Wi-Fi image

BrosTrend 650Mbps AC5L Linux WiFi Adapter Review

In Operation

The AC5L was tested using two different routers: a Technicolor 4134 (Wi-Fi 6) and SmartHub 2 routers.

To test typical day-to-day performance, we placed the router a few metres from the antenna but in a different room with a fairly thick intervening wall. That’s intended to mirror a fairly representative setup for home Wi-Fi systems where it’s possible to locate a PC fairly close to the router.

Let’s inspect output from wavemon. This utility is a wireless device monitoring application that allows us to watch signal and noise levels, packet statistics, device configuration and network parameters of wireless network hardware.

Here’s an image of the AC5L device with wavemon.

wavemon output for BrosTrend AC5L Wi-Fi adapter

As you can see, link quality is almost perfect and signal level is very good. The image shows a signal level of -41 dBm which isn’t as potent as either BrosTrend’s AC3L USB WiFi Adapter or the BrosTrend’s AC1L USB WiFi Adapter. Remember that link quality and signal level are not necessarily a good indicator of transfer speeds.

wavemon offers a handy scanning function (activated with the F3 key). As we next perform speed tests, we make sure that each router is on a clear channel (to avoid any interference from nearby routers).

Here is an image showing performance statistics using the iperf utility. The local machine (IP is connected to the router via gigabit ethernet.

iperf performance speed

We repeated this command a dozen times to get an accurate sample (the overall average was around the figures shown above). The average figure is lower than obtained with the BrosTrend AC3L but broadly similar to the ACL1’s performance.

How did the AC5L fare in the worst case scenario? In a home environment this is typically where the computer is located on a different floor to the router in the furthest room away. Lots of walls to go through and lots of potential for interference to slow down the transfer speeds.

The AC5L managed around 102 MBits/sec in this worst case scenario test. As you can see from the chart below, the transfer speed was slightly better than the BrosTrend AC1L Wi-Fi adapter. The T480 is the internal wireless of a Lenovo T480 laptop.

Transfer speed with BrosTrend AC5L

Next page: Page 3 – Summary

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Summary

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