Technical Blogs

[Smart Home Hub Test] Making Sure You Get Extra Coverage When It Matters Most
2016 2016-10-03

With the advancement and wide adoption of Smart Home technology, the status of the Router (AP) as the nerve center for the entire operation has become ever more paramount. Hence, as far as WiFi is concerned, it could be seen as the equilibrium in the purview of one’s home. If connectivity and performance are your key concerns then you should be concerned with your choice of wireless AP’s. With the gargantuan scope of choices from brand, price, aesthetics to the array of platforms from Apple’s Home Kit, MI, etc. All of which offers various functions and applications; however, most of us only require a multifunction internet control center and would do quite well with it. Thus, embodying us with the ability to control the majority of household products and the ability to becoming more energy-efficient, convenient and safe. Overall uplifting the quality and standard of living for all families.

 

AP Products (DUTs) Test Settings & Specifications

As a professional third party testing and certification Lab Allion is able to provide an unbiased view on any products we test. We start by simulating an environment with and without outside interference at the same time providing testing criteria’s such as functionality, resistance to signal obstruction and data exchange capability, and so forth. In the following we shall test 3 consumer AP products (represented as AP 1, AP 2, AP 3), which will undergo numerous WiFi performance tests (below is the AP order and not the test results)

 

 Test Configuration 


 

 

 

 

 

 Devices under Testing (DUTs) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We shall use a real world scenario to ensure test reliability; simultaneously we would approach the test via wireless modes, direction. Therefore, not only providing performance data comparisons, but also at the same time performance in different wave lengths, locational data transfer capability, and resistance to interference in different situations.

 

Allions “Smart Home Living & Testing Environment”

Before we kick off the test let’s have a peep at the facilities

  • Testing location: A purposely built standard 96 m2  apartment arranged in 3LDK fashion located next to A Allion's Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP) Branch located within the “Central Taiwan Science Park”.
  • Interior Arrangement: Besides basic furnishing, we’ve also included general wireless electronics found in most homes.
  • Test Set-up: 4 mobile terminals including 1 tablet, 2 smart phones, 1 notebook.
  • Test Scenario Design: With 2 sources of exterior interferences ( source : one transmitting one not), combined with 3 different usage behaviors ( indoor wireless signals: weak, medium, high data transfer rate); thus, simulating all possible real world usage scenarios via consumers.

 

With the increase of interactive mobile devices, WiFi usage for data exchange, video storage has become the norm. Allowing mobile devices to transfer data quickly & safely has been the focus and  goal for all Smart Home mobile device providers (for example: smart phones, routers, projectors). How will these 3 AP products fair in the following tests?

 

WiFi Performance comparisons for 3 AP products
 

1. Band length & resistance performance

From the results below, it is evident from the data transfer rate for 2.4GHz band (without exterior interference) has better performance on AP 2 compared with the other 2 AP’s (lower left). AP 2 utilizing channel 1 has maximum transfer rate and AP 2 also has maximum transfer rate when device is located in the upper left corner room using band 6. However, 2.4GHz under exterior interference would have a different result, with AP 1 able to resist interference better than the other 2 AP’s, but when located in the upper left corner room the data transfer decay rate is obviously more than others. Overall when all three AP’s were located in the upper left corner room, the performance on band 1 was poorest; however, AP 2 performed better on band 6 & 11.

 

 

 

 

From the lower left bar chart it is not difficult to see AP2 has better performance in all time frames, in 5GHz without exterior interference, AP2 has better transmitting performance. AP 2 combined with channel 161 has the best capabilities; AP 2 located in the children’s room has the best performance on channel 149.

From the upper right picture, we could observe when outside interference is involved, AP3 has better resistance capability; however, when AP3 is located further away in the children’s room it’s Receive capability is obviously much lower than the other 2 devices. The Receive figures for the children’s room have also notably been obstructed, causing transition capabilities to be obstructed. Overall AP 2 has much better results on countering interference than the other devices.

 

2. Different transmitting capabilities for different locations

Now we move on to testing involving different locations. After testing the performance of the 3 products to their performance regarding their relative position, except for 2.4GHz without exterior interference on band 6, all products performed poorly in the children’s room. The master bed room was also were AP 2 performed poorly on band 6, for AP 1 and AP3 it was the children’s room. We choose the medium band to satisfy our testing rudiments, but for as far as this case is concerned the medium bands’ performance would not be poor then higher or lower bands. However, the lower right figures with exterior interference concluded that besides the transmitting for band 6 all devices in the children’s room performed poorly, with in band 6 AP 2 also performed poorly in the master bed room, counter to only the children’s room for AP 1 and AP 3.

 

 

For 5GHz under testing without interference for low high bands, we discovered in band 149 the performance in the lower left: As with case with 2.4GHz, during 5GHz AP 1 and AP3 all performed poorly in the children’s room, AP 2 had Transmit issues in the master bedroom, regarding Receive the worst performer was in the children’s room. Yet, 5GHz with exterior interference and tested in low and high bands, band 149 had more obvious differences (lower right figures): AP 1 and AP 2 performed poorly in the master bedroom. AP 3 had Transmit issues in the children’s room, but for Receive the location was the master bedroom.

 

 

To sum up

Regardless of the circumstances, to the selection of the three AP, AP 2 of the actual transmission capacity than the other two excellent. However, in the case of external interference with 2.4GHz, AP1 resistance capability was relatively good. In the case of external interference at 5GHz, the short-range AP 3 has better resistance capability, but it is worse than the other two at longer distances, which may be due to the difference between the antenna and the field design.

In general, we will consider the selection of medium band as the test requirement, but for the test, the results of medium bands does not necessarily represent the performance in high and low bands. In terms of test completeness, it is recommended that high, medium and low bands be covered in the test conditions. When the Transmit transmission value is too low, in addition to affecting the quality of the Internet will also affect the quality of network video playback. When the Receive transmission value is too low, the wireless device may be disconnected or the transmission may be interrupted. As the test in the children’s room general results ​​were poor, products which are considering consumer performance for the product may look forward to fulfilling this gap. In summary, when the AP home users are in the choice of wireless router products, naturally products aspects with good hardware configurations and great coverage would be considered at the same level.

 

The results for this test - "smart home test environment" ensure that high-density wireless environment AP products can be reliable and stable for the operation of the product. Thus, undoubtedly making Allion the best choice for smart home mobile devices testing. Allion provides tailored test solutions including flexible test procedures, review programs and real-time root cause analysis, higher reliability and superior connectivity, allowing AP home users to connect in one place and enjoy great efficacy!

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