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Tenda W300M Wireless N300 Portable AP/Router Review

Testing methodology:

We used the W300M’s AP mode for performance testing. This is the device’s headline mode and is likely to be the most important function for many customers.

For short range testing, our laptop and adapter were positioned 1 foot from the router, in the same room. This represents a typical usage scenario where the W300M is required to provide a wireless signal for many devices located in a single room.

For long range testing, our laptop and adapter were positioned around 40 feet from the router, on the building’s floor below. The signal has to travel through four plasterboard walls and a solid brick floor in our converted church building. Due to the building’s age and very solid wall material, having the power to push a signal through the 40 foot distance is a demanding task for any router.

This test procedure represents another typical usage scenario where the W300M is required to provide a wireless signal for devices located in a different room, such as the dining area of a hotel.

The wireless adapter we used was an Edimax EW-7733UnD. It is a strong adapter which supports 802.11 a/b/g/n modes on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency ranges, features a rotatable antenna and supports up to 450Mbps data rates.

Short range performance:

The Tenda W300M exhibited strong short range performance. Our Edimax wireless adapter was able to connect at the W300M’s top speed of 300Mbps, and signal strength was at its maximum, according to Windows 7.

Usability with multiple devices was another strong point for the W300M access point/router. We had our laptop (with Edimax Wireless-N adapter), Nexus 4 phone (Wireless-N), Archos 70 tablet (Wireless-G) and main desktop computer (Wireless-N) all connected simultaneously.

Each device was provided with a signal which was perfectly sufficient for its intended task. This proved that the W300M is capable of simultaneously powering multiple devices with different wireless connection modes.

We had no problems streaming HD videos from YouTube, even when multiple devices were simultaneously connected and sapping the wireless network’s transfer rates.

Long range performance:

Sending a wireless signal over a long, interference-ridden distance proved a tougher task for the W300M. Nevertheless, it was still up to the task of allowing multiple devices to connect from a 40 foot distance.

With the increased distance and interference structures, Windows 7 reported that our Edimax adapter’s connection signal had dropped to 3 bars and the transfer speed had declined to 216.0 Mbps. The strength of signal that our Nexus 4 was receiving had also been dropped.

The drops in signal strength and transfer rate didn’t have an entirely negative impact on each device’s performance, but a slightly detrimental performance effect was observed. High-Definition YouTube videos seemed to require an increased buffer time and our Nexus 4 showed some minor signs that it was struggling to transfer ‘high quality’ YouTube videos quickly enough.

Other less demanding tasks such as web browsing, checking emails and loading pictures from an on-line article were completed without any noticeable performance losses.

WISP (Wireless repeater/extender) Mode performance:

We tested the W300M’s performance when its wireless repeater/extender mode was activated. We have no complaints here; the W300M was able to pick up the 2.4GHz, 300Mbps signal from Tenda’s N60 router and then pass it on to our waiting devices.

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