Sep 14, 2021
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When it comes to unmodified residential Wifi Routers what hardware factors determine Wifi 4 and 5 range? Let's ignore all other non-hardware factors and neighborhood interference; for this conversation let's assume we are in an abandoned open field for miles. Can one analyze a router's tech specs for a particular CPU / Chipset, Antenna length and Gain, etc to confidently know the Wifi range will be long or short?

Every so often i hear ppl talk about how inferior Mediatek chipsets are compared to Broadcom but they seem to do so from the perspective of featureset rather than range or connectivity.
 

Ralston18

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It is not that simple of a question. You have to be very careful what you mean by "range".

What has happened lately is router manufactures and many other people have mixed the concept of range and bandwidth. So it is like asking what range can I get 100mbps or maybe some other speed that happens to work better for 1 particular unit. There is no actual standard to test using this concept so everyone is making up whatever number they feel is best.

To a point you are doing this when you want to compare wifi4 and wifi5. The difference is how the data is encoded more than anything else. I could make the argument that the simpler encoding will provide a signal at farther distance. This is like how morse code could be understood better than voice using the same transmit power. The problem is I am assuming even the very slowest signal is still better than no usable signal at a higher encoding. The people comparing distance on router advertising are making other assumptions.

You also have to remember that the end device is 1/2 the connection. End devices can have low power transmitters and small antenna because portability and battery life are more important than performance.

So if we go back to how do you measure actual range when you are just looking at signal levels that is easy....well still extremely complex to really understand. The FCC has very specific testing methods any certified device must do to pass. This is all public information. You can take the FCCID of the device and read all the test reports yourself. They get very messy because there are slightly different power levels allowed when you use say 2x2 mimo rather than 1x1.

What you will find is almost every router puts out near the legal maximum. There are very small differences but it is hard to say if that really makes a difference in the real world.

In the real world how the house is built and the end device you are using make far more difference than tiny differences in radio transmit power.
 
Reactions: crosis999
Sep 14, 2021
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In the real world how the house is built and the end device you are using make far more difference than tiny differences in radio transmit power.

Thanks, bill001g.
 

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