Testing the Gigabit claims
Since there are no three-stream (1.3 Gbps) 802.11ac client devices available today, we actually used two R6300s, with one configured as a bridge to the other, which remained configured as a router. We attached each end to the gigabit-Ethernet port on a PC, thus setting up an end-to-end connection.
We used Nuts About Nets’ free Netstress benchmark to put a TCP load on this link. We tested throughput at both ‘near’ (the wireless endpoints about three meters apart) and ‘far’ (about five meters apart, but straight up through two floors) distances. Netstress runs continuously and produces a running average.
For the ‘near’ case, we saw convergence to an average of about 414 Mbps after a few minutes. We should note when the devices were within a meter of one another this was as high as 470 Mbps. For the ‘far’ case – a real torture test in a residential setting, representing, say, a link from the basement WAN connection to a home theater on the second floor – we saw more than 315 Mbps. Pause for Wow!
Needless to say, this was the fastest Wi-Fi system we’ve ever tested. Remember, this is Layer-7 (application layer) performance, what would be available to real applications and users. And this is the first production model we’ve seen – if we have any indication here, and we think we do, Wi-Fi is about to see another huge leap forward.
The $199 price point may stymie some users, but Netgear’s R6300 is absolutely the future of where Wi-Fi is headed. Given the still nascent 802.11ac specification, the router can be safely purchased today and remain state-of-the-art for years to come.
It’s important to keep in mind that even sophisticated synthetic benchmarks are only a coarse-grained indication of real-world performance. And this is wireless, after all, that we’re talking about here, so a high degree of variability can be expected. But, again: wow! If you’re looking for a new Wi-Fi router, maybe it is time to prepare for the future – the Netgear R6300 is absolutely worth a look!
We’re happy to award the Netgear R6300 an Editor’s Choice award for its outstanding performance.