NETGEAR WG602 54Mbps Wireless Access Point Review

Wireless Performance

Signal Strength readings in the table above were reported by the NETGEAR Client application
Testing was done with a NETGEAR WG511 Cardbus client card in a WinXP Home Dell Inspiron 4100 laptop, unless otherwise noted.
Testing was done with no 802.11b clients active or in-range unless otherwise noted

Since we now know the ins and outs of draft-11g product performance, I'll be able to skip the mini-tutorial and get right to the results. If this is the first review of draft-802.11g products you've read, however, I suggest you read my 802.11g NeedToKnow to acquaint yourself with what to expect from draft-11g products.

Tip TIP: My WG602 came with version 1.03.03 firmware which had some problems working with 802.11b clients. Be sure you upgrade to version 1.04 (or higher) which is available from NETGEAR's support website.

I ran my usual four-location throughput test, the results of which are shown in the table above. I also did Chariot runs, which are shown in Figure 6.

NETGEAR WG602- Throughput test

Figure 6: Four Condition Throughput - NETGEAR
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

Although the 18Mbps best-case throughput is 15% lower than below the 21Mbps I got with Broadcom-based Linksys gear, the WG602 / WG511 test pair had better performance at my weaker-signal Condition 3 and 4 test locations. I've included the four-condition throughput plot from my Linksys WRT54G review for your comparison convenience in Figure 7 below.

Linksys WRT54G - Four condition throughput test

Figure 7: Four Condition Throughput test - Linksys WRT54G and WPC54G
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

My earlier look at Intersil-based draft-11g products for my NTK Part 2 showed about a 10% WEP-enabled throughput reduction and Figure 8 shows that things haven't changed much yet. This reduction is disappointing, but Intersil told me that a fix is in the works.

NETGEAR WG602- WEP comparison

Figure 8: WEP128 vs no WEP
(click on the image for a full-sized view)