Performance

For performance testing, I set up the main ESR530 in my office which is relatively central in the house and the second at the end of our living room. I then setup Passmark Performance Test on my laptop which has an AC wireless card in it and on my office PC which was wired directly into the LAN port on the main ESR530. Using Passmarks network test with the desktop PC as a server to get transfer speed averages. I listed off the results I saw from multiple areas in our house below but I do have to point out that I live in an extremely heavy wireless interference house. This is partially due to the number of wireless devices we have and also a lot of wireless networks both in the house and from people nearby. It’s impressive to me that even with only a few houses that are really close that we pick up something like 9 other networks.

So how did testing with the ESR530’s go? Well, the performance while in the same room was 343 Mbps which while not impressive when you compare it with what AC is capable of. But this is right in the middle of what I saw with WiFi 5 or AC when I was testing WiFi 6 in the same environment recently. Going from my office into my photo/work room the performance was still solid at 293 Mbps but this was still in line of sight to the router. Going to my living room which had two doorways/partial walls between us dropped performance down to 179 Mbps. Interestingly this is where I had the second mesh router setup. The worst result I had was also the closest room to my office which was my wife's craft room. This ran through four plasterboard (not drywall) walls and also had our normal AP in between. When doing some more testing I found that turning off the second ESR530 did speed things up slightly by taking some of that overhead off the network.

Area

Average Speed

Desk – 5 feet from primary router

343.0 Mbps

Photo Room – 40 feet w/line of sight

293.3 Mbps

Living Room – 50 feet 2 partial walls- Second ESR530 at the end of this room

179 Mbps

Craft Room – 20 feet away – 4 walls between and my main access point

112 Mbps

Desk – 5 Feet - Retest with just one router

382.2 Mbps

 

So what did I learn from my results? Well, the biggest is something I already knew, the best way to do a mesh network is with each router/Access point being hard-wired. This is why we ran ethernet to every room in our house when we moved in. A mesh network is only as fast as the connection between the access points, even if you are close to a secondary AP. I also learned that the ESR530 doesn’t handle our busy wireless airspace well. Again not a huge surprise, there is a reason I run a higher-end access point all of the time. The overall network reach with the two routers in mesh mode did a great job of covering not just our entire house, but our whole property as well as I used it while mowing and listening to music without any interruptions

 

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