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Performance

Now it’s time to test the router in action. We tested the router’s ADSL and Ethernet interfaces, the data-transfer speed of the integrated FTP server, the data-transfer speed via WLAN, and the WLAN coverage area.

Here is a list of equipment and software we used in our tests:

  • Two Category 5 Ethernet cables
  • Intel Centrino notebook
  • Linksys WPC54g v3.5 PCMCIA card
  • D-Link DAS-3224 IP DSLAM
  • PC based on a mainboard with an integrated Gigabit Ethernet controller
  • IxChariot (High_Performance_Throughput scenario)
  • Standard Windows XP WLAN client
  • FlashFXP ftp-client
  • Toshiba 20GB hard disk in a USB enclosure

Besides the WL-600g results, we’ll publish the results of the WL-500g Premium where appropriate for the sake of comparison. First, we tested the bandwidth of a LAN segment.

LAN-LAN (WL-600g):


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LAN-LAN (WL-500g Premium):


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We used WPA-PSK encryption with the TKIP algorithm when we tested the WLAN interface. For each router the traffic was driven in two directions: from the notebook with a Wi-Fi card to the desktop PC connected to the router with a wire (WLAN-LAN) and then vice versa (LAN-WLAN).

WLAN-LAN (WL600g):


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WLAN-LAN (WL500g Premium):


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LAN-WLAN (WL600g):


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LAN-WLAN (WL500g Premium):


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We tested the throughput of the ADSL interface using a DAS-3224 IP DSLAM from D-Link. To find the peak bandwidth of the ADSL channel the appropriate port of the DSLAM was configured for EoA encapsulation, Fast channel type and AnnexA support. EoA encapsulation corresponds to a bridge connection on the client device (WL600g). The DSLAM’s settings pertaining to the physical parameters of the connection were left at their defaults. The connection quality was high, according to the DSLAM’s internal tests. You may wonder why we used AnnexA instead of AnnexM that would have helped reveal the full potential of the ADSL2+ interface. The answer is not good for the WL-600g. If the DSLAM was configured for AnnexM, the router could only connect to it at a speed of 8Mbps and never higher. This only changed when we switched to AnnexA: the router’s statistics page reported a speed of 24Mbps. This is the peak speed, of course. The effective speed is lower. The following diagrams show the effective speed.

WAN-LAN:


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LAN-WAN:


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The speed of a connection to the integrated FTP server was measured with the FlashFXP program. We put a series of files (about 380MB each) into the download queue and then read the log when the download was finished. The average download speed was about 1.2MB/s, which was far from the limit even of a USB disk. For example, the WL-500g Premium had a speed of 1.7MB/s in this test.

And finally we tested the router’s Wi-Fi interface bandwidth at different distances and with difference obstacles. We measured the signal level in five points:

Point 1: Near the WRT300N
Point 2: At a distance of 4 meters without obstacles
Point 3: At a distance of 5 meters + two thin gypsum wallboards
Point 4: At a distance of 6 meters + one brick wall, about 30cm thick
Point 5: At a distance of 17 meters + one thin gypsum wallboard and one 50cm brick wall

The diagram shows clearly who’s the winner. The WL-600g didn’t think much even of such a strong obstacle as a brick wall. Both routers behave well at a close distance and with weak obstacles.

The test results are impressive indeed. Each interface is very fast (except for the FTP server), faster than the WL-500g Premium’s interfaces in some tests. The router’s wireless interface is not only fast, but maintains a high speed at long distances. The low speed of the FTP server is the only drawback, yet it doesn’t look like a critical defect considering the high performance of the network interfaces. So, the WL-600g shows its best qualities here.

 
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