If there were any routers in this test you wouldn’t want to bump into on a dark night, Buffalo’s 450Mbits/ sec beast would have to be it. Its three huge, sculpted 5dBi antennae quickly gained it the nickname “Kruger”.
It’s also this month’s only single-band router, but it makes up for that by being the only model to support three streams, and a theoretical maximum throughput of 450Mbits/sec in the 2.4GHz frequency band. All the other 450Mbits/sec routers on test can reach their maximum speeds only in the 5GHz frequency band.
That was the main justification for including it in this Labs, and the decision was backed up with some brutal benchmark results. At close range, we registered average speeds of 19.5MB/sec – no other router over 2.4GHz was quicker. And at distance, its three, claw-like antennae really paid dividends, with an average of 5.6MB/ sec, outstripping every other router. NAS speed was less impressive, at an average 3.6MB/sec.
The Buffalo’s other notable feature is that it comes with the open-source DD-WRT firmware installed, which boasts all sorts of unusual features, from OpenVPN client/server support to hotel-style hotspot services.
Oddly, though, the DD-WRT firmware doesn’t support channel bonding, so the only way to achieve the top speed is to download and install Buffalo’s alternative firmware (we used this to achieve our speed results). It’s a bizarre way of going about things, but at least it’s easy to do.
In all, that makes it an odd package, with no dual-band, but rip-roaring speeds over 2.4GHz, and a default firmware installation that doesn’t allow you to make full benefit of advertised speeds. Nevertheless, if you’re prepared to tinker, and you value range over the avoidance of 2.4GHz congestion, it’s worth considering.