Wireless Performance – Normal Use Test – Intel Centrino Ultimate N

Wireless networking speeds and connections would scream if we only sat a few feet away from our wireless router or access point, but that’s just not what happens in reality.  With that in mind, we run some ‘Normal Use’ tests that put the wireless adapters half way across the house.  With this test, the adapter is about 45 feet away from the router and the wireless signal has to pass through a floor and a few walls.  Like in the Lab tests, we’ll look at the performance of the Intel Centrino Ultimate N.

At 5 GHz in our “Normal Use” tests we’re seeing same results with the Intel Centrino N that we saw in the Lab Tests.  The ASUS RT-N56U outperforms the Apple Airport Extreme and the ASUS RT-N66U in just about every ping testing category.

Unfortunately we can’t say the same for the RT-N56U in 5 GHz download tests.  While the results for the N56U stay close and consistent to each other across tests, they just don’t fare well against the other routers.  Other than one test where the RT-N56U beat out the Apple Airport in Minimum download speeds, the RT-56U falls to the back of the pack, in some cases by an extremely large margin.

Things aren’t much better for the RT-N56U on the upload front at 5 GHz.  Leading the way with 72 Mbps in Minimum Uploads, the RT-N56U just can’t keep up with the Apple Airport in either Average or Maximum Upload speeds, just barely edges out the RT-N66U in Average Uploads while falling behind in Maximum speeds.  Maybe things will look better on the 2.4 GHz front, so let’s check that next.

At 2.4 GHz, the RT-N56U continues to dominate the field in ping testing, beating out the other routers in Average, Maximum and Minimum ping times, while tying all the others with 0% packet loss.

Download testing at 2.4 GHz is a toss-up between the routers.  The Apple Airport pulled the fastest Maximum download speed with 86.3 Mbps, beating the RT-N56U by 19.4 Mbps (22.5 %.)  Meanwhile the ASUS RT-N66U came out on top of Average download speeds with 64.1 Mbps, where the RT-N56U’s average download speed was 50.3 Mbps and 21.5% slower.  Finally, in Minimum download speeds, the ASUS RT-N56U comes out on top with 30 Mbps, beating the N66U by a few Mbps and almost doubling the Apple Airport’s result.

Last but not least, the 2.4 GHz upload speeds tests once again shows the RT-N56U with the most consistent results.  Not only are the results consistent, but they beat the other two routers in both Average (40.6 Mbps) and Minimum (34.4 Mbps) upload speeds.  The only tests it fell behind in was the Maximum upload speed test with 45.4 Mbps, coming 15 Mbps behind the other two.

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