (apart from electrical blackouts of course) since new.
    That is over 5 years now!
    Not one disconnection or problem - EVER!!
    We have a old federation double brick house, so that causes a little distance problem, but it still gets a signal through 3 walls for a distance of about 50 feet (depending on the connecting device) before losing the signal.
    With only one obstructing wall we get somewhere between 50 to about 75 feet depending on the connecting device.
    I must admit to changing the antennae to a better one (a 9dB) which has given it a much more consistent and stronger signal at distance.
    All I have done is plug it in, set it up and never touched it since.
    I am also running 3x different Uniden cordless phone systems (900mHz, 2.4GHZ and 5GHz), recently I have 2x TV's and 2x computers plus 3x mobile phones which use widi. None of this causes any interference.
    Can not figure out why so many people have had their router"s cause problems, could be some sort of interference problem, maybe even the external devices used, because the Netcomm NP804N has worked just as it is supposed to. And flawlessly!

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