Three-Stream Wi-Fi Testing DetailsTo ensure valid results, Syracuse CCENT Wi-Fi testing was performed late at night within a clean RF environment on the ground floor, in and around actual classrooms and labs within Hinds Hall, the home of Syracuse's School of Information Studies. The production Wi-Fi network was disabled for these test windows and spectrum sweeps were conducted before every test was performed.
Graduate students on Syracuse's CCENT wireless test-bed worked with professional staff at Ruckus to devise three test scenarios: 1) single AP to single client, 2) single AP to multiple clients, and 3) multiple APs to multiple clients.
Measurements for all tests were taken for traffic within the 2.4 and 5GHz bands as well as concurrent use of both bands. Three-stream capable Apple MacBook Pro and Dell Latitude notebook computers were used for most tests. For tests with high numbers of clients, these systems were supplemented by Dell desktop PCs equipped with three-stream NETGEAR USB network interfaces. Within the 2.4GHz band, 20MHz channels were used and within the 5GHz band 40MHz channels were used. For single AP to multiple client tests, one AP was tested with 30 clients.
The AP was sequentially placed in three different rooms while the 30 clients remained in the same room. The clients concurrently ran an IxChariot throughput script that transfers a 1MB file for 2 minutes. TCP aggregate throughput was measured for these tests. To reflect the enterprise trend towards increased use of 5GHz capabilities, one-third of clients were transmitting on the 2.4GHz band while two-thirds were transmitting on the 5GHz band. All clients were evenly distributed within each room.Multi-AP, multi-client testing was performed with 120 clients (30 clients per room) and six APs (for each vendor) distributed across four rooms. Since all equipment used for testing was supplied by Ruckus, CCENT staff worked with Ruckus to secure the latest public operating code and determine the test configuration for all products. Auto channel selection, client load balancing, and airtime fairness features were enabled for all vendors (note: these capabilities were turned on if not enabled by default). Each AP's channel selection algorithm was allowed to run for an hour before testing, then fixed on the system's choice to reflect real-world conditions. 24 clients (8 on 2.4GHz and 16 on 5GHz) were uploading data while 96 clients (32 on 2.4GHz and 64 on 5GHz) were downloading data.