ViewQwest: Ding Ding Ding! WiFi Router challenge between ASUS RT-AC87U vs D-Link DIR868L

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Setup

Thanks to ViewQwest, I manage to test Asus RT-AC87U. Dlink DIR868L is my current router. Both routers mentioned above are new and tested with their default configuration out of the box. Note that I am only testing for the signal strength rather than the download speeds.I didn’t even tweak the wifi channels although there are congestion in wifi traffic in my area. This is not a professional comparison but a test nonetheless.

The current layout of my home wifi setup is shown in the diagram below. In this test, I am using a Macbook pro (late 2010 edition) in built wifi. I mainly use 2 programs called Netspot and Wifi Explorer to test the signal strengths of each router.

Below are the 4 types of wifi signals that are put into the test! Who will emerge the winner? Ding Ding!!

Router Model GHz SSID Modem
1 ASUS RT-AC87U 2.4GHz (b/g/n) ASUS 2.4G Zhone GPON2301
2 ASUS RT-AC87U 5GHz (a/n/ac) ASUS 5G Zhone GPON2301
3 Dlink DIR868L 2.4GHz (n) DLink-2.4G Huawei EchoLife HG8240
4 Dlink DIR868L 5GHz ((a/n/ac) DLink-5G EchoLife HG8240

viewqwest and sh setup


ROUND 1: Signal Strength for distance (data direct from Netspot)
Area wifi summary

The warm orange areas(-15dBm) have the best signals while the cool blue(-82dBm) receives lowest signal strength. Notice that the blue blindspots on the bottom left(Kitchen) might be the furthest areas. The blue areas on the bottom right(Room 2) are due to the numerous amounts of wireless and electronic devices emitted from my room.

From this first test, best overall signals wrt to distance are shown below:

  1. ASUS RT-AC87U 2.4 GHz
  2. D-Link DIR868L 2.4GHz
  3. ASUS RT-AC87U 5GHz
  4. D-Link DIR868L 5GHz

ROUND 2A: Signal Strength in 30min (data direct from Netspot at 5.5m away)

Signal and noise 30m

Notice ASUS 5GHz improves over time
Although ASUS has noise spikes, the signal remains constantly strong getting about 10dBm more than D-LinkTYPE OF WIFI SIGNAL


ROUND 2B: Signal Strength in 60min (data direct from Netspot at 5.5m away)
Signal and noise small 60min
Asus 5GHz has the most constant signal
Asus 2,4GHz has the most erratic signals spiking up and down. Nontheless it remains the top overall.

Notice that ASUS 5GHz improves over time, especially at the 45th min onwards. After 60mins the average signal ranking are as follows:

  1. ASUS RT-AC87U 2.4GHz
  2. ASUS RT-AC87U 5GHz
  3. D-Link DIR868L 2.4GhZ
  4. D-Link DIR868L 5GHz

WINNER!
The tests done are in a location where the environment is quite constant although there might be a lot of interference from neighboring wifi and wireless signals. Keeping these constant. The result shows that ASUS RT-AC87U is the definite winner as:
– ASUS manage to throw the signals farther away with higher signal strength rather than DLink
– ASUS immediate signals is much stronger without obstruction. Unfortunately the signals tend to normalize with other routers whenever there is obstruction or further away.
– ASUS signal improves over time especially with the ASUS 5Ghz signal.

I need to look into Asus 2.4GHz signals as it constantly spike up and down. This is due to the interference around as there are too many 2.4Ghz signals around. Stay tuned to the next post where I will give tips to improve on wifi signal strength in your homes.

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Day3: Comparing Huawei Router HG256s and DLink DIR-865L (Signal Strength)

In this test, Im focusing on the signal strength within a 4 room apartment. I mainly use 2 programs called Netspot and Wifi Explorer to test out the signal strength of each router. Im testing the wifi strength using macbook pro 15 inch (late 2010 edition) in-built wifi.

Below are the 3 router variants that I will testing on

Router Model GHz SSID
1 Huawei HG256s 2.4GHz (b/g/n) Khai
2 D-Link DIR-865L 2.4GHz (n) Dlink-F734
3 D-Link DIR-865L 5GHz (a/n) Dlink-media-F736

** Area is saturated with 2.4GHz wifi bands from my neighbors from all sides

Signal Strength
Below are the plans of my house with the signal strength indicated in the colors. Red shows the highest signal strength and violet the lowest.
Signal Strength color range from -88dBm to -22dBm
Noise level color range -96dBm to -83dBm
Slide1
Notice the dark blue blind spots on the bottom left(kitchen bathroom) and bottom right (my room with many electronic devices).
I notice that there is a lot of noise on the bottom right portion of the 5GHz. I believe there might be too many interferences with all my wireless devices.

Distance Test
1.5m away from router (notice the obvious drop by Huawei Router)
1.5m

3 m away from router
3m

5m away from router
5m

6m away from router
6m

8m away from router
8m part 2

Please focus ONLY on:
Khai                        – Huawei HG256s (2.4GhZ)
Dlink-F734            – D-Link DIR-865L (2.4GHz)
Dlink-media            – F736- D-Link DIR-865L (5GHz)
The rest of the items in the graph are neighboring Wifi signals

From these results I realize that there is definitely less interference with 5Ghz channel, as I am the only one using this channel in my oversaturated block. 5GHz channel works really well at close distances without any wall hindrances. However 5GHz band tend to lose the signal strength drastically with distance and interference. It will be a good option if there is an auto-switch between bands depending on the signal strength and quality.

There isn’t much difference  when comparing Dlink and Huawei 2.4GHz. The signal strength is comparable as the strength is quite similar. Huawei’s signal manage to reach awkward corners better. In open spaces Huawei signal fluctuates more as compared to Dlink. In some instances the signal drops to almost zero and go up again. Dlink on the other hand have constant signal. Only at niches and corners dlink signal strengths drops below Huawei.  You may refer to the graphs and images for a more detailed study.

Day1 : Dlink Router Test: Beginning of a wifi journey

Before I start testing the D-Link Router DIR-865L, I thought it will be a good idea to explain the layout of my current home network. Im an average user with the 100mbps fiber plan, using the Huawei router. I’m testing out the router primarily from an apple Eco system view point. Currently, my home network is also being monitored by an organization called Samknows via a TPLink bridge. You may refer to the diagram of my home setup

A4
1) Mac mini as a home theater to watch steaming movies directly from the Internet as well as from a NAS. Downloading movies, media and music. (LAN cable)
2) iMac late 2012 more for working on remote and local 3D files uploading and surfing (Wifi)
3) MacBook Pro for basic surfing and downloading for mix work and play. (Wifi)
4) Mobile devices like iphone5 and iPad for light games, ebook downloads and surfing (Wifi)
5) NAS System for the family to access common files and media (LAN Cable)
6) other family members with android and windows system.(Wifi)

Results of my home network performance from Samknows for the past 1 year
Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 12.41.50 AM Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 12.45.00 AM Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 12.46.27 AM Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 12.47.03 AM

These results are used primarily to monitor my ISP speeds. I am planning to use these results to compare how much more data is lost through both router performance. If you have any better ideas on how to compare router performance, please comment below. I am very new to this test and might require some suggestions.