Sunday, October 30, 2011

Buffalo AirStation 54Mbps Broadband Router Review

| Wireless Driver & Software

"Dual-ing" Standards, continued

Of course, if you’re running more than one 11g card, you’d expect them to share the available bandwidth nicely. The Chariot plot in Figure 16 essentially confirms this.

Buffalo WBRG54: Two pair test - Two WLI-CB-G54

Figure 16: Two pair test – Two Buffalo Tech WLI-CB-G54
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

This plot just happened to do the sharing during the downward throughput hop. It’s interesting to note that whatever the mechanism is that’s causing the hopping throughput, it didn’t cut the throughput yet again in half when the second draft-11g client kicked in.

I, of course, ran my usual four-location throughput test, the results of which are shown in the chart at the top of this section. I also did Chariot runs, which are shown in Figure 17.

Buffalo WBRG54: Four condition throughput

Figure 17: Four condition throughput
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

The hopping throughput problem makes the plots not very useful, but I included the screenshot so that you can see the Max, Avg, and Min throughput numbers for each run.

I also ran tests with 128bit WEP enabled, and didn’t see any throughput degradation, at least none that I could separate out from the normally varying throughput.

Finally, I tried running some Turbo-mode tests, but couldn’t find a Turbo setting in the Buffalo Client application. After some back-and-forth, Buffalo told me that Turbo mode is presently implemented in the AP (router) side only. The client is supposed to auto-detect the Access Point’s mode, and adjust itself accordingly.

After following Buffalo’s instructions and setting the router into Turbo mode, I did a Chariot run and found that, once again, I couldn’t accurately see any Turbo effect due to the normal throughput variation. So the question of how much boost Turbo mode gives you, and whether it lowers effective throughput under weaker signal conditions as 802.11a’s Turbo does, will have to wait for a future firmware release.

802.11g Wireless Performance Test Results

Test Conditions

- WEP encryption: DISABLED
- Tx Rate: Automatic
- Power Save: disabled
- Test Partner: Buffalo Tech WLI-CB-G54 draft 802.11g CardBus card

Firmware/Driver Versions

AP f/w:
1.10 (1.14)
Wireless client driver:
Wireless client f/w:
No Info

Test DescriptionSignal Quality (%)Transfer Rate (Mbps)Response Time (msec)UDP stream
Throughput (kbps)Lost data (%)
Client to AP – Condition 110015.5 [No WEP]
15.9 [w/ WEP]
1 (avg)
1 (max)
Client to AP – Condition 27516.51 (avg)
1 (max)
Client to AP – Condition 33010.51 (avg)
1 (max)
Client to AP – Condition 4456.91 (avg)
2 (max)
See details of how we test.

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