Performance testing for each router involves transferring data over several distances, using clear line-of-sight without obstructions to establish the maximum throughput capable at short, mid-distance and long-distance marks. We then test signal penetration by using a brick wall as an obstruction - a common scenario in many homes.
We measure transfer speeds by timing how long it takes to transfer 500MB of data using each router. As there were no readily available 802.11ac internal access point cards at time of testing, we used an external Linksys WUMC710 access point at the other end for 802.11ac transfer tests and internal adapters for the 2.4GHz tests.
Speed is measured on 2.4GHz and on 5GHz. As 802.11ac is a 5GHz-only protocol, the 2.4GHz testing is conducted using 802.11n. The 5GHz testing is done using 802.11ac where available, otherwise 802.11n is used.
Testing is conducted over:
- Short distance (2.5m) – this provides the maximum throughput speed as a benchmark for the other distances.
- Mid-distance (35m)
- Long distance (70m)
- Obstructed (10m distance through a single domestic brick wall).
All testing is done at a remote location free from interfering signals, as the 2.4GHz band in particular is used by many domestic devices. No other devices were in use during testing.