|TRENDnet TEW-691GR 450Mbps WiFi-N Router|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Joey Peng - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 09 September 2010|
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Wireless Testing Process
To test the maximum throughput of the system a compatible network adapter would need to be used. Performance, speed and range, is affected by both router and adapter. There are a wide range of adapters available but for today's testing the TP-Link TL-WN722N 150Mbps Wireless N USB adapter will be used. Benchmark Reviews will test wireless vs. wired, different wireless encryptions, and range.
In this case a relatively weak notebook was used. Stronger notebooks will probably have better wireless performance due to decryption speed, but in the testing it didn't seem to hit the upper limit of CPU power. Upload and download speeds were recorded from speedtest.net. In order to eliminate most fluctuations five runs were done for each specific setting, highest/lowest discarded then averaged the rest.
The Internet speed I have with my ISP allows up to 100Mbps download and 10Mbps Upload, so it fit nicely within the scope of the adapter and should represent a fair maximum throughput for the current configuration.
Test System Hardware
First we did a general speed test under optimal distance and conditions. This includes different wireless encryptions as well as wired speeds. For some reason, WEP was much slower than other settings. My only guess is WEP is throttled. But if you are looking for a secure network it's better to use WPA2.
The drop from wired to wireless is fairly significant, almost 20%. However we're still managing around 75Mbps (theoretical max in this case is around 150Mbps). Interestingly no security and WPA2 offered similar speeds.
For most potential buyers range will be fairly important for homes or businesses. For testing, the laptop was carried to different locations.
The results show fairly decent range. The wireless is usable (and fairly fast) even at 20m away. Note that for normal homes that is more than enough since up-stairs and down-stairs only has the roof as barrier and if the router is placed somewhere in the middle it should reach the majority of a house/office.
Range, and ping seemed fairly in line with other Wireless N routers, speed is a nice bump up, but that doesn't exactly justifying the high price tag. However the TRENDnet TEW-691GR is one of the first routers to reach a theoretical 450Mpbs, so with higher-end wireless adapters, the premium makes sense.