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Wireless Distribution System - Is Wireless ready to replace the Wired network?

By: Sean Kalinich | Editorials in Networking | Posted: Jan 5, 2010 4:50 am

Performance -


So now that you have coverage all over your house using WDS, how does it perform? We decided to take a look at this one from a few different points. On the one hand, we wanted to see how this setup would handle typical business traffic, but we also wanted to see if it would be able to deal with gaming and streaming video (especially streaming HD Video). So here is how we set things up.


Our TEW-639GR was connected directly to our high-speed internet connection (20Mbps down, 1.5Mbps up). We placed the two TEW-638APB Access points in opposite corners from the location of the TEW-639GR. From there we used only the two TEW-664UB USB adapters (one connected to a HD HTPC and the other to an ASUS G51 gaming laptop).


We ran Performance Test with WDS disabled using only the TEW-639GR and then again with WDS enabled and the two systems connecting to different TEW-638APBs. Performance Test was used to test bandwidth from the remote systems to a single PC directly connected to the TEW-639GR and then between the two remote systems. All of the Access Points in the system we set to use WPA-2 PSK (Pre Shared Key) using AES. We also tested using Mixed mode b/g/n and to n-only to cover as wide a range of hardware as possible.


Once we had those numbers, we tested internet and gaming speeds on the ASUS G51 and streaming video (HD and SD) on the HTPC.




The numbers here are not flattering, at least not for a home network where speed is important. For regular business traffic it is probably enough, although if there is a need to move large files I have a feeling that WDS in its current form would be a letdown.


For our real world testing we saw a dramatic drop in ping when moving from the single station to the WDS group. Our pings plummeted from a decent 35 down to a 128; this would make gaming on a WDS network less than satisfactory. On the HTPC side, we did not see a large issue with playing HD or SD video files over the network. Occasionally we did encounter an issue where we had minor audio problems in HD (1080p) avis using lossless audio compression, but those were not common.


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