Wireless Routers: The Truth About Superfast Draft-N

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How We Test

We tested each router and corresponding PC Card adapter in a series of short-range, medium-range, and long-range tests conducted in a suburban home.

In the close-range tests, we set the router up in a home office and put the client approximately 6 feet away in the same room. In the medium-range tests, the router remained in the office while the client was stationed two rooms away. In the long-range tests, the router remained in the office while the client was set up in the backyard, about 60 feet away.

Our server test bed, which was connected to the router via ethernet, was an ABS 3-GHz Pentium 4 system running Suse Linux 9.2. Our client test beds were identical IBM ThinkPad T43 notebook PCs with their internal Wi-Fi cards removed.

We ran a script that contained a series of uploads and downloads of a 106MB file using the Windows FTP client. We ran our tests multiple times over several different days.

Becky Waring is a Berkeley, California-based technology journalist. Yardena Arar is a senior editor for PC World.
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