Recently, I bought a Asus RT-AC51U for Android USB tethering and 5GHz features. I also bough some new wireless USB device. Two D-Link DWA-171 A1 are for Mac mini and NAS. One D-Link DWA-131 E1 is for Lenovo C440.
WikiDevi is a good source to know more about your router. But the internal search tool is always missing, I suggest to use Google with site:wikidevi.com to search within WikiDevi or just edit URL directly.
According to ASUS RT-AC51U on WikiDevi, some important features include:
- Because it has 2×2:2 2.4GHz antennas, 802.11n at 2.4GHz is up to 300Mbps.
- Because it has 1×1:1 5GHz antenna, 802.11n at 5GHz is up to 150Mbps while 802.11ac is 433Mbps.
- 802.11n at 2.4GHz is handled by MediaTek MT7620.
- 802.11n at 5GHz and 802.11ac are handled by MediaTek MT7610E
About 2×2:2, the first number means there are 2 antennas for transmitters (TX), the second is 2 antennas for receivers (RX), and the last number is up to 2 spatial streaming. A more detail explanation may be found in 802.11n on The Cisco Learning Network and 無線網路新趨勢–漫談 802.11ac 新協定 on NTU.
D-Link DWA-171 Rev A1
The H/W ver: A1 is very important information but only show on a small label on the package or the last few characters of P/N on the device. Different hardware version might use different chips result in different performance and comparability.
According to D-Link DWA-171 rev A1 on WikiDevi, some important features include:
- Realtel RTL8811AU supports draft 802.11ac which is not 802.11ac.
- Max speed for 802.11n is 150Mbps with 1T1R.
D-Link DWA-131 Rev E1
The H/W ver: E1 is very important information but only show on a small label on the package or the last few characters of P/N on the device. Different hardware version might use different chips and result in different performance and comparability.
According to D-Link DWA-131 rev E1 on WikiDevi, some important features include:
Thecus W5000 with Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essential
The test machine comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and is upgradable. It also comes with a Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD 500GB as a system drive.
Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials is a x64 Windows based on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2. In specification tab of Thecus W5000, you will see a comparison table of Workgroup, Standard, and Essentials. Essentials doesn’t support Hyper-V but is capable of being a Domain Controller of Active Directory.
Although WSS 2012 R2 Essentials is a x64 Windows, it is limited to 4GB of RAM due to processor architecture. Memory Limits for Windows and Windows Server Releases on Microsoft provides a clear explanation.
It comes with 512MB RAM and is not upgradable.
I install a single Seagate Barracuda Desktop HDD 500GB in it.
Compatible/Incompatible USB Wireless on QNAP Wiki contains a full list of known compatible/incompatible USB wireless. DWA-171 rev A1 is identified and working properly but only for 2.4GHz. It doesn’t work on 5GHz. Therefore, the max speed is 150Mbps. DWA-131 rev E1 is not compatible and therefore not identified by QTS.
Mac Mini Late 2012
According to System Information and macg.co：Mac mini (Late 2012)は11n/450Mbps/3ストリームに対応している on MACお宝鑑定団, the build-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n is based on Broadcom BCM43xx which is capable being up to 450Mbps at 5GHz on 40MHz bandwidth using 3×3:3. I am not sure if 2.4GHz may support up to 450Mbps yet.
But there is one problem: the connection speed is 150Mbps with RT-AC51U at 2.4GHz. According to OSX Yosemite Wifi issues on apple support, it seems related to OSX 10.10. Only getting connection speeds of 130 with new Airport Extreme on 802.11n at 5ghz on MacRumors reports this issue with even earlier OSX.
Both DWA-171 rev A1 and DWA-131 rev E1 are working properly but you need to download drivers from Edimax for OSX 10.10. EW-7822UAC, EW-7811UTC, EW-7811UAC, EW-7811DAC, EW-7811USC are using the same Realtel RTL8811AU chip.
It is detail explained in Prepare Your NAS File Transfer Performance Test with Mac OSX Client. I test both Samba and NFS.
Mac mini‘s build-in 802.11n at 5GHz is faster than DWA-171‘s 802.11ac even has a slower connection speed. Both are slower than Fast Ethernet. It seems there are compatibility issue between DWA-171 and RT-AC51U or 802.11ac should be faster than 802.11n at 150Mbps.
I already know there are compatibility issue between Windows Server 2012 R2 and OS X from Improving OS X SMB server share performance to Windows Server 2008R2 on JAMF Nation but it doesn’t seems the primary reason in this test.
Considering TS-119PII performs well with OS X, wireless real-world through-put and compatibility might be the issue. 16 款 802.11ac 路由器與網卡採購：要快還要穩，決戰2.4、5GHz 雙頻段 on 電腦王 also share the poor stability, performance, and compatibility experience for those using Realtek chips. Check on WikiDevi before you buy!
I have learned it is more complex to test wireless transfer. The connection speed is not a constant and will change because of conflict, distance, and noise. Besides, compatibility among chips still needs to be improved.
|Upsangel||~100Mpbs||~250 to 300Mpbs||~350Mpbs|
Something is interesting. OS X is holding back the 2013 MacBook Air’s 802.11ac Wi-Fi speeds on ArsTechnica says the TCP window size stay within 64KB and limits file transfer speeds to about 21.2MBps when using wireless device. I think it’s worth the time to read for detail.
- Apple: Mac mini (Late 2012) – Technical Specifications
- Apple: OS X
- Apple: Support: OSX Yosemite Wifi issues
- ArsTechnica: OS X is holding back the 2013 MacBook Air’s 802.11ac Wi-Fi speeds
- Asus: RT-AC51U
- Cisco: The Cisco Learning Network: 802.11n
- D-Link Wireless AC Dual Band USB Adapter DWA-171
- D-Link Wireless N Nano USB Adapter DWA-131
- Google: Support: Set up tethering or portable Wi-Fi hotspot
- Intel: Intel 64 Architecture
- Intel Atom Processor D2550
- Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
- JAMF Nation: Improving OS X SMB server share performance to Windows Server 2008R2
- Lenovo C440
- MACお宝鑑定団：macg.co：Mac mini (Late 2012)は11n/450Mbps/3ストリームに対応している
- MacRumors: Forums: Only getting connection speeds of 130 with new Airport Extreme on 802.11n at 5ghz
- Marvell: Marvell 88F6282 SoC
- MediaTek: MediaTek First to Bring 802.11ac 1T1R
- Microsoft: TechNet: Domain Controller Roles
- Microsoft: TechNet: Hyper-V
- Microsoft: Windows Server 2012 R2
- Microsoft: Windows: Memory Limits for Windows and Windows Server Releases
- Prepare Your NAS File Transfer Performance Test with Mac OSX Client
- QNAP TS-119PII
- QNAP: QTS
- QNAP: Wiki: Compatible/Incompatible USB Wireless
- Samba.org: [Samba] Question marks, asterisks, colons in filenames
- Seagate Barracuda Desktop Datasheet
- Seagate Laptop SSHD Datasheet
- Techopedia: Spatial Streaming
- Thecus W5000 with Mac OSX File Transfer Performance Report
- Thecus: Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials
- Thecus: Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Standard
- Thecus: W5000
- Upsangel: 802.11AC路由Router選購技術攻略：不花冤枉錢的ac網絡架設指南
- Upsangel: 一分鐘了解什麽是802.11ac WIFI – 本年度買Router路由器必須瞭解的AC無線製式
- Wiki: ARM architecture
- Wiki: Fast Ethernet
- Wiki: IEEE 802.11ac
- Wiki: IEEE 802.11n-2009
- Wiki: Multi-level cell
- Wiki: Network File System
- Wiki: Samba (software)
- Wiki: Standard RAID levels: 2 RAID 1
- Wiki: Uniform resource locator
- Wiki: x86-64: 6.6 Windows
- WikiDevi: ASUS RT-AC51U
- WikiDevi: D-Link DWA-131 rev E1
- WikiDevi: D-Link DWA-171 rev A1
- WikiDevi: MediaTek MT7620
- WikiDevi: Realtek
- NTU: 無線網路新趨勢–漫談 802.11ac 新協定
- 電腦王：16 款 802.11ac 路由器與網卡採購：要快還要穩，決戰2.4、5GHz 雙頻段