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« SMC's Latest MIMO in December | Main | Task Group N To Vote in January 2006 »

November 29, 2005

The Exhaustive Low-Down on Current MIMO Gear

By Glenn Fleishman

Tim Higgins rounds up most of the MIMO gateways and PC Cards out there for head-to-head, quantitative comparisons: HIs exhaustive testing and results analysis at Tom’s Networking reveals that Belkin’s Airgo implementation has the best consistent bandwidth performance, critical to gaming, voice over IP, and streaming media. (Linksys declined to provide equipment for testing, but it’s quite similar only more expensive.)

Interestingly, Higgins discovered that the newer Belkin equipment based on Airgo’s second-generation chips—cheaper and with one fewer receive channel than the first generation—provide equivalent or better consistent performance than the original Pre-N labeled devices. He recommends Belkin’s gear for its consistent performance.

For pure average throughput, Zyxel, D-Link, and TrendNet come in on the top, with both Belkin generations next in line alongside NetGear’s RangeMax. Higgins recommends D-Link, Zyxel, and TrendNet for best throughput.

He is down on the Super G mode from Atheros found in several devices he tested because its fastest mode (with or without MIMO options) requires a switch from two-channel to one-channel operation whenever “normal” 802.11b or g is detected. These changes in channel usage are what cause the great variations in consistent delivery of bits rather than overall throughput. In denser networking environments, like an apartment building or older residential neighborhood with small lots, the channel-bonding mode of Super G can barely add bits.

Posted by Glennf at November 29, 2005 1:15 PM

Categories: Consumer, MIMO


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