Linksys Instant Wireless Dual-Band Wireless Access Point Review

Wireless Performance

• 802.11b testing was done with a Linksys WPC11 ver 3 client with WinXPHome
AP was run at full-power setting
Signal Quality readings in the table above are not valid. No signal quality readings were available via the WinXP monitoring application.

As I mentioned earlier, I had a bit of a difficult time using the Linksys cards as test clients. Let's start with the 11b performance first.

Linksys WAP51AB: 802.11b performance

Plot 1: 802.11b performance -Four Conditions plus WEP
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

Plot 1 shows a good deal of variation in 802.11b performance across my four test conditions. It also shows that throughput with 128 bit WEP enabled was higher than with it off... a first in my testing experience! Since the plots show not-exactly-stellar performance, I ran a test with three other 802.11b client cards to make sure that I wasn't falsely attributing the cause of this relatively poor showing to the 51AB.

Linksys WAP51AB: 802.11b performance, different clients

Plot 2: 802.11b Condition 1, different clients
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

Plot 2 shows Condition 1, WEP-disabled runs for the Linksys WPC11 ver 3, ORiNOCO Gold, Asante FriendlyNET AL1511 "X-Wing", and NETGEAR WAB501 Dual-Band (forced to 802.11b mode) clients. The plot clearly shows better, more consistent throughput with the other cards than with the WPC11. To check that I wasn't having a problem with my laptop's configuration, I tested the Linksys card on another laptop running Win98SE and got similar results.

As one last check, I tested the WPC11 with an Asante VR2004AC 802.11b wireless router. That test showed much better results, with an average Condition 1 throughput of 4.9Mbps and a steady cyclical variation from a low of 3.7 to a high of 5.4Mbps. My only conclusion from these tests is that I have either a bad WPC11 ver 3 card or there's something wonky going on between the card and the AP. I offered to test another WPC11 if Linksys wants to send one, and I'll update the review if I get different results.

802.11b Wireless Performance Test Results

Test Conditions

- WEP encryption: DISABLED
- Tx Rate: Automatic
- Power Save: Disabled
- Test Partner: Linksys WPC11 ver. 3

Firmware/Driver Versions

AP f/w:
Wireless client driver:
Wireless client f/w:
No Info

Test DescriptionSignal Quality (%)Transfer Rate (Mbps)Response Time (msec)UDP stream
Throughput (kbps)Lost data (%)
Client to AP - Condition 102.9
[No WEP]
[w/ WEP]
2 (avg)
4 (max)
Client to AP - Condition 203.53 (avg)
22 (max)
Client to AP - Condition 301.64 (avg)
15 (max)
Client to AP - Condition 4023 (avg)
15 (max)