Compex wle200nx and wle600vx wireless throughput test on pfSense and IPFire

All tests have been performed using iperf3.

The wireless card is mounted in APU2C4 router. The iperf3 server runs on Debian machine, connected to the router through cable. Client runs on a Lenovo X250 laptop with Windows 10, connected to the router through WiFi.

This test is intended to give you a rough idea of the hardware capabilities and differences between operating systems. These are not the "lab" conditions. We are testing real life use.

WiFi performance depends on many things, including environment, interference from other access points in the neighbourhood, small configuration differences, and proximity of your computer to the router. Your results may be different.

 

Compex wle200nx throughput test on pfSense 2.4

Here we test the popular Compex wle200nx on the latest pfSense 2.4.2. This card works both on 2.4 Ghz (802.11ng) and 5.0 Ghz (802.11na) frequency, but you have to choose which frequency to operate on. You can't operate on both simultaneusly (unless you have 2 cards).

5Ghz frequency is generally less crowded, so we recommend using it unless you have old 802.11g devices that don't support it. 

Here we performed 2 tests. One in 802.11ng and one in 802.11na mode.

 

pfSense 2.4 / Compex wle200nx throughput test in 802.11na mode

Here's the raw output from iperf:

Accepted connection from 192.168.5.199, port 40506
[  5] local 192.168.5.186 port 5201 connected to 192.168.5.199 port 34474
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bandwidth
[  5]   0.00-1.00   sec  13.9 MBytes   117 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   1.00-2.00   sec  15.8 MBytes   133 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   2.00-3.00   sec  16.6 MBytes   139 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   3.00-4.00   sec  15.3 MBytes   129 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   4.00-5.00   sec  15.0 MBytes   126 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   5.00-6.00   sec  15.0 MBytes   126 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   6.00-7.00   sec  15.6 MBytes   131 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   7.00-8.00   sec  15.5 MBytes   130 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   8.00-9.00   sec  15.5 MBytes   130 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   9.00-10.00  sec  15.6 MBytes   131 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]  10.00-10.06  sec   982 KBytes   138 Mbits/sec                  
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bandwidth
[  5]   0.00-10.06  sec  0.00 Bytes  0.00 bits/sec                  sender
[  5]   0.00-10.06  sec   155 MBytes   129 Mbits/sec                  receiver
-----------------------------------------------------------
Server listening on 5201
-----------------------------------------------------------

Close to 130Mbit/s. This is a very good result for a 802.11n card in pfSense. Open-WRT/LEDE can do much better, see results below.

 

pfSense 2.4 / Compex wle200nx throughput test in 802.11ng mode

If you need to connect with old 802.11g devices, you have to set the WiFi in 802.11ng mode. This frequency is generally more crowded and you will see worse bandwith. 

See iperf output below:

-----------------------------------------------------------
Server listening on 5201
-----------------------------------------------------------
Accepted connection from 192.168.5.199, port 62899
[  5] local 192.168.5.186 port 5201 connected to 192.168.5.199 port 51784
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bandwidth
[  5]   0.00-1.00   sec  9.77 MBytes  82.0 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   1.00-2.00   sec  10.2 MBytes  85.2 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   2.00-3.00   sec  10.6 MBytes  89.1 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   3.00-4.00   sec  12.0 MBytes   101 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   4.00-5.00   sec  12.2 MBytes   102 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   5.00-6.00   sec  11.4 MBytes  95.4 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   6.00-7.00   sec  11.5 MBytes  96.4 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   7.00-8.00   sec  11.5 MBytes  96.2 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   8.00-9.00   sec  10.6 MBytes  88.7 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   9.00-10.00  sec  11.6 MBytes  97.3 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]  10.00-10.04  sec   533 KBytes   105 Mbits/sec                  
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bandwidth
[  5]   0.00-10.04  sec  0.00 Bytes  0.00 bits/sec                  sender
[  5]   0.00-10.04  sec   112 MBytes  93.4 Mbits/sec                  receiver

Close to 100Mbit is still excellent result in ng mode.

This is the only card we sell that works with pfSense. wle600vx required ath10k drivers which are not yet ported to the BSD based operating systems.

OpenWRT / Compex wle200nx throughput test in 802.11na mode

OpenWRT is just much better at wireless. It outperforms pfSense by almost 2x. 

Accepted connection from 192.168.5.185, port 49269
[  5] local 192.168.5.166 port 5201 connected to 192.168.5.185 port 49270
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bandwidth
[  5]   0.00-1.00   sec  16.3 MBytes   137 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   1.00-2.00   sec  25.4 MBytes   213 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   2.00-3.00   sec  27.3 MBytes   229 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   3.00-4.00   sec  26.0 MBytes   218 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   4.00-5.00   sec  26.7 MBytes   224 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   5.00-6.00   sec  27.3 MBytes   229 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   6.00-7.00   sec  27.4 MBytes   230 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   7.00-8.00   sec  27.3 MBytes   229 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   8.00-9.00   sec  27.1 MBytes   227 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   9.00-10.00  sec  26.2 MBytes   220 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]  10.00-10.04  sec  1.04 MBytes   238 Mbits/sec                  
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bandwidth
[  5]   0.00-10.04  sec  0.00 Bytes  0.00 bits/sec                  sender
[  5]   0.00-10.04  sec   258 MBytes   216 Mbits/sec                  receiver

 

Compex wle600vx throughput test on OpenWRT/LEDE 17.01

Here we are testing the Compex wle600vx, which is a 802.11ac card.

When it comes to wireless access-points, OpenWRT has no competitiors. It operates in full 802.11ac mode out of the box and does is remarkably well.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Server listening on 5201
-----------------------------------------------------------
Accepted connection from 192.168.1.186, port 36786
[  5] local 192.168.1.240 port 5201 connected to 192.168.1.186 port 36787
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bandwidth
[  5]   0.00-1.00   sec  59.7 MBytes   501 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   1.00-2.00   sec  63.4 MBytes   532 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   2.00-3.00   sec  62.8 MBytes   527 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   3.00-4.00   sec  63.4 MBytes   532 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   4.00-5.00   sec  63.0 MBytes   529 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   5.00-6.00   sec  62.5 MBytes   524 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   6.00-7.00   sec  62.8 MBytes   526 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   7.00-8.00   sec  62.6 MBytes   526 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   8.00-9.00   sec  62.8 MBytes   527 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   9.00-10.00  sec  62.8 MBytes   527 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]  10.00-10.03  sec  2.07 MBytes   500 Mbits/sec                  
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bandwidth
[  5]   0.00-10.03  sec  0.00 Bytes  0.00 bits/sec                  sender
[  5]   0.00-10.03  sec   628 MBytes   525 Mbits/sec                  receiver

wle600vx is able to run at over half-gigabit speed on OpenWRT - trully remarkable result. We have not seen higher, real-life throughput on any commercially available access points on the market.

Compex wle600vx throughput test on IPFire 2.19

One would expect that IPFire should have similar results to OpenWRT when it comes to access-point support since it has ath10k drivers as well. It turns out that it's not so easy to configure it right (if at all possible) and the results in practice are much worse.

First, the raw output:

-----------------------------------------------------------
Server listening on 5201
-----------------------------------------------------------
Accepted connection from 192.168.2.100, port 2380
[  5] local 192.168.1.100 port 5201 connected to 192.168.2.100 port 2381
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bandwidth
[  5]   0.00-1.00   sec  24.4 MBytes   205 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   1.00-2.00   sec  24.6 MBytes   206 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   2.00-3.00   sec  26.1 MBytes   219 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   3.00-4.00   sec  26.7 MBytes   224 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   4.00-5.00   sec  26.0 MBytes   218 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   5.00-6.00   sec  25.9 MBytes   218 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   6.00-7.00   sec  25.6 MBytes   215 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   7.00-8.00   sec  25.2 MBytes   212 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   8.00-9.00   sec  26.3 MBytes   221 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   9.00-10.00  sec  25.2 MBytes   212 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]  10.00-10.05  sec  1.24 MBytes   226 Mbits/sec                  
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bandwidth
[  5]   0.00-10.05  sec  0.00 Bytes  0.00 bits/sec                  sender
[  5]   0.00-10.05  sec   257 MBytes   215 Mbits/sec                  receiver

215Mbit/s is a decent result for access point, but it's over 2x worse than the result of OpenWRT.

Someone on PC Engines forum configured it to 300Mbit+.

Note, to get the ac working on IPFire, you must modify the hostapd.conf config file via terminal. On IPFire 2.19 this can not be done through the web interface. See our IPFire wireless configuration instruction here. Without this config change, IPFire will not turn on the "Very Hight Throughput Capabilities" and your card will work in 802.11n mode.

Atheros AR9287 test on pfSense

AR9287 is the cheapest, most generic Atheros card on the market. We don't really sell it, but it's so wide spread that we wanted to check how good it is. It claims to be 802.11g/n. Let's see

Here's the iperf3 output:

-----------------------------------------------------------
Server listening on 5201
-----------------------------------------------------------
Accepted connection from 192.168.5.195, port 19408
[  5] local 192.168.5.186 port 5201 connected to 192.168.5.195 port 12706
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bandwidth
[  5]   0.00-1.00   sec  1.75 MBytes  14.7 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   1.00-2.00   sec  4.53 MBytes  38.0 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   2.00-3.00   sec  6.13 MBytes  51.4 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   3.00-4.00   sec  5.87 MBytes  49.3 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   4.00-5.00   sec  6.57 MBytes  55.2 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   5.00-6.00   sec  6.67 MBytes  55.9 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   6.00-7.00   sec  6.56 MBytes  55.0 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   7.00-8.00   sec  7.45 MBytes  62.5 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   8.00-9.00   sec  6.19 MBytes  51.9 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]   9.00-10.00  sec  5.74 MBytes  48.2 Mbits/sec                  
[  5]  10.00-10.03  sec   337 KBytes  86.2 Mbits/sec                  
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bandwidth
[  5]   0.00-10.03  sec  0.00 Bytes  0.00 bits/sec                  sender
[  5]   0.00-10.03  sec  57.8 MBytes  48.3 Mbits/sec                  receiver

Close to 50 Mbit/s - not terrible for a half-size card. Certainly not suitable for use as an access point, but perhaps it can be used as a laptop/client card.

It works well with both pfSense and IPFire, but we don't recommend using it due to low throughput.

 

 


TekLager sells routers based on PC Engines hardware with OpenWRT in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, US and Canada.