We wanted to test our router in a real world application so we connected the Netgear WNDR 4500 N900 to a PC running Windows 7 64-bit and configured it using Automatic settings for both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands. We then took a laptop PC with an Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 wireless adapter and moved it about 25-feet away from the router. We didn’t tell the client anything more than the SSID for each router and let it automatically choose the channel to connect to. The routers were set to Unsecure Mode (for fastest data throughput), and with WMM / QoS turned ON. After connecting, we ran the PC application LAN Speed Test (LST) to measure file transfer and network speeds.
LST builds a file in memory and then transfers the packet without the effects of windows file caching. It then reports the time and calculates the network speed.
We repeated the test 2 more times rotating the router 90 degrees after each test to make sure that the router’s speed was affected adversely by its orientation.
Test Results: For the small data packets, the Netgear WNDR 4500 edges out the Western Digital N900 router, but the Read speeds are fairly even. When you start to look at how both of the routers do for Write speeds do you begin to see why the Netgear is king at this data size. The WNDR4500 absolutely abuses the Western Digital with Write tests. We can’t excuse this performance on connectivity issues since the Read speeds of the WD N900 were in the ballpark of the Netgear. Let’s look at a longer test where the packets are much larger and see how the two routers do.
Test Results: For the larger 100MB packets – which is what you would expect from high definition multimedia files – we see the pattern of Netgear dominating continues. Even though the Western Digital recovers slightly in the area of Write speeds, the Netgear WNDR4500 still comes out on top with speeds consistent with what we tested earlier with smaller packets.
For this real-world test, it seems like the Netgear has a definite advantage in speed. For both sizes of packets, the Netgear easily outpaces one of our favorite routers, the Western Digital My Net N900 which is also a Dual-Band router. This test is different than the last time we looked at the WD My Net N900 whereas we have significant distance between the client computer and the N900 router which is much closer to what you would see in a real-world home environment. We see that the ultimate speeds have changed between the competitors, but not the order.