With an array of impressive features, it is time to see how the router works in real world conditions. Setting up the router, we place it in our outer office and our test machines in our lab. The distance from the router to our test machines are roughly 6 to 8 meters away, with the furthest at 10 meters.
Plugging it directly into our existing network, we then selected the router to act as an access point. Firing up our test machines, 2x laptop running windows vista with wireless 802.11g capabilities, we detected the router with full strength signal and connected to it with little trouble.
The first test we did was to test out the transfer rate of the USB connection, USB thumbdrive, to our laptop. Using the firmware that came default with the router (ver 184.108.40.206), we were met with slightly disappointing speed.
Using a bandwidth monitor, we noted that at the start of the transfer, we were able to get speeds up to a maximum of 11.1mbps or 1.38MBps which is below the practical known speed of 802.11g of roughly 20mbps to 24mbps.
After 5 minutes of data transfer, we even encounter a drop in the speed further to about 4mbps or 500KBps.
Laptop to Laptop
We then did a laptop to laptop transfer to test out the transfer speed again. Similarly we were met with disappoint speeds and after 5 minutes of transfer the speed drops even further.
We then suspect that the current firmware may be responsible for this weird phenomenon. Thus, we downloaded the latest beta firmware from ASUS’s website.
The upgrading of the firmware is a breeze, one would only need to click on the firmware link at the top banner and will be directed to the firmware upload/upgrade page. Browsing to the new firmware, clicking on the upload button uploads the firmware and starts the update process once the router verifies that it is the correct firmware.
Once the update is complete, the control panel page is refreshed and the you will be promoted to reconnect again to the router. (Note: The version available for download is ver 220.127.116.11, but after download and update, the version is stated as ver 18.104.22.168. Also, all firmware are in beta stage)
After the update, we retried the transfer again. This time we received better results with no drop in speed through out the whole transfer.
The transfer speed reached the range of 20+ mbps which is a vast improvement over previous results. But, at the same time we recorded periodical drop in speed.
During the next test, laptop to laptop transfer, we observed that while there is no periodical drop in speed, the transfer speed averaged out to 8mbps. But, this could be due to the limitations of the sender’s as well as the receiver’s laptop, hard disk, etc.
We also tested transfer speed between the USB thumbdrive via the router as well as laptop to laptop transfer rate. Both test resulted in average speed of 50mpbs and 70mbps respectively.
In our opinion while these speed aren’t exactly lightning fast, but they are doable and decent enough for home and small office usage.