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TP-Link VR1600v Performance on NBN FTTN and FTTB

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Purpose

 

To show the performance capabilities of the TP-Link VR1600v modem router on NBN fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) services as tested by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

 

 

Which TPG modem was tested in this ACMA report?

 

The ACMA tested a total of 43 devices (26 devices sourced from electronic retailers and 17 devices sourced from Retail Service Providers) between December 2018 to January 2019.

 

TPG has supplied the ACMA with the TP-Link VR1600v modem router which uses firmware current as at November 2018 for this performance study. Subsequent firmware updates may change the performance of the device.

 

 

How will this affect TPG customers?

 

One of the key findings in the ACMA report is that better Wi-Fi performance (and consequently better NBN performance) would be achieved by choosing a device using the 802.11ac standard (or next generation 802.11ax, also known as Wi-Fi 6) operating in the 5 GHz band.

 

The ACMA report goes on to say that the 2.4 GHz band is often promoted as a better choice for longer range communications. However, test results did not support this. Operating in the 5 GHz band appears to be the best choice for consumers under all circumstances.

 

The TP-Link VR1600v modem router offers four 1 Gbps LAN ports and 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) Wi-Fi connectivity. We are very pleased with the performance of this modem router and are confident that it will perform well on our customers’ NBN internet service.

 

Where can I read the ACMA report?

 

For more context on how the testing was conducted, please read the full ACMA report. The report is available here: NBN Wi-Fi modem study.

 

 

The data and tables used in this article are attributed to © Commonwealth of Australia (Australian Communications and Media Authority) 2019 made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.

 

Performance Summary Table

 

Note: This table has been modified to exclude results of other tested devices.

 

 

TP-Link VR1600V performance report table.png

 

Key Test Results

 

DSL (NBN line) performance

 

Testing was conducted on a range of 100/40 Mbps lines (six in total). The lines included a mix of NBN services purchased from iiNet, Telstra and Optus.

 

Maximum data rate

 

Data transfer speed was measured from the devices’ wired LAN ports through the WAN connection (DSL) to a high-speed cloud server. Testing was conducted with 500 m copper feeder lengths configured to represent a typical consumer’s home NBN FTTN/B installation.

 

Download performance (Mbps)

Device Model

Download (Mbps)

Upload (Mbps)

TP-Link VR1600V (TPG)

78

30

 

 

Effects of line length

 

Testing was conducted at line lengths of 50 m to 1500 m. Copper line lengths exceeding 1000 m are generally not utilised on the NBN. Testing was conducted at the greater distances to assess the devices under more challenging conditions.

 

Download performance (Mbps) by cable length

Device Model

50 m

150 m

450 m

1050 m

1500 m

TP-Link VR1600V (TPG)

93.91

94.18

80.45

24.88

10

 

Upload performance (Mbps) by cable length

Device Model

50 m

150 m

450 m

1050 m

1500 m

TP-Link VR1600V (TPG)

25.01

32.88

28.77

8.16

1.51

 

Performance on noisy lines

 

Line noise was simulated by indirect injection of ‘white noise’ into the feeder cable system that was connected between the test device and the NBN DSLAM. A ‘noisy’ feeder length of 1050 m was used to test the ability of a device to deal with a significant amount of line noise.

 

Below is the average data transfer speed (in Mbps) during the noise performance test divided by the clean line speed (in Mbps) for the same line length.

 

On noisy DSL line (@1050 m) (% clean line speed)

Device Model

Download (Mbps)

Upload (Mbps)

TP-Link VR1600V (TPG)

35%

43%

 

On noisy DSL line (@1050 m) (average data transfer speed)

Device Model

Download (Mbps)

Upload (Mbps)

TP-Link VR1600V (TPG)

8.8

3.5

 

 

Bridge tap performance

 

Bridge taps (typical of poor building installations where additional phone sockets have not been correctly isolated or where multiple properties share the same copper pairs) are a known source of NBN FTTN/B performance related issues. Device performance was assessed with a simulated bridge tap installed on the test line.

 

Device Model

Download (Mbps)

Upload (Mbps)

TP-Link VR1600V (TPG)

16.0

7.1

 

 

Stability testing

 

Each device was tested over a continuous period of 16 hours to assess the stability of its performance over time. During the test period, TP-Link VR1600V recorded 100 per cent availability.

 

Wired LAN performance

 

Testing of the wired LAN capability of each device was performed by measuring data transfer rates between a cable connected to a test PC and network-attached storage.

 

Device Model

Throughput (Mbps)

TP-Link VR1600V (TPG)

943

 

 

LAN to Wi-Fi performance

 

For consistency across the range of devices that were tested, Wi-Fi capability was tested against a controlled network-attached storage (NAS) device connected directly to one of the device’s LAN ports. This LAN to Wi-Fi test configuration (as opposed to a WAN to Wi-Fi configuration) also allowed for assessment of available speeds when accessing LAN-connected devices wirelessly.

 

2.4 GHz LAN to Wi-Fi range performance

Device Model

Distance

5 m

10 m

25 m

50 m

TP-Link VR1600V (TPG)

Throughput (Mbps)

121.10

52.31

22.68

1.80

 

5 GHz LAN to Wi-Fi range performance

Device Model

Distance

5 m

10 m

25 m

50 m

TP-Link VR1600V (TPG)

Throughput (Mbps)

576.96

447.15

456.01

205.73

 

 

Obstacle testing (through walls)

 

Inside the test facility, a wireless range test was set up, over a distance of approximately 25 m, that required the wireless signals to pass through a number of brick and studded plaster walls, as would typically be the case in many consumer’s home/office environments.

 

2.4 GHz LAN to Wi-Fi performance through walls versus clear line of sight—at 25 m and 50 m

Device Model

Speed (Through Walls)

(Mbps)

25.00 m Download

(Mbps)

50.00 m Download

(Mbps)

TP-Link VR1600V (TPG)

5

23

2

 

5 GHz LAN to Wi-Fi range performance through walls versus clear line of sight—at 25 m and 50 m

Device Model

Speed (Through Walls)

(Mbps)

25.00 m Download

(Mbps)

50.00 m Download

(Mbps)

TP-Link VR1600V (TPG)

95

456

206

 

 

Microwave interference testing

 

The 2.4 GHz band, being older technology, is more prone to interference from several other sources of radio emissions. Interference testing was done with one of the most common sources of 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi interferers—the domestic microwave oven.

 

Microwave ovens can potentially be a source of very high levels of radio interference. A faulty or poor-quality oven can emit radio signals that are most likely to interfere with the upper Wi-Fi channels in the 2.4 GHz band (i.e. channel nine and above).

 

For the purpose of testing, a domestic oven was modified so that it simulated a faulty, slightly ‘leaky’ microwave oven (typical of what might occur with damage to the oven cabinet, protective shielding or door seals).

 

2.4 GHz LAN to Wi-Fi performance with and without microwave interference

Device Model

Speed (without interference – Mbps)

Speed (with interference – Mbps)

TP-Link VR1600V (TPG)

96

33

 

 


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