Draft 802.11ac Revealed! Buffalo WZR-D1800H AirStation Reviewed

Discussion in 'Wireless Article Discussions' started by thiggins, May 16, 2012.

  1. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    This thread is to discuss the review and product.
     
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  3. claykin

    claykin Very Senior Member

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    I didn't sleep all last night waiting for you to post the preview. :p

    Interesting that the single client max wifi throughput was not really better than 3 stream N. I am intrigued by the max 5Ghz wifi throughput in multi client environments. Could be useful in busy offices where lots-o-people tend to connect via wifi. Thats assuming the clients support 5Ghz and have a decent 5Ghz radio that connects at further than 20 feet.

    Have you seen the marketing video Netgear put out yesterday regarding ac? In particular did you see the 449MB file transfer they did in the video? (starting @ 23:40) The N example showed a worst case scenario and not something I experience. I did a 449MB transfer on my laptop today to my NAS and it looked much more like the ac demo on the left screen. Gotta love marketers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPuc8zPwyLo
     
  4. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Thanks for the demo link. I didn't attend that session yesterday because I'm on the other side of the country.

    I clocked around 16 seconds for the draft 11ac transfer, which would be about 224 Mbps.

    Would be interesting to know what the equipment used for the 11n transfer comparison. Bet it wasn't 3 stream...

    11ac is going to be a real pain for many enterprises/campuses who have already gone through an upgrade to dual-band N. Unless they purchased upgradeable APs, it's gonna be a rip and replace of a pantload of APs..

    And think about all the phone and tablet upgrades to get those faster 11ac link rates. Just like Christmas for the manfs.
     
  5. Yanks

    Yanks New Around Here

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    May I ask a question here? Does it make sense to purchase a high end wirelesss “N” router now, such as the Asus RT-N66U, Netgear WNDR4500 or Linksys EA4500? I was going to purchase one of these routers this week, but after seeing this I don’t know if that is the smart way to go. I understand that these are draft routers and things might change by the time the ac specs are nailed down, but if they are an improvement at all over the current crop of high end N routers it seems like it would make sense to go with a draft ac router. Especially since price wise the Buffalo ac router is the same as the above mentioned N routers.
    I’d appreciate your advice.
     
  6. claykin

    claykin Very Senior Member

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    Would have been a complete waste of your time to attend that dog and pony show. Unless they gave a case of free ac equipment to all attendees. :)

    they likely used 1 stream with a 5Ghz signal jammer running in the background. :rolleyes:

    upgradable routers? Has any OEM touted their router/AP can be upgraded?

    I agree that equipment OEMs will over promote ac if it means more product sales. I'm sure at the end of the day ac will be helpful, I just wonder what happens when the FCC realizes that the 5Ghz band is now screwed. Hope they have a plan to open up a third band for those in hostile environments in need of a relatively quiet band.
     
  7. claykin

    claykin Very Senior Member

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    The $10,000 question. ;)

    At the very least wait for Tim to complete his review of the Buffalo router to make sure they (Broadcom) didn't screw up legacy connectivity. Asssuming all is OK, then I suppose there's no real harm in buying an ac router. Just take note that its possible some niggly issues will crop up with these first gen ac routers. They may or may not be fixed through firmware or may require hardware revisions/chipset revisions. ac is new, its a learning curve for all. That includes the OEMs as well as Broadcom and other chipset manufacturers.


     
  8. iwod

    iwod Regular Contributor

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    I am a whiner then. Why?

    Because there are plenty of people in this world where their Internet Connection do exceed 500Mbps. They just happen not in US :p:p:
     
  9. BrianV

    BrianV New Around Here

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    FCC really won't get involved in this and won't see the band as "now screwed". The FCC has already approved 11ac operation in at least these two products. The products Tim reviewed are available for purchase in the US, and they've already passed FCC certification which included operation in 80 MHz mode.

    In fact, Wi-Fi in general has historically been one of the friendlier technologies in whichever band. DSSS continuous-wave cordless phones and various video cameras for example in 2.4 GHz transmit at much higher power and do not give up the band, so comparatively, Wi-Fi looks quite friendly and is much more tolerant of interference than many other wireless devices.

    If any group were to show concern and act upon it, it wouldn't be the FCC, it would be the IEEE. This happened with 2.4 GHz and 802.11n, resulting in the 40 MHz mode requirements for 2.4 GHz being stricter and not allowed out-of-box (these rules changed after products started shipping). If such 20/40/80/160 behavior was mandated to change in future revisions of 11ac, in almost every case, it could be rectified via firmware updates.

    Regards,
    Brian

    Disclaimer: I work for Buffalo
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  10. ikecomp

    ikecomp Occasional Visitor

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    While the results for total throughput with multiple streams is impressive, single stream throughput wasn't exactly what I hoped. Unless, you need a way to send multiple 1080p HD streams at the same time (which is a possibility) I don't see any reason to abandon good 3 stream N routers at this point. Maybe the range tests will display some other advantages.
     
  11. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Not consumer. No. Upgradability is a key feature of Xirrus arrays.
     
  12. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Of course it does. Pricing is lower and the technology is more stable.

    If you like being a beta tester, don't mind paying a premium for the privilege and are ok with spending more money for something that is not going to provide any immediate tangible benefit, then, certainly go for draft 11ac products.
     
  13. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Don't hold your breath. There is nothing in draft 11ac that provides better performance for non 11ac gear.

    There are no breakthroughs on range improvement on the horizon, only incremental tweaks. And certainly nothing that is going to change the attenuation characteristics of 5 GHz signals.
     
  14. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    NETGEAR gave me the following information about the demo setup:
    It's safe to assume that with all the networks around, the N router pair was in 20 MHz bandwidth mode.
     
  15. BrianV

    BrianV New Around Here

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    Tim the product reviewed in the title of this thread is priced at the same price or lower than the Asus Dark Knight and Cisco 4500, so it's not spending more money necessarily.

    Asus and Linksys are available today at Newegg for $179, the same price as this Draft-AC router.

    Regards,
    Brian
     
  16. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    That's true. But there are plenty of simultaneous dual-band two-stream N routers ("N600) to be had for much less.

    Consumers have been trained to think that the bigger number on the box always buys them a better product. When in reality, how many people buying "N900 / N750 / N450" routers even have the three stream clients that they need to take advantage of the higher bandwidth the routers can provide?
     
  17. BrianV

    BrianV New Around Here

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    Agreed, there are many affordable N600 solutions that are quite nice. However, I was speaking in direct comment to the customers original question about the value of Draft-AC when directly compared to the user's original request: Asus RT-N66U, Netgear WNDR4500 or Linksys EA4500 which do not require more money or any additional premium to move up to Draft-AC.

    Specifically comparing to those N900 products, the AC product doesn't charge any price premium. That was what I was clarifying. Compared to N600, it's a different story.

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  18. claykin

    claykin Very Senior Member

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    Did Netgear do the N to AC comparison during lunchtime? They brought in a dozen leaky microwave ovens and asked their staff to cook popcorn at the same time their marketing guy was onstage doing the test. Must be, there's no other rational answer.

    In the video they posted, after 90 seconds the N file was 25% done (right monitor). They cut to a different "ploy" so we never saw it complete...

    I tested my WNDR4500 and with my 2 x 2 Intel 6205 client. On 5Ghz with 450Mb/s set in router I transferred a single 460MB file in 41 seconds (about the same speed both directions). With 2.4Ghz, with router set to 217Mb/s, it transferred in 51 seconds (about same in both directions).

    What would be wrong with them properly comparing N to AC? They had to make N look like G with high levels of radio interference. Do they think the world is made up of fools?

    Lets hear from the Netgear marketing geniuses! And, I'm typically a Netgear fan. Just don't care for over marketing!! Over marketing = lying in my book.
     
  19. remixedcat

    remixedcat Senior Member

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    the video was removed!!!! please find another! I have GOT to see that!
     
  20. claykin

    claykin Very Senior Member

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    Try this link. Enjoy.

    http://youtu.be/0oI6ALyT948
     
  21. njweb

    njweb Senior Member

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    Thanks Tim.
    Looks like I'll be happily sticking with my RT-N66U given your Buffalo 'Part 2' performance tests and comments about how the Asus was still by far the most impressive in terms of throughput on 2.4 GHz in the further locations (D and F). The Asus was also the best on standard 5 GHz 3 stream 802.11n, although not by a signficant margin overall, although it did excel in some locations.

    I do, however, wonder how the Netgear R6300 (the only other 802.11ac router on the market now) with the Broadcom chipset will perform.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2012

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