Subject: General Tech | December 28, 2017 - 02:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wifi, wireless nic, wireless router, round up, broadcom, qualcomm, Marvell, mediatek, Intel, killer, netperf
As Sebastian discovered when he delved into the world of MU-MIMO routers, benchmarking the performance of wireless devices is not as easy as it sounds. TweakTown recently put together a basic overview of the performance of a variety of wireless routers and NICs to see if there was one that stood out above the competition. They used Netperf to test the cards latency and throughput on these routers, graphing them out for easy viewing. The results display the performance at a distance of 20' from the router on both 2.4 and 5GHz bandwidths, with some interesting results. Pop by for a look.
"I've been pondering an article like this for a while but the logistics of getting everything in-house and testing never really came together. After completing my last round of articles, I suddenly realized I had all of the wireless NICs in-house that come in modern motherboards and laptops, apart from the Killer 1535, which easily enough was sent over to be included after emailing Rivet Networks."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Samsung now mass producing 'industry's first' second-gen 10nm 8Gb DDR4 DRAM @ The Inquirer
- Astroboffins say our Solar System could have – wait, stop, what... the US govt found UFOs? @ The Register
- Globalfoundries gearing up to tap lucrative automotive chip market @ DigiTimes
- TechPowerUp's Best of 2017
Subject: General Tech, Networking | July 12, 2017 - 01:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: RT-AC1900P, asus, wireless router
If you are more interested in quick wireless networking than you are in upgrading to a 10Gbps wired network then perhaps this review over at The Tech Report will catch your fancy. It is similar in design and size to the RT-AC68U, at 6.2x8.6x3.2" but it hides some upgrades inside. The processor has been upgraded to a dual core Broadcom BCM4709C0 running at 1.4 GHz and the internal memory has been doubled to 256MB though the radio remains the same with rated transfers of 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1300 Mbps on the 5GHz band. Testing showed some improvements compared to the previous model when it came to range and broadcasting through obstacles, with some increase in transfer speeds as well. Check it out here.
"Asus' RT-AC1900P carries on the legacy of the company's popular RT-N66U "Dark Knight" router. This time around, the unit comes armed with an 802.11ac radio for faster performance on the 5GHz band. We fired up this router in our crowded wireless airspace to see whether it can stand above the rest."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Tech Giants Rally Today in Support of Net Neutrality @ Slashdot
- Hackers able to turbo-charge DJI drones way beyond what's legal @ The Register
- Intel eyes AMD's Epyc with launch of Skylake-based 'Purley' Xeon processors @ The Inquirer
- It's July 2017 – and your expensive HoloLens can be pwned over Wi-Fi @ The Register
- 24 Cores and the Mouse Won't Move: Engineer Diagnoses Windows 10 Bug @ Slashdot
- If at first you don't succeed, you're Microsoft pushing its magical white space broadband @ The Register
- Stop the clocks. Windows Phone is dead @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2016 - 12:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: MegaMIMO 2.0, wireless router, wifi, mu-mimo
Multi-In Multi-Out routers are a wonderful thing, not only are the routers far more tentacular than before, the technology also make our unwired lives better as Sebastian explained. The only thing that could make it better is a bandwidth boost, which is what these researchers at MIT have been working on. In an experiment involving laptop bearing Roombas they showed a increase of 330% in transfer speeds thanks to synchronized phases allowing multiple signals to be sent on the same frequency. Pop on over to Slashdot to learn more about their research.
"Scientists at MIT claim to have created a new wireless technology that can triple Wi-Fi data speeds while also doubling the range of the signal. Dubbed MegaMIMO 2.0, the system will shortly enter commercialization and could ease the strain on our increasingly crowded wireless networks."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Windows Update borks PowerShell – Microsoft won't fix it for a week @ The Register
- Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite triggers BSOD on up-to-date Windows 10 PCs @ The Inquirer
- Google tells popup ads to p*** off on mobes @ The Register
- Linux celebrates the first of its two 25th birthdays @ The Inquirer
- AVM FRITZ!Powerline 1240E WLAN Set Review @ NikKTech
- AMD Zen Sneak Peek @ Hot Chips 2016
- Just a little FYI: Small town ISPs want out of FCC privacy rules @ The Register
Subject: Networking | February 19, 2016 - 12:37 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: wireless router, wi-fi, router, mu-mimo, MAX-STREAM AC1900, linksys, EA8500, EA7500, 802.11ac, 4x4, 3x3
Linksys has announced availability of a new MU-MIMO wireless router, and the EA7500 features 3x3 802.11ac Wi-Fi along with 4x Gigabit LAN ports.
“The Linksys MAX-STREAM AC1900 features MU-MIMO, the latest advance toward uninterrupted, simultaneous Wi-Fi connections. Devices such as HD streaming media players, 4K TVs, tablets, and game consoles use a lot of bandwidth. But with MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) technology, the MAX-STREAM AC1900 sends advanced Wi-Fi to multiple devices at the same time and same speed. Your whole family can play, stream, and work at once, without experiencing lag or buffering - at up to 2x the speed of a non-MU-MIMO router.”
The specs include:
- Wi-Fi Technology: AC1900 MU-MIMO Dual-band Gigabit, 600+1300 Mbps
- Wi-Fi Speed: AC1900 (N600 + AC1300)
- Wi-Fi Bands: 2.4 and 5 GHz (simultaneous dual band)
- Power Antennas: 3x external, dual-band, detachable antennas
- Operation Modes: Wireless Router, Access Point, Wired Bridge, Wireless Bridge
- Processor: 1.4 GHz dual-core
- Number of Ethernet Ports: 4x Gigabit LAN ports, 1x Gigabit WAN port
- Other Ports: 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 2.0 port
- Storage File System Support: FAT, NTFS, HFS+
Retail pricing is $199.99, placing it $50 below the larger 4x4 MU-MIMO EA8500 router ($249.99). If you’re looking to upgrade your router to take advantage of MU-MIMO technology (the benefits of which we covered in our review of the Killer Wireless-AC 1535), this EA7500 provides a new, more affordable option.
Full press release after the break.
Subject: Networking | January 13, 2016 - 12:03 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: wireless router, tp-link, mu-mimo, gigabit ethernet, CES 2016, 802.11ad, 802.11ac
Last week, TP-Link launched a new wireless router that is the first to support the 802.11ad "WiGig" standard alongside the usual fare of wireless AC, N, B, G, and A Wi-Fi networks. Sporting eight foldable external antennas, the TP-Link Talon AD7200 will be available within the next few months.
The Talon AD7200 features four Gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB 3.0 ports, eight antennas, and an all black casing with status LEDs lighting up the front panel. Two Qualcomm Atheros chipsets along with an unspecified dual core processor clocked at 1.4 GHz make up the internal hardware. One Atheros chipset is solely for the new 802.11ad radio while the other handles the remaining networks.
On the wireless side of things, the router supports simultaneous operation of a 5 GHz 802.11ac, 2.4 GHz 802.11n, and a 60 GHz 802.11ad network. Throughput is rated at up to 1,733 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, 800 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz, and an impressive 4,600 Mbps on the 60 GHz band. The 802.11ad network support is the really interesting part of this router. While the 60 GHz band allows for super fast connections, it has a range of only a few meters and it needs a clear line of sight without any obstructions – the signal can't pass through a person or even a decorative plant for example. This standard was initially intended for the connected living room that would allow users to stream or copy high bit-rate media from a mobile device or computer to your television. In that respect, the 60 GHz band works well and offers up plenty of bandwidth for the job.
The router allows hand-offs from 802.11ad to 802.11ac/n/b/a (eg. when you leave the room you can still stay connected to the network and internet, just on the slower but still fast enough for Internet access network) and supports beamforming and multi-user MIMO. It is using an allegedly user friendly firmware.
It is strange to see a router supporting the standard though when a direct Wi-Fi connection between the computer and TV should do fine. It does open up some interesting possibilities though. Right now, consumer devices supporting 10 Gigabit Ethernet are extremely rare and still not very affordable. With 1 Gigabit links being commonplace for a number of years now they have started to be surpassed by 802.11ac Wi-Fi in (theoretical) throughput (though the ol' hardwired connection still holds stability and latency benefits). There is a new standard NBASE-T aimed at bridging the gap between 1 GbE and 10 GbE for home users that hits 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps but that is still very much in its infancy. If you had an 802.11ad access point in every room, or at least the places you needed high bandwidth connections, it would be a definite improvement over a Gigabit Ethernet connection for large file transfers (think a backup to a NAS or offloading pictures and video from your laptop or phone to your desktop for editing). Of course, WiGig docks are also a thing, and offer a wireless alternative to a Thunderbolt docking station.
802.11ad is not revolutionary and it has it's limitations, but it is extremely fast. I'm interested to see the benchmarks and what sort of setup this router will enable. According to Ars Technica, Lenovo and Acer have WiGig laptops and WiGig docks coming out this year, and hopefully USB 3.0 WiGig cards will come out before the end of the year. I have a need for networking speed.
- Killer Wireless-AC 1535 Review: The MU-MIMO Era Begins
- Samsung Announces 60GHz Wi-Fi (802.11ad)
- Dell Releases Wireless 802.11ad Dock With USB 3.0, Mutli-Display Support
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Networking | November 14, 2015 - 01:07 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: synology, 802.11ac, 256-QAM, mu-mimo, 3x3, gigabit router, wireless router
Synology, a company best known for its home and small office network attached storage (NAS) devices, is branching out with its first wireless router. The Synology Router RT1900ac is a high end 802.11ac Wi-Fi enabled router that is paired with some rather slick looking and useful software.
The RT1900ac supports the latest consumer grade networking tech including 802.11ac MU-MIMO (beam forming to up to six devices), 802.11n 256-QAM, and wired Gigabit Ethernet. The 5GHz band tops out at 1300 Mbps while the 2.4GHz “N” band tops out at 600 Mbps though note that a single device cannot use the combined “1900” Mbps bandwidth and even then inter-device links are limited to gigabit speeds or less.
The rear of the router hosts five Gigabit Ethernet ports (1 WAN, 4 LAN) and three physical antennas which means a max of 3x3 MIMO to wireless devices. The left side of the router hosts a WPS (wireless protected setup) button and a physical Wi-Fi on/off switch while the right side of the router features a single USB 3.0 port and a SD card reader.
Internally, the router is powered by a dual core processor running at 1 GHz paired with 256 MB of DDR3 memory. Synology rates the router at a maximum of 70 connected devices with as many as 40 concurrently transmitting data.
The operating system is called the Synology Router Manager and it can be accessed via a web interface or a mobile app called DS Router for Android and iOS.
Users are able to access the router using a GUI interface that is reminiscent of other Synology software. It supports parental controls (website blocking, scheduling, ect), application layer quality of service (QoS) on a per-device level, traffic management and bandwidth monitoring (per device as well as total bandwidth used). Users are able to initially setup the router using a web interface or the mobile app to guide them through setup.
The USB port (and SDXC card slot) can be used to share files and stream media to other devices. They can also be used to share a printer over the network or enable a mobile hotspot using a cellular modem dongle.
Interestingly, users can add additional software to their router from Synology. Optional applications from Synology’s Package Center allow using the router as a VPN, torrent box, RADIUS authentication server, DNS server, file share, and media server. Being able to extend the functionality of the router is nice to see and should be popular with enthusiasts though it does raise some security concerns.
This new router will be on display at CES 2016 and will be available in the US early next year for $150.
I’m interested to see the reviews on this as it certainly looks nice and the software looks much better than most!
Subject: Networking | October 9, 2015 - 06:00 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: wireless router, RT-AC88U, router, mu-mimo, asus, 802.11ac, 8-port switch
ASUS has announced an impressive new MU-MIMO wireless router that provides up to 3100 Mbps of Wi-Fi bandwidth, and the RT-AC88U also features an 8-port Gigabit Ethernet switch.
- WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with MU-MIMO
- Data rate: 3100 Mbps
- Chipset: BCM47094, BCM4366, BCM4366
- Flash: NAND 128 MB
- RAM: DDR3 256/512 MB
- WAN: GbE x 1
- LAN: GbE x 8
- Giga switch: 8365
- PA: 2G:sky2623 5G:sky85405
- LNA: 2G: BGU7224/LXS5563 5G:MAAL011078
- Antenna: Detachable dual band x 4
- USB: 3.0 x1, 2.0 x1
- Applications: ASUSWRT, AiCloud, AiProtection, high-power mode, Download Master, VPN server, guest network, DLNA server, automatic IP, Static IP, PPPoE (MPPE support), PPTP, L2TP, IPv4, IPv6
Pricing and availability are not yet known.
Subject: General Tech | August 31, 2015 - 04:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wireless router, idiots, dd-wrt
In the next installment of poorly planned out moves by a US government agency attempting to solve a problem that does not exist, we shall see an attempt to make illegal the modification of the firmware on any device which contains an radio. This is likely to prevent you from using open source software to modify your wireless router into a death ray which will allow you to take over the planet.
Specifically, it will make illegal the modification of any device which can broadcast on U-NII bands which happen to include the 5GHz bandwidth that WiFi broadcasts on. While most firmware changes, such as dd-wrt only change the processor the routers are SoC's which means that the radio is technically a part of the same device as what you modify when applying custom firmware. Hack a Day has links to the FCC proposal, you might want to consider emailing your congress critters about it.
"Because of the economics of cheap routers, nearly every router is designed around a System on Chip – a CPU and radio in a single package. Banning the modification of one inevitably bans the modification of the other, and eliminates the possibility of installing proven Open Source firmware on any device."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Win10 Insider build 10532: Avoid if you run Chrome 64-bit @ The Register
- Nvidia GRID 2.0 doubles performance of its virtual GPU @ The Inquirer
- Dropbox DROPS BOX as service GOES TITSUP worldwide @ The Register
- Unearthed E.T. Atari Game Cartridges Score $108K At Auction @ Slashdot
Subject: Networking | August 14, 2014 - 11:47 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: wireless router, wave 2, rt-ac87u, rt-ac87r, qsr1000, mu-mimo, ASUS ROG, asus, 802.11ac
ASUS recently launched the RT-AC87U which is the first "wave 2" 802.11ac wireless router to support multi user MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology. Although the initial launch happened at the end of last month, the RT-AC87U and RT-AC87R (a variant exclusive to Best Buy) will finally be avaiable for purchase starting August 26th for around $279.99.
The RT-AC87U is a monster matte black router with four large external antennas and sleek fighter jet angles. I/O is mostly clustered on the rear of the router and includes four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, one GbE WAN port, and one USB 2.0 port. In addition to the rear I/O, ASUS has positioned a USB 3.0 port on the front of the router (specifically the right corner of the front panel hidden behind a removeable rubber port cover).
On the wireless front, the RT-AC87U and RT-AC87R supports the latest 802.11ac and newer 256QAM (600Mbps) 802.11n specification as well as legacy 802.11g/b/a Wi-Fi networks. The router supports simultaneous dual band operation, which results in maximum throughput of 1.73 Gbps on the 5GHz 802.11ac band (4 x 433 Mbps streams) and 600 Mbps on the 2.4GHz 802.11n band.
The new and interesting bit about the RT-AC87 is the MU-MIMO support. MU-MIMO, which stands for Multi-User Multple Input Multiple Output, is the evolution of MIMO technology which debuted with wireless N routers. The ASUS router is able to use multiple anntennas to communicate with a client device to increase bandwidth. Beamforming is used to focus the signal in the direction of the client to get better range and a stronger signal for that specific client. MU-MIMO builds on this technology by allowing the router to track, beamform, and employ multiple transmit and recieve antennas to talk to multiple clients simultaneously. Previously, routers were limited to communicating with a single client at a time (see the diagram below for an example).
Multi-User MIMO will benefit those users that choose to connect the majority of their networked devices via Wi-Fi. However, the technology will be especially noticeable in areas flooded with various Wi-Fi networks such as apartments. According to Matthew Gast of Aerohive Networks, MU-MIMO will allow all wireless clients to get an acceptable data rate in crowded wireless areas at the expense of being able to deliver the highest data rate to a single client device. Especially when competing Wi-Fi networks are involved and fighting for channels, MU-MIMO will shine at keeping devices connected and talking to the access point.
ASUS has chosen the Quantenna QSR100 chipset to handle the 802.11ac duties while a Broadcom BCM4709 chipset handles the 256QAM wireless N bands. Additionally, the RT-AC87 routers have 128MB of flash memory and 256MB of DDR3 RAM. According to ASUS, the router draws slightly over 45W.
On the software side of things, ASUS has chosen its own ASUSWRT firmware which includes parental controls, Time Machine backup support, VPN support, security software from TrendMicro (AiProtection), and AiCloud 2.0. USB support includes storage sharing as well as 3G/4G cellular modem internet connectivity.
In all, the ASUS RT-AC87U looks to be new home router champion packing quite a bit of hardware and leading the charge of Wave 2 802.11ac wireless routers. This all comes at a cost, however. The RT-AC87U and RT-AC87R will be available on August 26 with a MSRP of $269.99 and e-tail prices currently around $279.99.
For all the nitty-gritty details, check out this ASUS PCDIY blog post!
Subject: General Tech | September 6, 2013 - 11:59 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: linksys, belkin, 802.11ac, wireless router
Linksys made a showing at IFA 2013 in Berlin, Germany where it announced new 802.11ac wireless hardware under the Smart Wi-Fi series. The new lineup includes two wireless routers and a USB NIC. The highest-end model is the Smart Wi-Fi AC1900 router (also known as the EA6900).
The Smart Wi-Fi AC1900 is a dual band router powered by an unspecified dual core 800MHz processor and Broadcom 802.11ac chipset that is actually manufactured by Belkin. The router has three removable external dipole antennas, two USB ports for storage devices (one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0), four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, and one Gigabit WAN port.
Linksys rates the AC1900 at a theoretical throughput of 1300 Mbps on the 5GHz 802.11ac band and 600 Mbps on the 2.4GHz 802.11n band. The router can operate both networks simultaneously and can employ beam-forming technology to improve signal strength. The router further supports a 3x3 send and receive configuration for up to three spatial streams per direction. The 600 Mbps for wireless N is accomplished by using 256 QAM modulation which allows up to 200 Mbps per spatial stream versus 150 Mbps from the standard 64 QAM modulation used by most wireless hardware. Unfortunately, in order to see the increased speeds, the more advanced modulation needs to be supported at both ends (router and NIC). The router is backwards compatible with older 802.11n wireless cards but only new cards supporting 256 QAM will support the higher maximum throughput.
The EA6900 (Smart Wi-Fi AC1900) wireless router will be available on October 4th for around $250. Early birds can pre-order the router in order to get a $20 discount and price of $230.