SPOTLIGHT: Benchmarking WLANs

It is easy to measure the quality and other aspects of wired transmissions because, well, signals which are sent over a wire typically stay on the wire. This is not the case with radio signals which bounce all over the place and are subject to interference, disruption and fading; what's more, it is not possible to predict whether under any given set of circumstances, a radio signal will actually propagate from Point A to Point B. FarPoint's intrepid Craig Mathias is not one to give up easily, so he decided to try to benchmark the performance of WLANs, difficulties or no difficulties. The way to do comparative benchmarking, he writes, is to maintain very similar radio environments between benchmark runs, including close-to-identical distances between APs and clients, identical numbers of both, and so on. "Such efforts can, in fact, yield very good results that can help you decide which vendor or product to select," he writes.

Mathias's Computerworld article | FarPoint Group's technical note