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, I setup a server running Windows 2008 (x64) Server, (2x Xeon Quad Core 3.0 GHz 1333MHz FSB, 4GB DDR2 FB-DIMMS, 2x 146GB SAS drives in RAID 1) and the client PC was an ASUS G2S -X1 With built-in Intel 802.11n adapter. The results were gathered by sending data from the ASUS notebook to the server at different distances with different adapters and determining the average transmission speed.
We compared the TRENDnet TEW-645UB adapter against the TP-Link TL-WN821N and the built-in Intel Pro Wireless (N) adapter on the ASUS G2S X1. All wireless tests were completed with WPA2 Personal (with the AES cipher, as it has been proven to provide better performance) and 802.11n + 802.11g wireless mode enabled on our D-Link DI-655 router. I chose to leave both n and g enabled as this is a more realistic simulation of a normal home wireless network. The router was placed in the exact same position as well as the notebook at its various testing locations for fair comparison.
- Connection Speed
I ran into some interesting connection issues when I first started testing the TEW-645UB.
In my test lab I have a mixture of wireless devices, the majority of which are now n, but I also have g and b adapters. This means that I have all three specs enabled in the DIR-655 router.
With all three specs enabled, the TRENDnet TEW-645UB would not connect any faster than 64Mbps. This caused some concern while I worked out what the cause of the problem was; I did not see this on any other n spec adapters that I have in the lab and regardless of the spec enabled, they all connect in the 130Mbps to 200Mbps range.
After tinkering with the settings in the DIR-655, I found my fastest connection was with n only. This setting allowed me to connect at speeds between 165MBps and 200Mbps. In the end I settled for running both n and g with connection speeds of around135Mbps. This is will not affect anyone with all n spec adapters, but will certainly come into play if you have a mix of technology.
Now for the fun part. To test the speed of the TRENDnet TEW-645UB I chose three common working points inside my house. One was in the lab within 10 feet of the DIR-655; the next was in the bedroom roughly 35 feet away and requiring the signal to travel through a wall containing the main house electrical panel and a "wet wall". The last was outside on the back porch, roughly 45 feet from the router. Both the second and third positions were out of the direct line of sight of the router.
*signal travelling through wet wall and main house electrical panel
The results are very interesting to say the least. I was surprised to see the Intel adapter simply trounce everyone else in the 10 ft range, but it is running directly off of the PCI-E bus on the 965M chipset.
The TEW-645UB was still the best all around performer; this was evident as soon as I left the lab area. It was significantly better when pushing a signal through the pipes and electrical wires and also leads the pack at long distance, performing better at 45 feet than the TP-Link performed inside the 10 foot range.