Articles: Networking

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Wired Performance

We tested our TEW-692GR with iperf following our standard procedure. We checked out every internet connection method, measuring the data-transfer rate on a PC located on the LAN.

The TEW-692GR having the same processor as the previously tested TEW-691GR, we can see if the manufacturer has solved the problem of low PPTP performance.

The numbers indicate that the router is fast in PPTP mode. The exact speed is roughly proportional to the processor’s resources necessary to process the connection. You can get about 300 Mbps with a static IP address, 140 and 230 Mbps with PPoP (uplink and downlink speeds, respectively), 110/130 Mbps with PPTP and 60 Mbps with L2TP. Thus, the router can fully use a 100Mbps channel in every mode save for L2TP. It won’t be so effective with a Gigabit Ethernet channel, though.

Wireless Performance

In our previous review of Trendnet products we couldn’t reach 3T3R speeds but had a data-transfer rate of 150 Mbps with an ASUS adapter. Let's see if the new firmware has changed anything in this respect.

We used the following adapters: ASUS USB-N13 (Ralink, 2T2R), D-Link DWA-160 (revision A2, Atheros, 2T2R), NETGEAR WNA3100 (Broadcom, 2T2R) and Trendnet TEW-680MB (Ralink, 3T3R). The adapters from D-Link and Trendnet can use either of the two frequency bands while the other two adapters, 2.4 GHz only.

Notwithstanding the several pages with Wi-Fi options, it is not easy to find optimal settings. We carried out two series of tests: 1) at the default settings with WPA2-PSK AES enabled and 2) at high-performance settings (20/40 mode, the least used channel, etc).

The router and client were placed at about 5 meters from each other during this test. The router was positioned upright on its stand. The data-transfer rate was measured on a PC connected to a router’s LAN port.

Trendnet should be given credit for improving its firmware as you can get a speed up to 120 Mbps when downloading data to a wireless client. The other adapters are only 26 to 60 Mbps fast. When transferring data in both directions, sending has higher priority than receiving, which seems to be the correct solution, even though it leads to a catastrophic reduction in the downlink speed.

Now let’s see if the performance can be improved by fine-tuning the router.

When set up properly, the TEW-680MB can deliver up to 200 Mbps when receiving data at 2.4 GHz. The other results have improved, too. The only exception is the DWA-160 which is indifferent to the changes in settings in 2.4 GHz mode. The RT-N13U can only deliver 40 Mbps.

The best performance is provided by the WNA3100 and TEW-680MB. The latter can indeed be used for HD video streaming.

The tests suggest that the performance of modern 802.11n devices depends on a large number of factors: compatibility with other devices, wireless access point parameters, presence of other networks using the same frequency band, etc. But if you do everything correctly, you can get a higher speed than Fast Ethernet.

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