Killer Wireless-AC 1550 review: users, lock your wifi!

The bad neighbor policy of Rivet Networks


Test method

The Killer Wireless-AC 1550 is a 2x2 802.11ac network adapter with support for MU-MIMO and Bluetooth 5.0. The card supports channel widths of 20 and 40 MHz on 2.4 GHz and 160 MHz channels on 5 GHz in addition to 20, 40 and 80 MHz. A channel width of 160 MHz sounds very attractive: you have more room to send more data at the same time. In practice, however, the question is whether this outweighs the obvious disadvantages of this.

The PCspecialist gaming laptop and Netgear R9000 X10 router

Apart from its practical applicability, this was of course the ideal opportunity to test the potential of 160 MHz wide channels and we did so. So we took a gaming laptop from PC Specialist with a Killer Wireless-AC 1550 chip on board and a Netgear R9000 Nighthawk X10 router. On this we performed our regular 3 meter test in both directions (LAN<->WLAN) with the IxChariot software from Ixia and the TCP High Performance script. On 5 GHz we did this both with 80 MHz wide channels and 160 MHz wide channels and on 2.4 GHz with a channel width of 40 MHz. 

Faraday cage

Then we repeated this whole procedure in the Faraday Cage, which we have at our office at our disposal. This cage is in fact a large cabinet where you can stand with several people. You can also put a lot of hardware in it, including a thick laptop and ditto router. A Faraday Cage blocks all wireless radio signals from outside and thus creates an ideal test situation in which you do not experience external and variable interference. This makes it the ideal place to test which speeds you could achieve in the most ideal situation. Although you will never be able to achieve these speeds in practice, we are curious to see how big the difference - if any - will be.

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