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 TP-Link TL-WR941ND against the D-Link DIR-655. All wireless tests were completed with WPA2 Personal (with the AES cipher, as it has been shown to provide better performance) and 802.11n + 802.11g wireless mode enabled on both routers. 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
Both the DIR-655 and the TL-WR941ND connected easily and maintained good connection speeds. I did note that the D-Link seemed to have a harder time reconnecting after a shutdown, with the TL-WR941ND seeming to connect faster.
To test the speed of the TL-WR941ND I chose three common working points inside my house. One was in the lab within 10 feet of the two competing routers; 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 routers.
*signal travelling through wet wall and main house electrical panel
The TP-Link TL-WR941ND is a little slower than the D-Link in terms of raw bandwidth, but not by too much.
I also made a few subjective tests using a HD video streamed over the wireless connection and found that the D-Link actually had a harder time keeping up; especially when the signal was travelling through the "wet wall".
For gaming latency tests I installed Steam and ran Counter Strike on my ASUS G2S. I also ran Speedtest.net's internet test to see what my routing latency would be.
The speed test was pretty impressive; my ping time was 88ms which while not amazing is still pretty low. The more impressive part was the bandwidth; 11Mbps down and 1.2Mbps up. Not bad at all.
For gaming things were a little better with average pings in the mid 30s to low 40s. The TL-WR941ND is certainly not going to cramp your gaming style.
(Click the above image for the large version)
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