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And my notebook goes Giga-WLAN…

Remember my post about Gigabit WLAN (a.k.a. WLAN 802.11ac standard)?
The problem was that I couldn’t get hands on a gigabit adapter to connect with
802.11ac standard. But already the a/b/g/n performance is already freaking!
272 MBit/s is possible with the builtin WLAN of my notebook. Fast already.

But the final kick sill ain’t there. So today my brand new A6200 WLAN adapter arrived and I could finally connect my notebook with Gigabit WLAN standard. But will the WLAN be capable to reach full speeds as the USB 2.0 interface only allows 480 MBit/s? Well…Unfortunately I have no possibility to check THAT out as my WAN “only” provides 150 MBit/s and my other WLAN connected devices are not really that modern to provide faster speeds. So let’s see if the theoretical speeds are okay as the network monitors are checking out what the adapter could reach.

First have a look on the tech side of the adapter.

Featuring 802.11ac standard, the adapter is theoretically ready to reach 866 Mbit/s, the a/b/g/n modes are served with up to 450 Mbit/s. So much for the theory. And the real reuslts?

Well… after installing the Netgear Genie software (which goes really easy and with no interferences on Windows 7) you’re asked tohook up to an existing network.

Okay, let’s see what the Connection assistant can fork out for me being at a distance of 5 metres (15 feet) with one 20cm (8 inches) thick cement wall with some metal in it…

Using 802.11ac network at 5GHz I get this:

Netgear Genie software is switching between 866.5 and 702 MBit/s!

(for security reasons, the network data has been censored)

What about the Windows network centre? Is it also displaying the corresponding values or is he Genie software just camouflaging and faking the speeds?

As you can see, the values are identical and the signal stregth seems to be fine alright. However the genie software drags off one segment of the network indicator while the Windows Network centre reports fine connection (full strength). This is cosmetical and however does not affect the connection in any way.

So what are the prerequisites to have a fully functional GBit WLAN at home?

First you should check if your home allows proper WLAN setup. Too many walls and far distances may affect speeds significantly.

Then you should check your network environment if someone else is also having a 5GHz network online which could affect speeds as well.

Finally configure your Access point (The router in most cases which you hook to your cable modem or ADSL modem (whatever is available, that is!))

Network monitoring tools finally can help you to set up your WLAN router properly using channels that are relatively unused (either other senders have a high dampening thru high distance or the channels are completely free)

But how can you determine, which channels to use?

Nothing easier than that: The tool inSSIDer (version 3) is the tool to scan your environment for networks and reserve the right cannels for you already.

Now let’s have a look at my WLAN environment:

As you can see, my 2.4GHz WLAN environment is loaded like hell and many people are sending around Channel 4 or 11 (out of 13).
The blue graph is my 2.4GHz WLAN at 450 Mbit/s and at the moment it’s just fine. The second (orange) bar comes from the small WLAN AP that is connecting my WD TV Hub to the internet and network. They usually don’t interfere so no tweaking here also needed. Funny to see that my Horizon box is working on the Channel 11 band and sending stronger than my nearer TP-Link AP (but the TP-Link AP is just a tiny weenie box so that’s okay alright)

The 5GHz network however seems to be clean as a freshly cleaned glass door. No one else but me is doing his business there. The two overlapping graphs are showing my 5GHz Gigabit WLAN and the Bridge WLAN which connects my office with the router. I could tweak it a bit to use separate bands but for now it’s okay.

As you can see in total, the adventure “WLAN” is not as easy as thought but if you follow some simple rules, then you’re able to reach astounding speeds with it and without any greater configuration marathon!

Also it seems as if the USB2.0 interface is sufficient to handle these immense WLAN speeds without any murmuring.

So all in all what’s to say about the ensemble Netgear R6300 and A6200?

They work together like a charm. For roughly 250 CHF (280 US$ / 200 EUR) you get great value and a modern WLAN environment that is able to cope with today’s internet speeds and with demand for high-volume data streaming such as HDTV and FullHD content. There is no flaw to be feared of and that’s just great.

And about my internet? (Pictures say more then words!)

Well… the ping went up a little but still impressive! The speeds are exactly that what I am expecting. So everything’s okay with that, too!


February 1, 2013 Netspark - 1588 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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