NIC adapter measurements

I did a quick measurement between different network adapters to examine what signal levels they get from the same distance to the access point. The equipment i tested was a HP-laptop with a Intel AC-7265 card, two Ekahau NIC-300, a Ekahau Sidekick, a iPhone 6s and a Sony C5502 Android phone. The AP is a Cisco 2702i the 2.4Ghz at power level 6 and 5GHz at power level 3.

I did use the Ekahau ESS software to se the strength on the Sidekick. For the computers internal NIC and the NIC-300 i used Metageek inSSIDer, the Andriod phone WiFi Analyzer and on the iPhone the AirPort utility. I put every device on a trolley with a cardboard box on, because the trolley is made of metal.

I have just done one run and some of the measurements are probably not 100% correct. The adapters, especially the one in the HP-computer could fluctuate about +-5dbm so i tried to do a average of the values, the Sidekick is the most stable one. The iPhone seems to be rather stable in the readings too, but I guess that because it only show readings with 5dbm increments so it looks like it does not fluctuate as much.

The trolley of metal and the location, at my office, is not a optimal place when it comes to multipath signals, but it’s raining outside and it is dark and cold so a better test has to wait until the summer.

The result is as expected, the WiFi cards and antennas in the NIC-300 and the Sidekick is a lot better than the ”real world equipment”. A thing to keep in mind when doing a site survey. A thing i did not expect is the big signal difference between 2.4 and 5GHz on the Sidekick, almost 10dBm. Of course it differs a bit on every adapter because the output power on the radios on the AP is different, but i don´t see as much difference on the other adapters. My Sidekick sees the 5GHz a lot better than 2,5GHz.

NIC-300 #1 NIC-300 #2 Sidekick Intel AC-7265 iPhone Android
freq 2,4 5 2,4 5 2,4 5 2,4 5 2,4 5 2,4 5
2m -35 -40 -25 -35 -46 -36 -55 -54 -50 -50 -55 -58
4m -43 -47 -40 -43 -47 -43 -60 -60 -65 -50 -65 -67
8m -65 -47 -49 -48 -58 -46 -65 -72 -70 -53 -70 -67
16m -62 -52 -63 -55 -61 -52 -70 -77 -75 -60 -73 -78
WiFi-Adapters Graph
Better looking summary, klick the image to get it in full size.

 

equipment
The not so good looking test bed. The iPhone is in my hand for the picture, but it was in the middle of the Sony and Sidekick when i did the measurements.

 

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