Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by christianh, Jan 27, 2013.
Plain and simple. What's the best allround router at the moment?
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If you don't own an Xbox (at least one connected wirelessly), I'd recommend the ASUS RT-N66U. 56U if you don't need three stream.
Thanks! I already have it in mind but reading the reviews her at SNB the Cisco EA6500 get much better score than the Asus one except maybe performance.
... funny... everyone ask about best router. Everywhere you got router tests, so question is pointless if you got tests. When I asked best wireless card no answer.
Best router with out best wireless card won't be best solution.
I have RT-AC66U (a little better than N66U). Still same performance as DIR-655, why?. Asus is based on Broadcom while DIR-655 is based on Atheros. In my condition crucial performance is small packets transmission. I don't know why upgrade from DIR-655 to RT-AC66U gave me nothing.
Remember that EA6500 is tested with another AC router, and AC work only at 5GHz. 2,4GHz in my home is fine, but 5GHz can't penetrate wall.
Even if we agree to disagree that EA6500 is better than RT-N66U... EA6500 do not have even bridge mode.
A realistic answer: for two WiFi routers in the same 802.11 mode (b/g/n), communicating with the same client hardware, same locations, most all will have very close to the same performance - because the transmitter power and receiver sensitivity is so nearly identical. The laws of physics overwhelmingly govern the data rates (ratio of signal to noise+interference, or SINR), and the transmitter amplifier for OFDM (11g/n) requires the 6dB+ headroom - this is due to the 802.11/OFDM specs. Things like noise-power-bandwidth product, adjacent channel interference (since WiFi cannot use channel-wide (20 or 40MHz) filters; by "channel", I mean the next non-overlapping channel. And so on. This is good, because we all benefit from the standards and interoperable products.
The laws of economics preclude a low noise amplifier and a transmitting amplifier for routers that compete price-wise and pay for retail shelf-space these days.
There are a relatively small number of WiFi chip vendors- maybe 6 or so. These appear in dozens of products.
This also assumes the client device is in the same mode: b/g/n and same MIMO arrangement. A MIMO WiFi router/access point doesn't benefit a client device with none, or lesser.
Antenna gain differences can affect things a slight amount (omni-directional antennas). But 2, 6, 9 dB of increased gain is small compared to the path loss in a typical setting: 80dB or more. Many routers have internal non-changeable antennas, for reasons of cost and/or due to MIMO arrangements.
Given the above... the products in a price range and shelf-location compete on management features, ease-of-use firmware, and layer 3 (non-hardware-related) features like QoS management.
For DIR-655 I got RT-N16 client for RT-AC66N I got R6300 client but tested every possible combination. Almost same performance each time.
I tested also at different range also same perfomance.
I'm lucky empty 2,4GHz space.
Sad true. But each vendors got low-end, middle-end, high-end segment....
... and even if touter cost 150-250euro you can't get high-end WiFi chip. "Qualcomm" show 2 years ago AR9390 there... best one is AR9381 wich is class lower.
But who cares about test when many clients are connected? Who cares about tests when you do not doing big file streaming?
There are always test at one scenario.... One big file transmit over the network from one client. In that scenario broadcomm chips are best one.
I think it's more about design and because people don't like antennas.
One more thing... Antennas will be reserved for premium devices. That's Win/Win situation.
some of the high-end multi-stream MIMO routers need internal antennas because there are many and the spacing (in wavelengths) is critical for spatial diversity to work as intended.
And too, internal antennas are cheaper and invisible.
Internal Antennas (antennae?) do have an appearance factor - Also makes life easier for regulatory approval for FCC/EC/other agencies.
It's easy enough to design fairly high gain antenna's - some folks like to see the dipoles sticking out, but there are other options that perform quite well...
Here's an example of a very decent internal antenna...
The Model N2480 Embedded Antenna is defined by the following features:
Dual-band, vertically polarized, antenna design for IEEE 802.11 a/b/g and 802.11n
Three independent and highly directional beams with excellent front-to-back ratio
High isolation between all the beams
Low profile with high peak gain (Higher SNR)
Independent, pre-tuned, subsystem , easily integrated into new products
Low Cost and High performance
Frequency Range: 2.4 to 2.49 GHz, 4.9 to 5.9 GHz
Peak Gain: 5.5 dBi @2.44GHz, 5.1 dBi @5.2GHz, 8.0 dBi @5.8GHz
Feed Impedance: 50 Ohms
Power Handling: 30 dBm
This is the same antenna I used in one of my old designs...
I contend that 2, 3, 5, 8 dBi gain is not "high gain", for WiFi, where the path loss is typically 80dB or so. That is, the ratio of these gains to the path loss is small, so the benefit to performance doesn't change much until you get to 15dB gain or so - and that is highly directional (on X or Y) and thus impractical in many situations. It's because of the fade margins assumed by the radios as they select the bit rate based on RSSI with a vendor-dependent fudge factor for fading. In MIMO, there's perhaps 3-6 dB of benefit (both ends must be MIMO), and that can be used in lieu of antenna gain.
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