Passmark Test Results
The first thing to note is that these benchmark results show ‘Real-World’ throughput. Nobody using Wi-Fi is actually getting the throughput performance that’s highlighted on the front of the manufacturer’s box. Those are theoretical numbers, and they refer to the raw data bitrate that’s possible with the hardware in question. In this particular test, with the router and adapter in the same room, we are still limited by the card in our client to 867 Mbps, which was reached at peak points during our testing. But, between the data encryption that I was running and the error handling overhead of the various communication protocols, the average effective data rate is always going to be much lower.
For this test we will only be using TCP as our Transfer Protocol. Our time was set to 200 seconds, as the router does not reach a steady state signal until around 40 seconds after starting the test. Tenda did not provide any indications as to how to conduct a test of the AC15 router, so we left everything in the router settings as default, with the exception of enabling encryption. PassMark results are only shown as upload speeds from the client side, in this case we are uploading from WLAN to LAN.
This first test was conducted three meters in front of the router which is our model for having the router in your same room with a clear line of sight. The results are strong, managing an average 255 Mbps download speeds with peaks close to 800 Mbps occurring randomly through our 802.11ac performance tests. Our 2.4 Ghz were also impressive, and this can be easily attributed to having a single transceiver that allows 802.11 ac over the 2.4 Ghz radio. Nowadays 94 Mbps over wireless is still plenty to spare, taking into account that the average network speed provided by ISPs goes around the 50 Mbps segment.
Distance is not the only deteriorating factor to the signal provided by the router. Obstacles such as walls, waves emitted by appliances, and even things like clothes and insulation can brake the overall data signal. Of course, the stronger the signal provided by the router, the higher chance of having a stable signal even after setting various obstacles between the router and the client. At 15 meters with three wooden walls acting as obstacles our 802.11ac signal dropped by more than half the throughput when compared to 3 meters with no obstacles.
In the last of our locations, the client never seemed to to finish the test at 5 Ghz due to a lost connection with the server, although at 2.4 Ghz it still managed to get some packages over without losing complete connection, but the slow speeds were obsolete. This is probably the main weakness for 802.11ac devices, as 802.11n provides better results with longer distances and obstacles.