Access Point stress test by Silicon Valley integrator ‘Packet6’ reveals how similarly specified Wi-Fi 6 APs perform differently in high-demand environments.

Today, when high speed wireless connectivity is so central to everyday lives, it is important for CI integrators to be able to choose the best Access Points from a field of similarly specified models, says distributor Habitech. A recent stress test of 4×4:4 Wi-Fi 6 APs by Silicon Valley integrator Packet6 suggests that when responding to real world workloads, not all APs are created equal.  

The test of HPE Aruba, Extreme Networks, Juniper Mist, Cisco Meraki and CommScope RUCKUS APs selected by Packet6 from practical applications in numerous projects, and sponsored by CommScope RUCKUS, is described in a Packet6 blog published this month.

It says, “We were surprised with the findings: performance varied substantially across AP models. While all of the tested APs share the same Wi-Fi 6 specification, vendor implementation clearly yields significant performance differences under high-demand traffic.”

The blog goes on to describe how the test was organised in, “a mixed traffic environment that included large and small file transfers, high-definition (HD) video streaming and VoIP”.

Watch the test right here.

The test involved one room, thirty Dell Latitude laptops with Wi-Fi 6 capability playing 1080p video; five Apple iPads running a bi-directional VoIP test, and five additional iPads running data downloads, and in another room but connected to the same AP, twenty Apple MacBook Pros running downloads of varying data sizes to simulate traffic such as web browsing, email and file transfers.

The test results, which are free to download, have led Packet6 to conclude that for long-term Wi-Fi connection speed and reliability, a clear winner emerges. In every important performance metric: network throughput, video streaming and Mean Opinion Score (MOS), “the RUCKUS AP…was the only access point capable of meeting real-world success criteria – maintaining a ‘good’ MOS score while simultaneously delivering stall-free HD video streams to 30 clients and maintaining ‘high’ throughput for all data clients.”

Consequently, Packet6 strongly recommends that integrators, “stress-test multiple vendor APs in your own environment before deciding on a Wi-Fi 6 upgrade.”

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