Xclaim Wireless Site Survey

logo_xclaimI picked up a few Xclaim Wireless units off Amazon last week because we were evaluating access points for the building common areas at work.  I’ve previously had excellent results with Ruckus Wireless but they’re on the spendy side though well worth the money.  Xclaim Wireless is a sister company to Ruckus Wireless and they cater to the users who need a deployment that’s simple with little to no administration.  Something that just works.

Equipment/Location:

My disclaimer is that the comparison here is not apples to apples since we are looking at an 802.11n/a 1×1 (Airport) vs an 802.11ac 2×2 (Xclaim). Since this site survey was done at my house, I only had my home router for comparison.  Here are the specs:

  • Airport Extreme, Gen 2 firmware v7.6.4
  • XClaim Wireless Xi3 firmware v2.0.0.0.370

Now, my own concern was wall penetration and over the air wireless capacity so the internet connection specifications were unnecessary. My house is a 2200sqft wood frame structure but the test being only on the ground floor with a rectangular dimension of 25’ x 60’. The top of the diagram was the East side of the house. Test computer was a Late 2012, Macbook Pro 13” running NetSpot v2.4.

Method:

I walked around my house with the laptop screen facing west (the bottom of the survey diagram). I did my best to place datapoints in the correct locations based on the location of the house. I added an additional east to west row of datapoints on the second test to give a more granular diagram.

For the first test, both Xclaim and Airport Extreme devices were placed side by side on their horizontal side (flat) about two feet apart from each with power levels set to default. The second test only involved the Xclaim device on its vertical side with the top facing west.

Results:

The first test results showed the Xclaim wireless device had slightly better signal coverage in 2.4Ghz throughout the house with a minor cyan area where the Airport Extreme had a definite low coverage area. The 5.8Ghz however was dramatically in favor of the Xclaim wireless device with about 80% green or better coverage compared to maybe 30% green or better coverage for the Airport Extreme.

The signal to noise ratio of the first test was conclusive that even though Xclaim had a small cyan area in about 5% of the building for the 2.4Ghz test, the SNR shows there is plenty of capacity to handle a significant amount of bandwidth. The 5.8Ghz SNR test showed about 95% coverage where the Airport extreme had about 30% of the building covered.

The second test involving only the Xclaim device showed that the access point’s effectiveness severely degrades the SNR when placed in a vertical or wall mount scenario.

Signal Strength

SS-scale

Apple Airport Extreme, Generation 2 (2.4Ghz)

SS2.4-apple

 Xclaim Wireless Xi3 (2.4Ghz)

SS2.4-xclaim

Apple Airport Extreme, Generation 2 (5Ghz)

ss-54apple

Xclaim Wireless Xi3 (5Ghz)

ss-54xc

Signal to Noise Ratio

snr-scale

Apple Airport Extreme, Generation 2 (2.4Ghz)

snr-24apple

Xclaim Wireless Xi3 (2.4Ghz)

snr-24xc

Apple Airport Extreme, Generation 2 (5Ghz)

snr-5apple

Xclaim Wireless Xi3 (5Ghz)

snr-5xc

Signal Strength, Horizontal vs Vertical

SS-scale

Xclaim Wireless Xi3 (2.4Ghz) Horizontal (Desktop/Ceiling)

ss-24v

Xclaim Wireless Xi3 (2.4Ghz) Vertical (Wall Mount)
ss-24h
Xclaim Wireless Xi3 (5Ghz) Horizontal (Desktop/Ceiling)

ss-5v

Xclaim Wireless Xi3 (5Ghz) Vertical (Wall Mount)
ss-5h
Signal to Noise Ratio, Horizontal vs Vertical

snr-scale

Xclaim Wireless Xi3 (2.4Ghz) Horizontal (Desktop/Ceiling)

snr-24h

Xclaim Wireless Xi3 (2.4Ghz) Vertical (Wall Mount)

snr-24v

Xclaim Wireless Xi3 (5Ghz) Horizontal (Desktop/Ceiling)

snr-5h

Xclaim Wireless Xi3 (5Ghz) Vertical (Wall Mount)

snr-5v

 

I only did horizontal vs vertical test on the Xclaim device and you can clearly see the vertical ineffectiveness of an access point designed to be horizontally desktop or ceiling mounted.

 

Read more about Xclaim Wireless at http://www.xclaimwireless.com