Friday, May 20, 2016

Linksys WRTACS1900 review stock vs DDWRT firmware

1)Intro
2)Features
3)Setup
4)Comparison
5)Throughput tests (Wireless)
6)Closing Notes
Intro: The Linksys WRTACS1900 is a consumer  level wireless router that is  Targeted at the high end consumer market, has an average amount  of features and can tolerate a lot of heavy usage that pro-sumers require. You get even more features and twice the throughput with DDWRT.
Features: The Linksys WRTACS1900 features the following:
1) Dual band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz operation with 4x4 MIMO connectivity at up to 1900Mbps
2) 4 wired Gigabit LAN ports
3) 4 x 4 mimo dual band external high gain SMA antennas with 30dBm output power for great wireless coverage.
4) VLAN configuration
5) Fixed and DHCP client address assignments
6) QoS controls
7) Guest networks
8) USB sharing
9) Firewall
10) VPN
11) And lots more
Setup:
Setup for both was easy. The DDWRT firmware was quicker to get into the UI. The stock firmware does have a nicer look to it, however that’s subjective.  Both UIs have a snappy feel, however DDWRT’s feels more responsive and there’s a whole lot more options. It’s practically a new router.
Comparison:
I’ve posted a bit of comparison of key pages.
Status (Default firmware)

Status (DDWRT)

Wireless settings  (default firmware)

Wireless settings (DDWRT)

Throughput Tests: (Wireless)
I will be using LAN Speed test for the throughput tests and PRTG to generate the graphs. It also is a comprehensive enterprise level network monitoring software and it can record uptime, transfer rates, errors, etc.
Test environment: (Set 1)
Specs of Building: This is going through about 32 ft through 2 walls, a solid all-wood dresser, and a chimney. The room has plaster walls in some places.
Specs of server :(my machine in the same room as the Linksys ACS1900): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC
Specs of client: (remote machine in other room): AGNXAndrakon/AMD Phenom 9650/4GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/ASUS AC53 USB WLAN connection:USB3 via a PCI-Express addon card.
Stock Firmware:
5Ghz 802.11anac mode: Channel 149+ -56dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 6Mbytes/sec or 48Mbits/sec

2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 1 -53dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: xMbytes/sec or xMbits/sec
Unable to stay connected to get results:
DDWRT Firmware:
5Ghz 802.11anac mode: Channel 36+ -70dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 31Mbytes/sec or 248Mbits/sec

2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 1 -48dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 3Mbytes/sec or 24Mbits/sec

Test environment: (Set 2)
Specs of Building Test Run 1: 16Ft away thru a wood door hallway right outside the office where the Linksys ACS1900is located.
Specs of server (my machine in the same room as the Linksys ACS1900): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC
Specs of client: HP2000-412NR/AMD E300/8GB DDR3 RAM/500 GB SSHDD/AMD RADEON 6310/Windows 7 x64 Home Premium/RalinkRT5390 WLAN
Stock firmware:
2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 11 -38dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file 4Mbytes/sec or 32Mbits/sec

Same system WLAN USB (Edimax AC600)
5.0Ghz 802.11anac mode channel 149+ -58dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 7Mbytes/sec or 56Mbits/sec

5.0Ghz 802.11ac mode channel 44+ -58dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 8Mbytes/sec or 64Mbits/sec

DDWRT firmware:
2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 1 -38dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file 4Mbytes/sec or 32Mbits/sec

Same system WLAN USB (Edimax AC600)
5.0Ghz 802.11anac mode channel 36+ -77dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 16Mbytes/sec or 128Mbits/sec


Conclusion:
The throughput drastically increases with DDWRT. The amount of options in that firmware make it into a sorta enterprise class router.
Stock:
Pros:
Ø Easy controls and options
Ø Decent throughput
Ø Basic Guest networks
Ø Basic QoS controls
Ø High signal strength
Cons:
Ø Lacks some options for configuration
Ø No RADIUS authentication support
Ø Not so great 2.4Ghz performance
DDWRT:
Pros:
Ø Robust controls and options
Ø Excellent throughput
Ø Detailed Guest networks
Ø Very detailed QoS controls
Ø High signal strength
Cons:
Ø Must complete flashing with IE and not Firefox.
Ø Not so great 2.4Ghz performance
Rating:  7/10 stock and 9/10 DDWRT
Recommended: Yes

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