Articles: Networking
 

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Performance

It is the performance of the router’s wireless interface that we are interested in the most. Linksys’s devices have always had good performance but we can’t expect anything from the WAN port due to its specification. It will also be interesting to test the USB port which is quite a rare feature for a home router.

Here is a list of equipment and software we used for this test session:

  • Two Category 5 Ethernet cables
  • Trendnet TEW-633GR wireless router
  • Intel Centrino notebook
  • Linksys WPC300N PC Card version 2
  • PC with a mainboard with a Gigabit Ethernet controller (Ubuntu 8.10)
  • Transcend JF130 2GB USB flash drive
  • IOMeter software
  • FlashFXP FTP-manager
  • IxChariot (High_Performance_Throughput and Throughput scenarios)

We will publish the results of the Trendnet TEW-633GR for the sake of comparison.

First of all we measured the speed of data transfer between two LAN ports. This is the maximum speed the router can show and it is indicative of the quality of the Ethernet controller.

LAN-LAN (WRT350N):

LAN-LAN (TEW-633GR):

Despite the fluctuations of speed, the average data-transfer rate is impressive while the top speed is just excellent.

The manufacturer limited the speed of the WAN interface to 100Mbps, so the next test is not very interesting. Anyway, its results surprised us somewhat.

WAN-LAN (Firewall and QoS disabled):

LAN-WAN (Firewall and QoS disabled):

LAN-WAN (Firewall and QoS enabled):

LAN-WAN (PPPoE):

The first two graphs (with the firewall and QoS disabled) resemble those we usually see with Fast Ethernet routers, and this router’s speed is actually even higher than usual. But when the additional services were turned on (the next graph), the speed dropped although we had enabled a rule to free the channel for the specific LAN port. We found out that the firewall did not affect the speed much and the performance hit was largely due to QoS. The wide functionality and flexibility of the QoS rules must have made this service less efficient.

And the last graph shows the performance hit suffered by the router when it connected to a WAN via a VPN server we had established under Linux. We used an endpoint of IXIA Chariot launched on the same computer as the WAN. The results are somewhat below average in comparison with similar routers.

The next test is about the number of simultaneous connections the router can support. To perform this test we are increasing the number of identical network pairs in IxChariot using the Throughput scenario in which we change the size of the transferred file from 100,000 to 1,000,000. We do so until there are errors during the test. The WRT350N proved to be able to maintain 210 simultaneous connections. That’s a good result for a home router.

 
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