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TP-Link cards and SMCWGBR14-N router


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Sorry for the rather long post, I will try to be concise :)

Router: SMC SMCWGBR14-N. AR2133 3T3R MIMO 2.4 GHz radio = AR5008-3NG. It is a clone of a umedia router and it is the similar to the TEW-633GR and DIR-655. Firmware

Wireless clients: TP-Link WN951N (PCI). Driver Vista x64. 3T3R card.

WN910N (Cardbus). Driver Vista x64 default drivers. 3T3R card.

TP-Link WN820N (USB) - completely broken doesn't work with any router.

Intel 4965ABGN (mini pci-E). Drivers 12.x.x.x Vista x64. 2T2R?.

Intel 5300 (mini pci-E). Drivers 12.x.x.x Vista x64. 3T3R.

Test setup: Router and client 1metres apart. PC -> wireless -> router -> ethernet -> PC.


I initially tested the WN951N and the best performance was obtained turning off Short GI on the router with auto 20/40 mode in n only mode. I was able to download at 8MB/s but upload is only 200KB/s, it does improve over time and seems to get faster. I tried every combination of router settings. Setting the router to G only mode results in a consistent 3MB up, 3MB down.

I then tested using the same settings (I did not test any others) with the intel 4965 ABGN and it reached 10MB down and 9MB up (20 mhz mode). The Intel 5300 reaches 15MB down and 11MB up (40mhz mode). Next I tried the WN910N and I could get 9MB down and 2.5MB up (20mhz mode) and 15MB down and 6MB up (40mhz mode).

I noticed a further problem with the WN910N that changing to resulted in a performance drop to 4MB download in 20mhz mode and 6MB download in 40mhz mode. So it seems performance has degraded in the newer drivers with this card. I tried all the older drivers from 7.2.x.x onwards on the WN951N to see if I could improve the upload performance but nothing worked.

To conclude, I tried every version of drivers from TP-Links website on the WN951N with no success, the drivers don't even work properly leaving the wireless in an "authenticating" state. I normally don't jump to conclusions but after having these cards for a while and also trying them with a DIR-855 router where the performance was also bad http://forums.dlink.com/index.php?topic=4512.0 everything leads me to believe that TP-Link sell junk and to steer clear. I'm guessing the problem stems from the fact the TP-Link cards though stated as draft-n v2 compatible are not draft-n v2 certified by the wifi alliance and perhaps will only work properly with TP-Links own router. Perhaps this is similar to the whole pre-n gear fiasco.

edit: added 40mhz results for WN910N and removed inaccuracy about WN910N not supporting 40mhz mode - it does but it's not configurable.

Edited by Z3r0-
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