How We Test Wireless Routers

Here at PC Labs, our central goal is to convey precise, reproducible test results for each item we audit. We utilize those outcomes, alongside other criteria, for example, estimating, usability, and highlights, to dole out a general rating of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 being the most noteworthy rating. For remote switches, Wi-Fi frameworks, and range extenders, we have an assortment of tests to quantify factors like information throughput rates and record move velocities, and we contrast these outcomes with the gadgets that preceded to assist you with concluding which is the best one for your requirements. Here’s a glance at how we test each switch, Wi-Fi framework, and range extender that we survey in PC Labs.

Readiness and Testbed

To get ready switches for testing, we debilitate every single other switch in the region to furnish a moderately spotless condition with insignificant impedance. We start by updating the switch’s firmware to the most recent rendition (if vital) and introduce the gadget as per the producer’s guidelines. We test every switch in a shut system, with all security alternatives impaired, and we empower any exhibition improving highlights, for example, beamforming. We utilize a work area framework controlled by an Intel Core i7 CPU as our host PC and a Toshiba Tecra Z50 PC with an Intel AC 7260 remote 802.11ac system connector as our customer.

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Arrangement and Features

We take a gander at the switch’s establishment and arrangement method to measure convenience and check all composed and online documentation, giving uncommon consideration to things like arrangement wizards and on-screen help with clarifications of essential and propelled settings. We rate highlights, for example, size and structure factor, the quantity of wired Ethernet ports and reception apparatuses, and if the administration interface is easy to use. We additionally search for certain administration highlights, including parental controls, site sifting, visitor systems, security alternatives, firewall settings, and Quality of Service (QoS) settings.

SU-MIMO Testing

In 2007, when 802.11n Wi-Fi gadgets were discharged, Single User-Multiple Input Multiple Output (SU-MIMO) additionally appeared, which permits a switch to send and get various information streams successively (each gadget in turn). SU-MIMO innovation is utilized in the entirety of the present switches, and numerous switches currently offer MU-MIMO gushing innovation. MU-MIMO switches can send and get numerous information streams at the same time to various gadgets without data transfer capacity corruption and require specific testing with different customers, however the customers should be MU-MIMO-good. We recently included MU-MIMO testing in our audits, yet since there still aren’t numerous MU-MIMO customers out there and the current 802.11ac adaptation of MU-MIMO just works with downlink information, we’ve suspended these tests for the present.

To test SU-MIMO switches, we use JPerf, an open-source arrange execution utility, to test throughput between the server and the customer and record the outcomes in megabits every second (Mbps). Each JPerf trials for 60 seconds, utilizes the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), and conveys four equal streams.

We start with a nearness test, where the customer is in a similar room as the switch, isolated by a separation of 5 feet. We run three occasions of the JPerf test and utilize the normal throughput speed as our last score. Next, we move the customer into another room and spot it in an area that is 30 feet from the switch. In the wake of rebooting both the customer and the switch, we run a similar three JPerf tests and utilize the normal as our last score. For double band switches, we run these tests while associated with the 2.4GHz band and afterward again while associated with the 5GHz band.

Google ASUS OnHub switch

For models that have a USB port that bolsters outside capacity availability, we run read/compose speed tests to check how the switch handles huge document moves. We interface a USB 3.0 hard drive and time to what extent it takes to move a 1.5GB organizer containing a blend of video, music, photograph, and archive records between the work area and the USB drive. We at that point take the passed time in a moment or two and separation 1,536 (1.5GB) by that number to get the compose move speed in megabytes every second (MBps). Peruse speeds are estimated by moving the document from the drive to the work area and are determined a similar way.

Wi-Fi System Testing

These tests are done like conventional switch testing however with a couple of varieties. In the event that the framework just runs in band-guiding mode (where the switch decides the best accessible band), we run three nearness tests and three 30-foot tests on the switch segment, and afterward again for every hub. In the event that the framework bolsters devoted band control (where you have individual SSIDs for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz groups), we run three nearness and three 30-foot tests for each band on the switch part and on every hub. While moving from hub to hub, we separate the customer from the system and reconnect it to guarantee that it is interfacing with the nearest hub.

For additional on the best way to purchase a Wi-Fi framework, alongside audits of the most recent items, look at our purchasing guide.

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Range Extender Testing

Range extenders are tried utilizing the Jperf utility similarly as conventional switches. The extender is set 30 feet from the switch and each band is tried multiple times with the customer at closeness, and again at separations of 25, 50, and 75 feet. We utilize the normal score for every one of the four territories.