We used PerformanceTest 6.1 by PassMark which you can find out more information about here. It has a handy Advanced Networking section which is perfect for our testing.
Doing our best to emulate a real-world performance scenario, my main desktop PC was connected to each router directly with standard 10m long CAT6 Gigabit cable and it acted as the server (Intel Q9450 quad-core CPU and 4GB DDR3 RAM running RAID 10) and the client PC was a brand new high-end Hypersonic notebook with built-in Intel 802.11n and Gigabit adapter kindly provided by the friendly folks over at OCZ. Results were gathered by sending data from the Hypersonic notebook to the server at different distances / with different routers and determining the average transmission speed.
We compared the TRENDnet TEW-672GR router against the popular D-Link Xtreme N Gigabit DIR-655 router (you can see pricing here). All wireless tests were completed with WPA2 Personal (with the AES cipher as is proven to provide better performance) and 802.11n only wireless mode enabled on each router. Each router was placed in the exact same position as well as the notebook at its various testing locations for fair comparison.
We tried disabling security on the TEW-672GR router and noted a rather large performance decrease of exactly 10Mbit at 1m range. It was an easy decision to enable WPA2 security.
- Connection Speed
In our first test we get a look at the connection speeds for each test setup. As you would expect, we see 1Gbit connection speeds when using the CAT6 connection on both routers.
When we begin to talk about wireless, the TEW-672GR offers a higher connection speed at 1m range, but at 10m range the lead goes back to the DIR-655 and on the second floor things are dead even.
Let's make some sense of these results. First up, when we look at CAT6 speeds we can see that the DIR-655 is out in front offering 52Mbps (or 6.5MB/s) faster transfer speeds over a 60 second period.
When we begin to look at the wireless transfer speeds, we can see that the TEW-672GR beats out the DIR-655 by 8.4Mbps or about 1MB/s. However, when we move the client system 10m away from the router (non-line of sight), we see the DIR-655 jump back in front beating the TEW-672GR by 1.8Mbps or 225KB/s.
When we put each router to the test and move the client system to the second floor, the TEW-672GR is back out in front beating out the DIR-655 by a seemingly small amount - about 75KB/s. But considering the TEW-672GR is only capable of 2.4Mbps or 300KB/s vs. 225KB/s at this distance through thick walls and ceiling, it's quite a win.