We're conducting a quick round of testing of some new Wi-Fi gear against some 'tried and true' favorites.
Gear in Testing
The new routers we are looking at this round:
For guides to mobile routers, and further explanations of the features:
Selecting a Mobile Router – Bringing Mobile Internet Options Together and Creating a Local RV Network
Getting Better Wi-Fi – Selecting Long Range Wi-Fi Extending Gear (Antennas, Routers, CPEs)
In this testing round, we did a full batch of testing at two very different locations:
- Brunswick Landing Marina - A large marina with a lot of liveaboard boats, and OnSpot Wi-Fi hotspots deployed at the base of nearly every one of the 15 docks. Both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi is deployed, with substantial backhaul fast enough for 180+ Mbps 5GHz Wi-Fi speeds in the marina lounge. A WiFi network scan finds well over 40 competing networks broadcasting - and every dock SSID is different.
- Blythe Island Regional Park - Spread out county park with Wi-Fi access points deployed on the top of every bathhouse. There are at least 7 access points spread around, all with identical SSID names of "INTERNET" broadcasting on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Only a few other private personal hotspots show up in a scan sharing the airwaves. The closest access point was 300' feet through heavy trees from our camp site.
We also did a lot of informal testing and spot checks at other locations that colored our conclusions, but which may not be logged in the data spreadsheet.
We're taking 3 sample readings of download, upload and ping time - keeping a consistent distance from the access point, and during mid-day when there should be less congestion and variability on the network itself.
If the access point supports it, we are testing both 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi channels. And we are taking a 'Wi-Fi Worthiness' testing by also taking readings right at the access point.
All gear was tested outdoors in the same location - even though only some of the gear is weatherproof and suitable for permanent outside usage. Definitely keep this in mind - under more typical installation scenarios indoor gear will have a lot more signal challenges.
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