11 AC2200-3200 routers review: ACs with muscle

Luxury 802.11ac routers



A while back, we did a comprehensive test of affordable 802.11ac AC1900 routers, but obviously, we can’t just single out one price class, so today we present our findings on the top of the line routers. We tested 11 models with WiFi speeds between 2200 and 3200 Mbit/s to find out what kind of performance you should expect from them.

We have a relatively new test setup on which we have only tested the 13 AC1900 routers so far (you can find the test here). This time we use the test setup to see how the following 11 AC2200-3200 routers behave:

The test range consists of routers priced between 160 pounds / 149 eurosand 230 pounds / 259 euros with both tri-band and MU-MIMO technologies. The tri-band routers have an extra 5 GHz radio which supports traffic separation between slower and faster devices to improve performance. The downside of this is that the difference is only measurable when you have many active 5 GHz devices active at the same time.

MU-MIMO is technology that allows multiple clients to communicate with the router simultaneously, thus eliminating the signal waiting line time and lag which occurs when the router only handles one client’s request at a time. This is done over the 5 GHz band and so far not all that many clients support this technology. There are external WiFi adapters available which make it possible, but we have not tested those as of yet.

The routers tested, in theory, reach WiFi speeds of 450 Mbit/s to 1000 Mbit/s on 2,4 GHz and 1733 Mbit/s to 2600 Mbit/s on 5 GHz band. Beware that the impressive rounded up, top numbers are there to attract your interest. As it is, there are no actual clients equipped with enough sender/receiver power to utilise those theoretical speeds. How much of those incredible speeds from the packaging we measured in real life, we shall look into here.

Recently, we have expanded our test setup to also test the tri-band feature by adding two comprehensive throughput tests at distances of 3, 5 and 10 meters 3x3 in both directions. You can read about this on the next page.

Also read these router articles on Hardware.Info

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