NETGEAR WAG511 Dual Band Wireless PC Card Reviewed

Performance - 802.11a

The WAG511's 11a throughput was surprisingly good, with Figure 12 showing much better performance than I've previously had with any 11a products.

NETGEAR WAG511 - 11a throughput

Figure 12: 802.11a throughput
(click on the image for a full-sized view)
I usually get a very unreliable connection, if any at all, at my Condition 3 and 4 locations with very "bursty" throughput. The difference, however, is not in the WAG511, but from the WAB102 AP's second-generation 11a radio. See my Second-generation 802.11a NTK for the story behind this improved 802.11a performance.

NETGEAR WAG511 - WEP and Turbo mode throughput

Figure 13: WEP and Turbo mode performance
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

I also ran tests in Turbo mode, and with WEP enabled in both normal and Turbo modes. Figure 13 shows an average throughput of about 31Mbps in Turbo mode under best case conditions. I also ran tests at all four of my test locations and found that, unlike my previous tests, Turbo mode still produced an approximately 40% throughput increase even under weaker signal conditions. You can also see that WEP-enabled performance is virtually identical to running without it.

In all, a very impressive performance in all modes.

802.11a Wireless Performance Test Results

Test Conditions

- WEP encryption: DISABLED
- Tx Rate: Automatic
- Power Save: Disabled
- Test Partner: NETGEAR WG602 54Mbps Wireless Access Point

Firmware/Driver Versions

AP f/w:
Wireless client driver: WinXP
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 110019.3
[No WEP]
[w/ WEP]
1 (avg)
2 (max)
Client to AP - Condition 29519.21 (avg)
3 (max)
Client to AP - Condition 37319.31 (avg)
5 (max)
Client to AP - Condition 46817.52 (avg)
5 (max)
See details of how we test.