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 G51VX 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-654TR in client mode against the TP-Link TL-WN821N and the built-in Intel Pro Wireless (N) adapter on the ASUS G51VX. 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.
For AP and Router Modes we tested the TEW-654TR against the DI-655 directly as the TEW-654TR does not support a g+n mode and I had to run it with b,g and n all enabled. The router was placed in the exact same position as well as the notebook at its various testing locations for fair comparison.
- Connection Speed
Connection speeds for both the AP mode and Router mode were usually around 72Mbps. This is most likely due to the need to have b enabled as I was able to reach 100Mbps with n only set on the TEW-654TR. Hopefully TRENDnet will add a "g+n" mode in a future firmware.
In Client mode it was difficult to find the true connection speed. The reason for this is that the connection on your physical system is through the LAN (Ethernet) port and on your system this allows it to show 100Mbps, while you might experience much slower performance. This issue is not limited to the TEW-654TR and is found on just about all of the pocket/travel routers I have worked with.
Now for the fun part. To test the speed of the TRENDnet TEW-654TR 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
Interestingly the TEW-654TR does an excellent job of handling traffic thrown at it. In fact, when run within 10 feet of an Access Point is outperforms the other wireless adapters we tried. As a Router and Access Point it also does quite well, but starts to fail at longer ranges. This is not surprising as it is not meant as a long range device, but to be able to bring wireless connectivity with you whereever you go.